Monthly Archives: July 2020

Telford and Wrekin Council want you to have your say

Start Date:
29th July 2020

End Date:
4th September 2020

Start Time:

End Time:

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Telford and Wrekin Counci staff, volunteers and partners have been working day in and day out to keep essential services running, to protect and care for the most vulnerable, and support the NHS.

It’s really important that Telford & Wrekin Council listen to you and involve you in planning for the future.

They ask “Did we do go a good job during the pandemic? How can we help you further? How can we make Telford and Wrekin an even better place?”

Telford & Wrekin Council write-It’s not just about our response to coronavirus – we also want your views on how we can make Telford and Wrekin an even better place to live. It’s time to have your say and give us your feedback!

Click here to watch a video about giving your view:

Click on this link for further information:

Telford & Wrekin residents completing the questionnaire you will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw for vouchers up to £100 to be used in local high street businesses.

You will also be eligible to receive vouchers that will help you to support local businesses.

If you would like a paper or alternative version please let us know by emailing or call 01952 380100.

This survey closes at 2359 on Friday 4th September 2020


What do you think?

Shropshire RCC (Rural Communities Charity) is asking for your help to gather information about the local response to the  COVID-19 pandemic.

Julia Baron CEO of Shropshire RCC said “We know that this galvanised a huge amount of community support locally to help people who would otherwise have been at a significant disadvantage, and we would like to know more about what has been happening, and what help may be needed to sustain this. 

We would be very grateful for a few minutes of your time to complete the survey and help us to help you”.

If you have any questions about the survey or how the information will be used please contact .

Hidden Disabilities and Face Coverings

From today (Friday 24th July 2020) face coverings must be worn in shops, in banks, takeaways, on public transport and hospitals. We can expect other places will also start asking that people wear face coverings but not everyone is able to due to hidden disabilities.

Hidden disabilities don’t have physical signs and include learning difficulties, mental health as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments. They can also include asthma, COPD, and other lung conditions as well as chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep disorders when those diseases significantly impact day-to-day life.

Living with these conditions can make daily life more demanding for many people. They affect each person in different ways and can be painful, exhausting, and isolating. Without visible evidence of the hidden disability, it is frequently difficult for others to recognise or acknowledge the challenges faced and as a consequence, sympathy and understanding can often be in short supply.  

In the past, SDN has shared news about the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

We know many of our members are concerned about wearing a face covering and feel this means they have to stay in and risk becoming isolated. Hidden Disabilities have produced a Face Covering exempt card. They cost 55p each.

The card indicates that you have a hidden disability and have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face-covering. 

Who is exempt from wearing a face mask in the UK?

Please click on the links below for the government guidelines on who is exempt in your region from wearing face coverings.



Northern Ireland:

When will face masks be compulsory in shops in England and Scotland?

In Scotland, the policy was put in place on 10 July.

In England, the policy comes into play on July 24.

Staff themselves will not have to wear a mask.

Are there any exceptions to the rule?

Yes, there are some exceptions, which the government have outlined as ‘reasonable’ reasons for not wearing a mask. These include:

  • if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate

How does the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower face-covering card help me?

The Hidden Disabilities face-covering exempt card indicates that the wearer has a hidden disability and has a reasonable excuse for not wearing a face covering. Businesses who are members of the scheme are aware of our card and provide support, help, assistance or simply a little more time to those wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

However, please note that shops and public transport can still refuse you entry if you are not wearing a face covering.

Can shop-owners and staff refuse entry if I am not wearing a face covering?

Shop owners and staff themselves can call the police to enforce the rule or refuse the person entry.

Will I be fined for not wearing a face covering?

In England and Scotland, those who do not adhere to the rules face a fine of up to £100. It will be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days. 

Compulsory mask-wearing will be enforced by police, according to the government, rather than shop owners and staff themselves, who can call the police or refuse the person entry.

