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Spark iT

In partnership with Barclays and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, we are delighted to announce the launch of Spark iT, our new project which aims to tackle digital exclusion in Somerset and help people to access health care online.

The Spark iT Helpdesk is now live, and anybody in Somerset who is digitally excluded can get in touch for free IT support with a range of activities. This might include using IT equipment, connecting with others online or accessing local support and services that could improve their health and wellbeing.

The Helpdesk is available Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm on 01458 550977.

We are also recruiting a bank of Digital Champion volunteers who will receive training from the Barclays Digital Eagles and offer additional 1-2-1 support. You can find out more and sign up here.

For further information about Spark iT, please click here or email Verity Baum, Digital Inclusion Project Manager,

C182 rolling road blocks – Sunday 6th June 2021 – 0800 to 1500

Preparing for deliveries at Combwich Wharf

As we prepare for the operational phase of Combwich Wharf, which will see large loads being delivered by sea, we’re keen to hear from you.

We will be pulling together a booklet of information so you know what to expect, the best ways to stay up to date and be notified of movements on local roads.

If there is any particular information which you think residents might be interested to hear about, please do let us know.

Escort Training – this Sunday  6th June 2021

It’s not just the Community Relations team who are preparing for the operational phase at the wharf, our delivery team are also gearing up to escort large loads from Combwich Wharf to our main site.

As part of these preparations, a training session will take place on Sunday 6th June, simulating a delivery of a large load from Combwich Wharf to main site. The session will include 3 rolling road blocks on the C182 between Combwich and the main site, between 0800 – 1500. Each rolling road block is expected to last approximately 30 minutes. This method, opposed to a complete road closure, ensures we are minimising disturbance to local residents.

Thank you for your patience and support whilst we undertake this training.

Hinkley Point C – Community Relations Team

Why fresh air is so important in controlling Covid-19

Ventilation is the process of introducing fresh air into indoor spaces while removing stale air. Letting fresh air into indoor spaces can help remove air that contains virus particles and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles (droplets and aerosols) containing the virus that causes COVID-19. While larger droplets fall quickly to the ground, smaller droplets and aerosols containing the virus can remain suspended in the air. If someone breathes in virus particles that are suspended in the air, they can become infected with COVID-19. This is known as airborne transmission.

In poorly ventilated rooms the amount of virus in the air can build up, increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19, especially if there are lots of infected people in the room. The virus can also remain in the air after an infected person has left.

Bringing fresh air into a room and removing older stale air that contains virus particles reduces the chance of spreading COVID-19. The more fresh air that is brought inside, the quicker any airborne virus will be removed from the room.

Ventilation is most important if someone in your household has COVID-19 or if you are indoors with people you do not live with.

Good ventilation has also been linked to health benefits such as better sleep and fewer sick days off from work or school.

Big changes to modernise marriage registration

Big changes to modernise marriage registration

New legislation coming into force this week is set to modernise marriage registration for the first time since 1837.

The Marriage Schedule System will move away from the current paper register (the traditional book which is signed by the couple and their witnesses) to a more secure system for keeping marriage records.

The electronic register will also allow for the names of multiple parents of the couple to be included in the marriage entry and on marriage certificates – previously only fathers’ names were included. This move brings the system in line with the one already used for registering Civil Partnerships.

Couples will notice two main differences when it comes to their ceremonies. Firstly, they will not sign in an old-fashioned register book, but instead they and their witnesses will sign a single sheet of paper called a ‘Schedule’ that is unique to the couple.

Secondly, it will no longer be possible to provide a marriage certificate on the day of the ceremony. Couples will be legally married from the moment they say their vows, but certificates will now be posted to them within five working days.

Couples who have already given notice do not need to take any special steps. Somerset County Council’s Registration Service will take care of all the changes to paperwork and will give couples the option of adding extra parents to the schedule on their big day.

The new changes will present a technical hitch for some couples. Some honeymoon offers require proof of marriage to validate a special offer, or the couple may be travelling to a country where couples must be legally wed to share a room. As the certificate will not be available for up to five working days, couples are advised to check in advance what other proof businesses or travel destinations will accept.

Genevieve Branch, Somerset County Council Service Manager for Registration Services, said: “Registrars across the county are being prepped for the new changes, and our Somerset team are excited to start implementing the new, more inclusive system. With more streamlined paperwork behind the scenes and a better representation of modern families on couples’ landmark documents, this really is a welcome move for the wedding industry.”


Director of Public Health urges those with Covid-19 symptoms to book PCR test

Somerset residents are being reminded that they need to book a PCR test if they are showing symptoms of Covid-19, or have tested positive using a ‘lateral flow’ (rapid) test kit.

While the ‘lateral flow’ tests are a useful screening tool, the PCR test is considered the ‘Gold Standard’ and should be taken by anyone who is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, including a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell.

Also, if anyone takes a ‘lateral flow’ test at home and gets a positive result, they should book a further PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test at a local Covid testing site to confirm the result.

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health for Somerset County Council, said: “It is really important to understand the difference between the ‘lateral flow’ tests and the PCR test.

“The ‘lateral flow’ tests are only to be used by those displaying no symptoms. While they are a valuable guide, they should not be relied upon alone. Taking a PCR test will provide confirmation of the result.

“So, if you are displaying symptoms or have tested positive using a ‘lateral flow’ test, please book a PCR test. As society starts to open up again, everyone needs to play their part to keep the virus under control and this involves testing.”

You can book or request a PCR test online or by calling 119.

The ‘lateral flow’ tests for those displaying no symptoms are available via the Universal Testing Offer. Please also remember to log any positive or negative result following a ‘lateral flow’ test taken at home.

Trudi added: “The main form of defence against catching and spreading Covid-19 is still ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ – remember to wash your hands regularly, try not to touch your face unless you have clean hands, wear a face covering if you can and keep your distance from others. And, even if vaccinated, it’s still important you take part in twice-weekly LFT testing and ensure you take a PCR test if you are symptomatic.”