The new NHS COVID-19 app, now available to download for free in England and Wales, is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community.

The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in. It uses proven technology from Apple and Google, designed to protect every user’s privacy. Read more about how we protect your data and privacy

Video: NHS COVID-19 app – download it today. Watch the video by clicking on the link below:


Below we give a transcript of the above video.

The NHS COVID-19 app is a vital part in the fight against coronavirus.

Now based on Apple and Google’s privacy preserving technology the app will help us safely live our lives protecting you and others.

If your postcode district becomes high risk, the app will let you know – and give you advice on what action to take.

If you come into close contact with another user who reports a positive test result the app will send you an anonymous alert.

A built-in QR scanner lets you check in to venues quickly and easily.

You can check your symptoms in the app and if they suggest you may have coronavirus, the app is an easy way to get tested.

Any data shared with the app is held on your phone.

Nobody will know who or where you are. You can delete the app and all data at any time.

The NHS COVID-19 app is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from the virus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones. Download it today.

For further information visit The NHS COVID-19 app support pages at this link: https://covid19.nhs.uk/

Telford and Wrekin Customer Strategy Consultation

Telford & Wrekin Council are asking residents and stakeholders for their views on the Council’s new Customer Strategy and new Customer Contract, which outlines their aims for how they want to serve their customers and sets out the standards of service that customers should expect to receive.

The consultation will give customers the opportunity to tell them about their previous experiences of contacting the Council, which will help them understand what they are currently doing well and what areas they need to improve.

The consultation starts on 25th September 2020 and 16th October 2020 but the deadline has now been extended by one week. Note the deadline for this consultation has now been changed to Friday 23rd October 2020 as Telford & Wrekin Council wish to receive as much feedback as possible.

To take part in this consultation please visit www.telford.gov.uk/customerconsultation .’

If you or someone you know would like to receive this survey in an alternative format, please email customer.insight@telford.gov.uk or telephone 01952 382006. Telford & Wrekin Council want this survey to be inclusive and would like to hear from SDN members.

To review the draft Customer Strategy and Customer Contract please visit   www.telford.gov.uk/customerconsultation this page also contains a link to the online survey.

For further general information about the consultation or would like to receive the consultation in a different format please email customer.insight@telford.gov.uk.

Coronavirus (Covid19) How to get a test (inc Easy Read)

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid19) you can get a throat and nose swab test to confirm whether you currently have the virus. This is part of the 5-pillar strategy for coronavirus testing. Testing is most effective within 3 days of symptoms developing, so the sooner you book a test  by calling 119, the safer we all become. You can request a test at home and a carer can help you or you can go to a a local testing centre.

There is a new number you can use to book your test. It is NHS 119. Also take a look at the new website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

The following groups of people can ask for a test through the NHS website:

  • anyone in England and Wales who has symptoms of coronavirus, whatever their age
  • anyone in Scotland and Northern Ireland aged over 5 who has symptoms of coronavirus

The following groups of people can access priority testing through GOV.UK:

  • essential workers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • anyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over 5 years old who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with an essential worker
  • children under 5 years old in England and Wales who have symptoms of coronavirus and live with an essential worker (this test must be performed by a parent or guardian)

For further information click on this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested#history

What are the symptoms of Covid19?

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

How to get a test

To make this poster bigger, click on it.

While there is now a new number to call (119) should you have symptoms of Covid19, remember in an emergency (ie you suddenly have breathing difficulties, you can still call 999. Remember, if you have symptoms you must self isolate for 7 days.


Shropshire Disability Network June 2020 Meeting-Cancelled

Please note, our meeting due to take place on Thursday 11th June 2020 at The Movement Centre, Building 106, Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Gobowen, Oswestry, SY10 7AG  has been cancelled due to the Covid19 pandemic.

Plans are still in place to hold our AGM and Members meeting on Thursday 3rd September at  University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Shrewsbury, SY3 8HQ, in room SGH201. At that meeting a new Chair and Secretary will be appointed together with other appointments to the Management Committee. If you wish to find out more about joining the Management team, please use the link on this page https://shropshire-disability.net/contact/ to tell us what you have to offer or to find out more information and/or to express your interest.

Despite these unprecedented times, SDN while not holding face to face meetings, we are still  continuing our signposting work. Fundraising events were cancelled by the Management Committee prior to the pandemic, however funds are needed to continue the work of SDN. We thank Sam, who recently held a fundraiser on-line. Thank you to all who supported the event.