News update from Citizens Advice Shropshire

Please not All Citizens Advice Staff are still working from their own homes. This will continue at least until September and then they will return on a rota / part time basis back to the office.
Until further notice they are not providing face to face service but supporting clients via the telephone. So the best way as always is to signpost to them using this calling them on 03444 111 445. We have updated our website: or use 03444 991100 (Shropshire Advice Line) or Telford 0300 300 1165
Clients can reach us over the phone and they hope the system is better than before lock down.

Coronavirus update from Telford and Wrekin

From today (Friday 24 July), you must follow the government’s guidelines and wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets, banks, takeaways, on public transport and hospitals.

Additionally, Telford and Wrekin Council are making it mandatory for everyone visiting Telford & Wrekin Libraries to wear a face covering.

Remember to wash or sanitise your hands when putting on, or removing your face covering. Disposable face covers need to be bagged and placed in your waste bin – NOT in your recycling bin! Reusable face coverings should be washed regularly.

Exemptions include young children, people with breathing difficulties and people living with a disability. You can find out more information at this link:

This is for your safety and that of our staff. A face covering may protect others and helps to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Libraries in Southwater, Wellington, Newport and Oakengates are open but with reduced opening hours.

Here’s a reminder of what you need to know when visiting:
Wear a face covering
Use the hand sanitiser unit at the entrance to each library
↔️ Follow the directional signage for social distancing
Only return, browse & borrow books
Keep your visit to around 15 min, to ensure everyone has a chance to access the service
 The use of public computers, printing, photocopying and all Council First Point services will NOT be available

For more information about Library opening times, click on this link: or email

The impact of lockdown on people’s wellbeing and experience of health and care services in Shropshire.

We share this information from Healthwatch Shropshire. During April and May Healthwatch Shropshire asked the people of Shropshire about how they were being affected by the pandemic, the impact on their well-being, how they were finding useful information, how they were being supported, what was helping them to cope and how their experience of health and social care services was being affected. Over 550 people contacted them and now the final report is out

The key messages are:

  • An average of 93% of people said they had found it easy to find clear and understandable information about how to keep themselves and others safe.
  • Key workers and people working during the pandemic reported a greater impact on their mental health and wellbeing than those not working.
  • Overall 40% of people said that their healthcare had been affected by the pandemic, this figure rose to 69% for those people with a disability
  • On average 10% of people using social care services said that their care had been affected by the pandemic, the highest figure being in May (16%).
  • The main coping strategies people used included focusing on the positives, finding a new appreciation for their surroundings, staying active, getting outside and maintaining contact with family and friends and wider support networks.

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer, explained, “As we all started to work from home, we felt it was our responsibility to give people the chance to share their experiences during lockdown to help the health and social care system understand the impact locally and identify any gaps in information and services they might be able to fill.

At the beginning of lockdown we did not know what impact Covid-19 would have in Shropshire and how challenging it would be for NHS and social care services so we askedopen rather than direct questions to allow people to go into the detail they felt comfortable with. The majority of people recognised the challenges the pandemic placed on the system and told us that they valued the NHS and wanted to protect it.” 

The report can be found here: or you can download it in word by clicking on this link: Covid-19 support services report PR

Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Shropshire. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.  It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.

Contact details for Healthwatch Shropshire: 

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer     Telephone: 01743 237884

Healthwatch Shropshire, 4 The Creative Quarter, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6LG

 Email   Website

Alert-COVID-19 Track and Trace scam

Please be aware to this scam regarding COVID19 Track and Trace has now reached Shropshire. This information has come via the Chief Inspector (SNT) Shropshire Policing Area. It is important that SDN alerts its readers.

Basically the neighbour had a call from someone purporting to be from the Track and Trace system.  This is a transcript of that call:

Scammer – ‘Good morning, I’m calling from the NHS track and trace service. According to our system, you are likely to have been in close proximity to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. This means that you now need to self-isolate for 7 days and take a COVID-19 test.’

