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Food support for families in Somerset

Any family in need should call the Somerset Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275 and select Option 1.

Somerset County Council has pledged £125,000 of additional support for families in Somerset who may be struggling to find food this winter.

They want to ensure no child or adult in Somerset goes hungry. Their aim is to meet the immediate need for food, and to work with the family to address underlying needs. This is because if a child is hungry there are usually other issues they would want to help them address. These could be financial, housing, mental health and wellbeing, employment, and skills.

Throughout the pandemic the Somerset Coronavirus Helpline has been providing information, advice and support to families. This has been done by adopting the same community orientated approach as that developed in the Adults service. The Village Agent offer to families has been extended so that they can get support to address underlying issues and regain, or retain, their ability to be as independent as possible.

This has enabled many families in Somerset to get the support they need to become more resilient. One element of this has been to make sure families can access nutritious meals – this remains a focus of their work.

A further £125,000 has been set aside in case more funds are needed to ensure families are fed this winter.

Any family in need should call the Somerset Coronavirus helpline on 0300 790 6275 and select Option 1.

The helpline is available from 8am to 6pm every day, including weekends.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired you can contact us using SMS text: 07781 482858

Career and Training Opportunities in the Care Sector


Tuesday 24th November 11am – 1pm

The event will be via Zoom. To participate attendees will need access to a phone, tablet or laptop with a stable internet connection.

To register for the event go to:

Videos from each organisation will be available for you to view from the 22nd Oct 2020 via YouTube link:–aIRaa0YyMA

The videos will supply information on

  • Each organisation
  • What to expect from working in the care sector
  • Benefits and rewards
  • Roles within a variety of organisations
  • Careers, qualifications, training and personal development
  • Current vacancies and organisation contact details

To find out more register on Eventbrite and pop in for an informal chat, on the 24th November between 11am – 1pm.

New Covid restrictions 5th November to 2nd December 2020

The Prime Minister made an announcement at the weekend, signalling the need for a second period of national lockdown in England.

Parliament will debate and vote on the measures this week, and if passed, they will come into force on Thursday 5 November, and remain in place until Wednesday 2 December.

It’s because national data emerging in more recent weeks has shown that, should the country take no additional measures beyond the current restrictions, England would be exceeding the ‘worst case scenario’ levels. It means that if we don’t take extra steps now, numbers will continue to rise and it will put additional pressure on our busy hospitals.

Those steps, if approved by parliament, aim to reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, and therefore reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). By doing so, we are protecting the NHS and saving lives.

The new tougher national restrictions include staying at home, not gathering with people you don’t live with and closing some venues. Further information, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available can be found on the government’s website.

Remember, remember to stay safe this Bonfire Night

Fire, police and public health leaders in the south west, along with local councils, are urging the public to stay safe this Bonfire Night by ‘doing something different’ to celebrate.

The emergency services see an increase in calls around bonfire night, and services are already stretched by the effects of Covid-19.

Not only are bonfires and fireworks dangerous, they can cause a nuisance for neighbours and animals. Smoke coming in through windows can cause issues for people with breathing problems, and fireworks are stressful for people and animals.

Darren Peters, Area Manager at Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said:

“We want you to make it a bonfire night to remember for the right reasons, not because you end up needing the emergency services.

“We’d prefer you to avoid home bonfires and fireworks as they can cause incidents and injury which can put pressure on our emergency services.”

South west leaders have compiled a list of ways to ‘do something different’ to celebrate bonfire night this year.

  • Stargazing – the natural alternative to fireworks – just find a dark spot in the south west – either from your home or in the country – and enjoy the night sky. There are many smartphone apps that help you to identify the constellations and help make it even more fun.
  • Get creative in the kitchen – food is part of the bonfire fun, so why not make hotdogs, soup and hot chocolates, and embrace the bonfire fun in a different way.
  • Firework painting – there are loads of ideas to make firework paintings online – some black paper or card and some bright paints are all you need to get started. Add straws or cut toilet roll shapes and you’re away. The kids will have a great time making vivid firework pictures.
  • Watch firework videos – there’s no easier way to stay warm, dry and safe this bonfire night than to tune in to livestreamed firework displays on YouTube. The displays will be more spectacular than your own would have been, they won’t frighten pets, farm animals or children, and you can pause or rewind your favourite bits.

Area Manager Darren Peters added:

“If you insist on doing something at home, keep fires and fireworks small. Fires and fireworks are unpredictable.

“If using sparklers, stick them into a vegetable, such as a carrot or parsnip, so you protect your hands. Keep a bucket of water nearby so you can put your spent sparklers in there.”

Our advice is to:

  • Store fireworks safely
  • Keep fires and fireworks well away from anything that could burn, such as sheds, fences and your home.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby
  • Never leave anything unattended.

Attendees will need to adhere to the current rules of course, including social distancing, the Rule of Six, face coverings in enclosed spaces where social distancing is impossible, and regular hand hygiene soap and water or hand sanitiser is available.

Anyone planning to have fireworks or bonfires at home should read the full safety guidance