Monthly Archives: December 2020

Covid Christmas Visits/Being on your Easy Read and Video

Photo symbols have produced the following information in Easy Read and Video. These are useful for anyone with learning disabilities, none readers but also those with visual impairment. Being on your own.  Watch the video at this link: Covid Christmas Visits.  Watch the video at this link: Keeping Safe.  Watch the video at this link: Food banks for people who need it. Watch the video at this link: Click here to see more videos:

Pick up the phone you’re not alone…

Talk to Us, if things are getting to you, don’t suffer alone, that is the message from the Samaritans and several other organisations that are available to us to use in that time of need. There is no shame in saying “I feel sad” or “I feel alone” or “I need to talk” or “I am worried…”. At this time of year, we can all feel the pressure of expectancy ie have I got all the food shopping, that parcel never arrived, what am I going to do, or have I bought the right present or I have not been able to go to the shops but rely on the internet … 2020 has been a very difficult year for all of us. This year, due to the pandemic more people will be on their own for the festive season.

Christmas can be a time of great fun but also for many a time of loneliness or sadness that there is a vacant seat at the dinner table, family get together. For those not alone, Christmas and New Year can find more family feuds and arguments between people. Many people will be fearing what lies ahead as we approach a New Year. Others will not have seen loved ones for 12 months and emotions are naturally high. Many of us are bereaved and wonder what the future ahead will bring.

2 years ago at our December SDN meeting, one of our Guest Speakers was Richard Dunhill from The Samaritans. He gave a very powerful presentation, with a message for everyone. That message is still the same today “Talk to us (The Samaritans) anytime you like, in your own way-about whatever’s getting to you” Call 116 123 anytime. (free from any place) 

Note- Don’t be afraid to seek help. You don’t have to be suicidal. Samaritans work round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call them on the phone. You don’t have to be suicidal to call. It doesn’t matter who you are, how you feel, or what has happened. All calls are treated in confidence.

Pick Up the phone

Ways you can contact the Samaritans:

  • Call 116 123. (This number is FREE to call) Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time, from any phone on 116 123.
  • Email:

You can also chat on line -Enter the waiting room at this link:

Remember: No Samaritan will won’t judge you or tell you what to do.

You can find more information at the Samaritans website:

Videos and Posters in Easy Read-Covid19

Photo symbols have produced a series of videos and posters in Easy Read. These are useful for anyone with learning disabilities, none readers but also those with visual impairment as they can listen to the video’s. Look out for next news item with video links that you may find useful this Christmas. This article is about Covid19 vaccines.

Vaccines are coming. Watch the video at this link:

If you get ill, what to do. Watch the video at this link:

The NHS is open for anyone who needs it:

Why wear PPE:

About the Covid Vaccine:

Covid who gets vaccine first?

Visiting friends and relatives in hospital and care homes

Healthwatch Shropshire would like to know how you have been helped to keep in touch with friends and family in hospital or care homes through the Covid19 pandemic ie what has worked well and what has not worked so well.

Your experiences are invaluable in helping service providers provide the best access they can in difficult circumstances. If you have suggestions that can improve access while keeping people safe please include these.

You can share your experiences with Healthwatch Shropshire by clicking on this link

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.

Understanding the Covid19 Vaccination programme

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases.

COVID-19 is caused by a new form of coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). It was first reported in December 2019. To find out more about the Covid19 Vaccination programme click here or refer to the document below.


The above document can be downloaded and printed as a PDF here Covid-19-Vaccination-First-Phase-Priority-LIst


Inclusive on-line Christmas Church Services

The following Christmas services are being led by Shrewsbury URC (United Reformed Church. You can dial in or join in by using ZOOM. All are welcome.

  • Tuesday  22nd December Candlelight Reflection – 6.30pm This is a reflective candlelight service streamed from Church. How to join on Zoom use: Or Meeting ID: 920 7395 1304 and Passcode: 211292 Or Dial In on: 0131 460 1196 then Meeting ID: 920 7395 1304 # #
  • Christmas Eve Carol Service (Thursday 24th December – 7pm with British Sign Language (BSL) This is a service of Carols, readings, music and celebration. We will have our own virtual choir and festive readings. How to join on Zoom use: Or Meeting ID: 948 0995 1035 and Passcode: 807408 Or Dial In on: 0131 460 1196 then Meeting ID: 948 0995 1035 # #
  • Christmas Day Celebration (Friday 25th December – 10am. Come and celebrate Jesus’ birth with an informal service of Carols and stories. Children in pj’s, paper mayhem, mince pies and sherry are all acceptable accompaniments to the service. Following this service there will be time for fellowship and chatter for those who aren’t responsible for Christmas dinner. To join on Zoom use: Or Meeting ID: 973 4910 9194 and Passcode: 493929 Or Dial in on: 0131 460 1196 then Meeting ID: 973 4910 9194 # #

Paper copies of all services, including large print copies, can be picked up from the blue box outside the church office, found in the Advent worship booklet or contact Revd Carole on 07890650545 for a copy.

If you have additional access needs (BSL, Captions etc) please contact Carole ASAP.

Download the poster here: Shrewsbury URC Christmas 2020 Publicity

Draft Statement of Community Involvement November 2020

Shropshire Council is consulting on their draft statement of Community Involvement, November 2020

What is this about? 

The draft Statement of Community Involvement sets out how Shropshire Council will engage communities and organisations on planning issues. It provides information on how people can get involved in the preparation of planning policies and plan-making process and details how people can comment on individual planning applications.

The draft Statement of Community Involvement covers:

  • the range of planning documents and their purpose;
  • which community representatives the Council will seek to involve in the preparation of planning policy documents and in the determination of planning applications;
  • how this process will be handled;
  • when this involvement will happen;
  • and what methods will be used to encourage as wide involvement as possible.