Anyone wishing to support our work can make a donation via our  Virgin Money Giving page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/finalCharityHomepage.action?uniqueVmgCharityUrl=shropshire-disability

This Volunteers week, we thank all our volunteers, especially those who work behind the scenes, maintaining our website, social media, signposting etc. Without our volunteers, SDN would not function and now more than ever we need you to help us. One hour a week, 10 hours a month or whatever time you can give would be appreciated.


SDN and Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Shropshire Disability Network has always tried to give its members timely up to date information via its website. As you all know we are living in unprecedented times due to Coronavirus (-Covid-19). Many people are frightened by what is happening globally. Across our country and locally there are many people self isolating because they are in the “at risk” groups or have been in the company of someone showing signs that may or not be this nasty virus. Many of our members have long term conditions, disabilities and/or are carers so are more vulnerable to this illness.

As you are all aware, SDN is, as charity run in its entirety by volunteers. We only have two volunteers updating our website and they are doing their best to ensure you get information that is current and correct. Our “Events” pages receives many visitors seeking events to go to. Over the last few days, we have been informed that many events are being postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19. We are trying to update all the events that have been cancelled. If there is an event on our list, that is not highlighted as cancelled/postponed that is because we have no information on whether it is going ahead. We suggest if the list is not listed as cancelled, you call or email the organisation holding the event you wish to go to, to establish it is still taking place.

SDN is aware that events at the following places have been cancelled/postponed until further notice:

  • The Hive, Shrewsbury
  • Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
  • Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury
  • Kinokulture-Oswestry Community Cinema
  • Ludlow Assembly Rooms
  • Wem Town Hall
  • Albrighton Moat
  • Birminham Hippodrome
  • The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton
  • Taking Charge of Your Life Courses (Landau)
  • Sight Loss Opportunity Groups SLOGs (Ludlow, Oswestry, Shrewsbury)
  • SaTH Community Engagement, Working Together (Shrewsbury and Telford)
  • Newport Village Hall, Table Top Sales (first Saturday of the month)
  • Carers Trust All Groups (Oswestry, Shrewsbury)
  • Armed Forces Covenant Events
  • Autism West Midlands -note some events will be offered by telephone communications

Shropshire Rural Communities Charities: the following support services have been cancelled until further notice:

Hearing Loss Support

  • Home visits
  • Drop-in clinics
  • Effective Hearing Programmes

Sight Loss Support

  • Sight Loss Opportunity Groups (SLOG), including cycling
Social groups
  • Musketeers and Maidens
  • Care and Share groups – all locations

If you have any queries or questions regarding this information, please contact us on 01743 360641 or email enquiries@shropshire-rcc.org.uk

Autism West Midlands Advice sessions where possible have been replaced by a telephone service.

Shropshire Disability Network: A lot of our work goes on behind the scenes, we are desperately short of volunteers. If you feel you can spare one or two hours a week (or more) please use this form telling us what you can offer. https://shropshire-disability.net/contact/


Safe Places Shropshire goes it alone

When the Safe Places Shropshire initiative was created in 2013 the scheme was completely new to the area.  The project team consisted of various local service user groups, Mencap, Shropshire Council and West Mercia Police.

It quickly became clear that the scheme would need one umbrella organisation to lead and to increase awareness of the assistance that could be made available to anyone who might be vulnerable, for whatever reason.  Ruby Hartshorn, who was then Chair of Shropshire Disability Network (SDN), was approached with a view to their trustees agreeing to lead this scheme. 

SDN accepted the challenge and has helped Safe Place Shropshire move from strength to strength. We now have over 500 premises signed up as Safe Places. Thousands of ‘Help’ cards have been distributed.  We wish to thank SDN and its members for believing in the scheme.

Now that Safe Places has become an established part of the community, the time is right for Safe Places to seek charity status in its own right.  As from June 2020, Safe Places Shropshire will no longer be a part of SDN.  Work will continue as before. 

We are looking forward to signing up our 600th Safe Place as well as organising our 8th birthday celebrations in July 2021.  Everyone who is part of the initiative, whether it is as one of our premises or as a volunteer, will be invited to this birthday party.  We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to join us.

Contact details are:

Chair: Ruby Hartshorn  safeplaceschair@gmail.com

Secretary: Ann Shaw safeplacessecretary@gmail.com

Are you a Volunteer?

Do you volunteer for to help us with events, service on the Management Committee of Shropshire Disability Network or a team member of Safe Place Shropshire? May be you volunteer for another charitable organisation or lother organisation ie Local Hospital, Police etc.

