Police launch community messaging service

The Police have launched ‘Neighbourhood Matters’, a brand new community messaging service.

Through Neighbourhood Matters you can sign up for local police alerts; receive information about crime in your area, find out about drop-in sessions, answer surveys, and more.

You can choose exactly what type of alert you want to receive and how you receive them, whether it be via text, email or phone call.

Sign up now https://neighbourhoodmatters.co.uk/

Latest Covid update

Stay safe as restrictions are lifted

Family

From Monday 19 July most legal restrictions introduced to help control the spread of coronavirus will be lifted

This does not mean the pandemic is over though. In our district infection rates are high and now at levels we have not seen since late January/early February this year. You can view the figures on the Worcestershire coronavirus dashboard.

It is important you continue to take precautions to protect yourself and others, even if they are no longer required by law.

The Government has issued the following advice:

  • You are no longer instructed to work from home but it is recommended you continue do so if you can. The Government has recommended businesses gradually return staff to offices and buildings over the summer.
  • It is still expected and recommended people will wear face coverings in crowed areas such as on public transport. Some shops and businesses will still ask you to wear them as well.
  • Continue to meet friends and family outside where it is safer. If meeting indoors open windows and let fresh air.
  • Continue to limit the number of people you mix with, how long you mix with them for and how close you get to them.

Read how to stay safe and limit the spread of coronavirus from 19 July for the full guidance.


Join the millions already vaccinated

Vaccine millions

Anyone over 18 can now get their Covid-19 jab. Getting the Covid-19 vaccine will help protect you and others. The best protection is offered after two does so please make sure you go back for your second appointment if you’ve already had your first dose.

If you haven’t had your jab yet then you can book your Covid-19 vaccine online or during July you can visit one of the county’s walk-in vaccination clinics. The walk-in service is only for people who have not yet had their first dose.

We’ve seen huge amounts of young adults come forward for their jab but we know questions remain.

In her latest podcast, Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director of Public Health for Worcestershire, talks to Joe and Leon about how they feel about the vaccine and what it means to them.

Listen to Kath’s Covid Catchup.


Testing and self-isolation

step 4 covid

If you have symptoms of Covid-19, even if they are mild, then you must self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test

If your test is positive then you must continue to self-isolate. You must also self-isolate if you are told to do so by the NHS Covid-19 app or the NHS Test and Trace service.

You may be able to apply to us for a self-isolation support payment if you meet the criteria.

If you need help self-isolating then the Worcestershire Here 2 Help service is still available to support people who are unable to get help from family, friends or neighbours.

It is also recommended people without symptoms get a rapid (lateral flow) test twice a week.

Find out more about booking a test for Covid-19 if you have symptoms.

Find out how to get a rapid (lateral flow) test if you do not have symptoms.

Advice on self-isolation.

From 16 August, if you’re fully vaccinated or under 18, you will not need to self-isolate following close contact with someone who has Covid-19. You will still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if it’s positive.


Looking after your mental health as restrictions are lifted

lockdown easing mental health

We know for some of you the lifting of restrictions may be causing difficult feelings.

If this is happening to you then it’s okay. There isn’t a right or wrong way to feel about this situation. The important thing is you do something about it.

The mental health charity Mind has produced some good information and self-help support on managing feelings about lockdown easing.

The pandemic has also disrupted our sleep patterns and increased our stress levels as we have adapted to a new way of living.

The Every Mind Matters website has a range of information on things you can try to help tackle some of these issues.

You are also encouraged to make your own free NHS online plan, with simple steps to help manage anxiety, sleep and to boost your mood.

Create your Mental Health Action Plan

Latest Covid business support information

Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from July 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021 and the level of grant available to employers under the scheme will stay the same until 1 July 2021.

From that date the level of grant will be reduced, and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible for the grant you must continue to pay your furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they spend on furlough.

For information about the level of government contribution available in the coming months, the required employer contribution and the amount that the employee receives per month where the employee is furloughed 100% of the time click here.

Cllr. Richard Morris
Deputy Leader and portfolio holder for economic growth and tourism.


New business start-up support

This month sees the launch of our new business start-up grant offering increased funding to new businesses. Our grant is part of an exciting and impactful programme of support to help entrepreneurs to turn a great idea into a promising business.

The European funded Enterprising Worcestershire programme has appointed new provider ALP Synergy Ltd with their wide team of business experts to take the programme forward.

Our scheme is available to support new businesses to start up and grow in Wychavon, by providing grants and access to business advice.

Pre-start businesses and new businesses that have been trading less than 36 months can apply for a grant of up to £1,000, or up to £1,500 if they are in or moving into premises that are liable to business rates.

ALP Synergy Ltd will be providing:

  • The Start-Up Club, a 6-hour series of expert led workshops on key business start-up topics like ‘Creating and testing your business plan’ and ‘Launching your new product or service’.
  • A support network of other people taking their first steps to start a business.
  • A further 6 hours of peer to peer sessions through an additional Foundations to Growth Programme for those people planning to start a business which trades with other businesses.
  • One to one support sessions to help entrepreneurs to refine their thinking and challenge them to succeed.

The support will be delivered online at a range of times to allow everyone to engage.  Please register an interest in the programme here.

If you are a business to consumer business under 3 years old, Enterprising Worcestershire also offer free one to one sessions. Click here to book sessions.

To be eligible for a Wychavon business start-up grant you must have completed the Start-up Club and produced a business plan in your one to one sessions which has been approved by the programme’s business advisors.

Apply for the Wychavon start up grant here.

Please contact Jane Dobson on 01386 565278 or email jane.dobson@wychavon.gov.uk for information about the Wychavon business start-up grant.


Domestic Support Fund for businesses hosting events

A new fund from Visit Britain supporting the events industry recovery will provide financial support to not-for-profit organisations hosting domestic business events from 21 June to 17 December 2021.

Financial support is based on number of delegates attending a live event, or the live component of a hybrid event. The event organisation can apply for £30 per delegate attending an event. This support is available for events from 100 to 500 people, to a maximum value of £15,000 support.

Find out more here.


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme fifth grant

A fifth grant covering May 2021 to September 2021 will be open to claims from late July 2021. The grant is taxable and will be paid out in a single installment. To be eligible for the grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership. Guidance for claiming the grant will be available by the end of June 2021.  Click here for more information.


COVID business support

COVID restrictions continue, and the Worcestershire Business Central Growth Hub team can help your business access support programmes, funding schemes and provide advice on how to survive, grow and adapt your business.

Please contact the team at WBC to find out more about what you could be eligible for.


Specialist Business Adviser Programme

The Specialist Business Adviser programme is now open for businesses to register their interest to be involved in the FREE support scheme. The programme enables businesses to receive expert advice on specialist topics in a one to one or group setting. Businesses can now register their interest to be involved on the Worcestershire Business Central website here.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

www.gov.uk/coronavirus


The information available to businesses is changing regularly. We will continue to provide information as soon as we receive it. If you know of any businesses that would benefit from receiving these updates, please let them know they can sign up to our e-newsletter.