Electronic engagement has grown in importance over recent times, influenced in part but the recent changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. This electronic engagement is proposed as a main engagement method for reaching a wide audience.

Shropshire Council would like feedback on the draft document for consideration before a final version is formally agreed and implemented.

The draft policy is in the link below:

How to respond to this consultation:

If you would like the survey in an alternative format, please use the email above to request a copy or telephone Shropshire Council’s Customer Services on 0345 678 9000 and explain any support you need to allow you to respond.

Shropshire Council Budget 2021-2022

Start Date:
18th December 2020

End Date:
28th January 2021

Start Time:

End Time:

This consultation is open ton everyone. Shropshire Council is seeking confirmation that their budget plans are appropriate in terms of the council tax rises proposed and the savings suggested.

To read the full details of what Shropshire Council are seeking and to read detail of where their revenue comes from and goes to click this link:

Note, in the link Shropshire Council write  “We are obliged to provide certain statutory services; these include adults and children’s safeguarding and social care, waste collection and disposal, and home to school transport for children aged 5-16. Whilst we aim to deliver these services as efficiently as possible, we must fund any increase in demand. Together these services make up almost 80% of our net revenue budget”.

This note above is relevant to many Shropshire Disability Network members so it is important if you have any concerns, you raise them with Shropshire Council. You can take part in this consultation by clicking on this link: which includes the question “Do you agree with the Council’s plans to increase council tax by 4.99% which generates an extra £8.181m for the Council in 2021/22 to reduce the £58.1m funding gap?”

If you don’t want to use the online submission option above, you can give us your views by email or letter by Thursday 28 January 2021:

Email: or

Write to: Budget Consultation, Feedback and Insight team 1L32, Shropshire Council, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY2 6ND

Your views will form part of a report which will be considered by full council when they discuss and agree on the final budget on Thursday 25 February 2021.

Your Health Needs over Christmas and New Year

Health bosses at Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are reminding people to stock up for all your health needs over the Christmas and New Year period.

With the festivities fast approaching, check that you have the essentials such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, antiseptic cream, plasters and indigestion treatment at home.

All of these are available to buy without a prescription at a small cost from a pharmacy, supermarket and other stores. Your pharmacist will also be able to give you free advice on minor conditions and over-the-counter treatments.

If you have a regular prescription, make sure you have enough to cover the festive period and you collect it in advance, get someone to collect for you or if you have your prescriptions delivered, ensure you request your repeat prescription giving enough time for you to receive it.

GP practices in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin will be closed on the following days:

  • Christmas Day,
  • Boxing Day
  • Bank Holiday (Monday, 28 December) and
  • New Year’s Day, but there are other services available.

For anyone who needs urgent medical help or advice call NHS 111 which is free 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it can be accessed online at

A number of pharmacies will be open for limited hours, on a rota on Christmas Day, Boxing Day (Monday, 28 December), New Year’s Day and the weekends. You can also download the NHS App to check symptoms, book GP appointments during normal opening hours, and request repeat prescriptions.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), said: “We want everyone to enjoy their Christmas and that’s why it is important that people think ahead and get in anything they may need to keep them healthy.

“Your local pharmacist can offer you free health advice without the need of an appointment, or if you are feeling unwell and need urgent health advice call NHS 111 or visit

“Remember we can all help look after ourselves by stocking up on the essentials to treat minor ailments at home.”

For pharmacy opening times in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin click here.

For more information on what you can do to stay well this winter, please visit:

For further information and advice on self care, pop into your nearest pharmacy or

Horsehay Pool management plan consultation

Start Date:
1st December 2020

End Date:
1st February 2021

Start Time:

End Time:

Horsehay Pool, Telford is a much-loved local green space that is popular with locals and great for wildlife. Telford & Wrekin Council are keen to hear how you use the space and what you think about the three proposals to safeguard its future.

Download the PDF Document at the link below:  2020.04.27_Horsehay_Pool_Site_Analysis_and_Sketch_Options__1_

Your views will help shape the development of Horsehay Pool Management Plan, so thank you for taking time to complete this short survey – it should only take you about 5 minutes to do.

Take the survey by clicking on this link

Following on from the consultation Red Kite will work the feedback into a final site master plan which will ensure work can begin to improve the pool.

  • Consultation will close on the 1 February 2021 at 12 noon.

For more information please email the Local Enviromental Locality Manager Roger Leverett  by email at Telford & Wrekin Council, Addenbrooke House, Telford TF3 4NT

Background information: 

In January 2020 Telford & Wrekin Council commissioned Red Kite Network Limited, of Coalport, Telford to develop a whole site management plan for Horsehay pool.

Horsehay Pool is located within the Horsehay Conservation Area and is a regionally significant historical site and a Telford & Wrekin Council Green Guarantee Site.

The pool was constructed to power the steam engines for the nearby Ironworks owned by Abraham Darby II between the years of 1754 – 1757. The adjacent railway line linked these ironworks with The Gorge and the wider area.

The plan has been developed to bring together all interested parties to create a holistic plan for the maintenance of the whole site, to include ecology, visitor access, angling, water levels and maintenance of historic features.

To develop the plan Red Kite spoke to many organisations and individuals to obtain site history, site usage and future aspirations. These organisations and individual are:

  • Telford & Wrekin Council
  • Dawley Hamlets Parish Council
  • Friends of Horsehay Pool
  • Telford Angling Association
  • Telford Steam Railway Trust
  • local residents.

The plan will be used as the basis for securing external funding to deliver the plan.

Red Kite and Telford & Wrekin Council are now seeking comments on the plan and the future vision for the maintenance and development of the site.

At the end of the plan are three proposed maintenance and development options for the pool and its environment, including the open space on Bridge Road to the south of the pool.