Shropshire and Telford STP (Sustainability and Transformation Plan) has received some money to work up a bid to NHS England to develop an integrated volunteering programme (this was discussed at a VSHSCF meeting but things have moved on quite a bit since then). This will be an agenda item for the next VSHSCF meeting if you are interested in finding out more.
The STP has put the VCS at the heart of this and Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership has been working with the steering group to progress things on behalf of the sector. Karen Higgins (known to many of you I’m sure) has been appointed to do the bulk of the development work and as part of this, she has constructed a survey to gather evidence of the current activity of volunteers in Shropshire and Telford.
If you volunteer, please would you take a few minutes to complete this important survey. The average length of time taken so far by respondents is 6 minutes so it’s not onerous and its completely confidential but will provide an interesting picture of what volunteering in Shropshire looks like, regardless of the outcome of the bid. Only by taking part will we get responses we hope for (hundreds) and you can help do that..
Click this link to take part in this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/62TQZMH

Native Small Mammals-An Interactive Session

Once again Shropshire Disability Network have been given an opportunity by Caring for God’s Acre to have an afternoon session, this time looking at Native Small Mammals.  Join fellow members in the Beautiful Burial Ground Project to find out about our native small mammals that make their homes in churchyards and cemeteries.
Last year Caring for God’s Acre gave SDN members two opportunities to take part in events -Archives at Shrewsbury Library and another one looking at wildlife in Bridgnorth cemetery. Now they are putting this event on for you.

Local expert Sam Devine Turner will lead this interactive INDOOR session at the Shrewsbury University Centre in Frankwell, Shrewsbury on Thursday 5th March 2-4 pm.

This session is free to take part in but places must be booked. To book your place please contact George on 01588 673041 or george@cfga.org.uk
At the time of booking, please let George know if you need help to get to the venue or BSL or any other reasonable adjustments that will enable you to share in this exciting afternoon.

Members who have taken part in previous events have commented on what a good afternoon we have had, so reserve the date now and book your place.

GP Practice and Pharmacy Christmas and New Year Opening Times (Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin)

Where to get this help this Christmas and New Year when your GP Practice is closed.  Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are reminding people that although GP practices will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, there are other services available.

For anyone who needs urgent medical help or advice they can call NHS 111 for free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or they can access the service online at 111.nhs.uk.

A number of pharmacies will be open for limited hours, on a rota on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Your pharmacist will be able to give you free advice on minor conditions and over the counter treatments. Click on the links below for pharmacy opening times.

Shropshire- Pharmacy Opening Times Christmas and New Year Bank Holiday 2019 – 2020, click on this link: https://www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk/media/2658/shropshire-pharmacies-christmas-and-new-year-bank-holiday-2019-2020-opening-times.pdf

Telford & Wrekin-Pharmacy Opening Times Christmas and New Year Bank Holiday 2019 – 2020, click on this link: https://www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk/media/2659/telford-and-wrekin-pharmacies-christmas-and-new-year-bank-holiday-2019-2020-opening-times.pdf

If you have a regular prescription make sure you have enough to cover the festive period and you collect it in advance.

You can also download the NHS App to check symptoms, book GP appointments during normal opening hours and request repeat prescriptions. The app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

The symptoms of coughs, colds and sore throats, and other minor ailments, can be eased using self care. Make sure your medicine cabinet is full fully stocked over the colder months to help ease symptoms straightaway and to aid a faster recovery.

Visit the NHS website to find out what should be in your medicine cabinet at all times.

Christmas Cards to support your Charity.

Shrewsbury Charity Christmas Card shop at St. Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury is now closed for 2019 but we still have a supply of cards available to buy. SDN thanks our volunteers who took a slot to staff the shop while it was open and to all who purchased our cards. All profits from sales will be divided equally between Shropshire Disability Network and Safe Place Shropshire. May be you already have your cards for this year, but you can always buy for 2020.

This year we have this lovely photograph taken by SDN member Ellie Forrester. Many of you will know Ellie from reading her blogs on wildlife and her work with Caring for God’s Acre and Shropshire Wildlife Trust. Each pack of cards cost 3.99 for 10 cards and envelopes.

The verse inside this card reads “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”

SDN Christmas Card

We also have last years design still available, ask us about our reduced packs of cards. For further information, please email admin@shropshire-disability.net or call/text 07780 852229

Christmas Card 2018 a