Victim – ‘OK. Can you tell me who that person was?’

Scammer – ‘I’m not able to tell you that. That is confidential information.’

Victim – ‘Right. Um… so ….’

Scammer – ‘But you do need to be tested within the next 72 hours. So can I just get the best mailing address so that we can send a kit to you?’

Victim – ‘Ok (gives address)’

Scammer – ‘Thank you – and I just need to take a payment card so that we can finalize this and send the kit to you.’

Victim – ‘Sorry – a payment card? I thought this was all free?’

Scammer – ‘No – I’m afraid not. There is a one-off fee of £50 for the kit and test results. Could you read off the long card number for me, please, when you’re ready.’

Victim – ‘No – that’s not right. This is part of the NHS so there’s no charge.’

Scammer – ‘I’m afraid there is. Can you give me the card number please – this is very important, and there are penalties for not complying.’

Victim puts the phone down.

Fortunately the victim in this case had not given any card details and no money handed over.  The neighbour will be advised to inform Action Fraud.

SDN says: We hope none of you will be the victim of a scam but unfortunately scammers are plagueing people all the time. Should you be unfortunate to become a victim of a scam, please,

  • if you have given any  information that results in money being taken, in the first instance call your bank or credit card company. The sooner you act the better.
  • Scammers are “chancers” and get us when we are off guard so don’t be embarrassed to tell someone ie a carer, advocate, family but also report it to Action Fraud. Call 0300 123 2040 or report it via this link
  • Remember with your permission someone else can report the scam for you. Action Fraud is open 24/7. The more scams are reported the better the chance of bringing people to justice and protecting everyone.

What has been happening at Albrighton Trust?

SDN thanks the  Albrighton Trust for sharing with us what they have been doing during lockdown.

The Albrighton Trust were delighted to welcome back some of their garden buddies groups who have not been able to work in the gardens since lockdown. The charity has kept in touch with everyone by hosting group Zoom meeting each week. During lockdown garden buddies received some garden boxes from the charity that included seeds and accessories so they could carry on gardening and growing while they were at home, the charity also popped in a few personal goodies for everyone to keep spirits up.



Tim shows off this pot of Runner Beans.

The garden buddies have been sending in photographs to show how their plants have been growing. The charity set up a shared dropbox folders so everyone could see how their friends plants are also growing. The weekly virtual meetings have been a wonderful way for everyone to stay in touch with friends and know that they are all safe; but you can’t beat meeting face to face. The charity has reintroduced their gardening sessions ensuring that no more than 6 people are working together outside and keeping a safe distance apart in line with the current government guidelines. The charity provides educational and recreational activities for people disadvantaged by physical and learning disabilities and ill health.



Gardening Buddies carry out some pruning.

To find out more about the work of Albrigton Trust Moat and Gardens, click on this link


Keep Safe-Free Posters in Easy Read

Keep Safe UK have produced many easy read posters about Covid19, including how to get a test, social distancing, support bubbles, using face masks on public transport and a number of others. 

They decided that from July 4th 2020, when lockdown measures started to ease, they would not be updating anymore posters, however they can still be accessed and downloaded at the link below:

Face masks in public                                How to get a test

Shielding Update June 2020                              Support-Bubble-130620

Print Your Own Face Covering Exemption Card

Some people cannot wear a face covering for legitimate reasons. An exemption card is a way of showing this without needing to explain.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes not being able to wear one due to:

  • disability, learning disability or if you are autistic

  • lung and breathing conditions

  • physical or mental illness

  • severe distress

  • supporting someone who uses lip reading

  • escaping harm or injury

  • needing to eat, drink or take medication

Below, we show some of the cards that you can print. There are exemption cards for carers, children If you wish to print or download a particular card to your phone, click on this link

Disability Travel Support Autism re face coverings

Disability Travel Support

Parent and child cards