Latest Liberal Democrats Corona-virus related city-wide bulletin - including things to do while staying at home

Rainbow pebbles for NHSCONTENTS • Thank you • CityLife Line • Coronavirus information • Free school meals • Exam results • Police stations to close • Business support - latest • Charities need support too • Closure of West Road Cemetery • High streets • Contacting your councillors • Things to do online - Tyne and Wear Museums - Newcastle Libraries THANK YOU A big "thank you" to all those keeping vital services running - and especially to all those networks of volunteers across the city who are helping their neighbours. Many will be unsung - or unclapped - heroes because they are unknown. They've seen a need and have stepped up to help. This is the real meaning of communities and neighbours, so while "thank you" may be only words, the City wouldn't be the same without you. CITYLIFE LINE There have now been more than 650 requests for support from residents through the city's coronavirus support service, Citylife Line. The number of people offering to volunteer through the service has also continued to rise with more than 1,100 people signed up. Call handlers have been working alongside the voluntary and community sector to match those requests with organisations across the city who can offer the support required. Read more at http://www.newcastle,]www.newcastle, Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) has made thousands of welfare calls to tenants, including identifying where food parcels are needed, but they can only carry out emergency repairs at the moment. YHN also runs a Community Furniture Service for white goods, kitchen equipment, furniture in conjunction with voluntary and charitable organisations, and not just for their tenants. CORONAVIRUS ADVICE While advice and information is now widely available, the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust website is an excellent "one stop shop" And of course the key three for most of us is • Thorough hand washing with soap • Stay at home • If you do out for the limited number of permitted purposes, stay 2 metres (7 feet) away from other people FREE SCHOOL MEALS The government announced at the weekend that free school meals would continue to be provided to those who are eligible during the Easter holidays. The City Council awaits further guidance from government, both in relation to how this should be provided and in terms of eligibility. Schools will inform parents and carers what the arrangements will be. EXAM RESULTS for GCSE, A-level and AS-level students Students expecting GCSE, A-level and AS-level exam results will still get results this summer. Schools and colleges are currently working hard to provide exam boards with details of the grades students would be expected to achieve and a list of student rankings for each grade in each subject. This follows guidance issued by Ofqual, which also stated that the information provided to the exam boards must remain confidential and cannot be shared with students or their families. Schools and colleges are doing everything they can to ensure their students get the qualifications they have worked so hard to achieve. Schools and colleges are required to submit information to the exam boards after the Easter holidays and students can expect to receive their final results during the summer, no later than the original planned results days in August. It is currently intended that students can choose to sit examinations later in the year if they feel the grades they are awarded do not reflect their achievement. NOTHUMBRIA POLICE TO CLOSE MOST POLICE STATIONS Northumbria Police has announced that all police stations in Newcastle - except Forth Banks - will be temporarily be closed to the public. Members of the public should use 101 or their online form to report any non-emergencies. 999 should be used for emergencies only. BUSINESS SUPPORT UPDATE The Business Support service, in partnership with NGI and NE1, continues to work with businesses of all sizes across Newcastle to ensure they receive the grants and support they are entitled to. More than £25 million has been paid to around 2,000 businesses in the city so far (about half those estimated to be eligible). CHARITIES NEED HELP TOO Many in the charitable/voluntary sector say that fuds have dried up instantly. Can you help by donating to local ones such as - • St Oswald's Hospice who need £1.125 million • Daft as a Brush (transport for cancer care patients) • Newcastle West End food bank • The People's Kitchen (suspended hot meals service but still varied needs) • Community Foundation coronavirus fund • Newcastle Women's Aid and many more CLOSURE OF WEST ROAD CEMETERY (except for funerals) Newcastle City Council has today (Tuesday April 7) closed the West Road Cemetery to the public, except for funerals, until further notice as required by emergency legislation. The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that Section 5 (8) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 requires those responsible for crematoria to close them except for funerals. This includes a cemetery if the crematorium is situated in the grounds (as it is at West Road) which could then only be open for burials. The council recognises the closure of West Road will be upsetting for the families of loved ones who are remembered within it and who will be unable to visit. We will reopen to the public just as soon as the restrictions are lifted by the Ministry of Justice. All other cemeteries in the city remain open, subject to visitors following strict government guidance on social distancing - that is being only with members of the same household and at least two metres apart from other visitors. THE IMPACT ON HIGH STREETS AND THE CITY CENTRE The retail sector is under huge pressure because customers can no longer get to many of them, or if they can, they have had to shut. And there are daily reports of retail chains close to going bust. One thing you can do when you go out is to use local shops - many of them have what you need for day to day life, and you can help ensure they are still there to serve you in future. But of course keep your 2 metres (7 feet) distance at all times. Now is not the time for plans for the future of this sector, but all the indications are that Councils are going to have a bigger role in ensuring that City Centres remain their heart, even if their roles change. Newcastle City Council already has a long term stake in Eldon Square. A MESSAGE FROM YOUR LIBERAL DEMOCRATS COUNCILLORS As councillors we believe that our place is out in our communities. But for our own and everybody else's safety, we cannot do this. We've had to cancel surgeries and street meetings. But we're still there to help. Contact us via social media or individual councillors at - if you don't know who your councillor is, use THINGS TO DO Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums: ..invites you to collections dive - a fun way to explore thousands of images of their collections in a random way. The slower you scroll the more similar objects you see. The faster you scroll the more random they become. • Great North Museum: Hancock Take a virtual tour of the Great North Museum: Hancock's Ice Age to Iron Age Gallery or go behind the scenes for a peek into the Biology and Ethnography stores. • Laing Art Gallery A few years ago we worked with Google - they came to the Laing and took a super-high resolution image of Laus Veneris by Burne Jones, and now you can not only view it online but you can zoom right in to see the brush strokes. Try it out here: • Discovery Museum Google also visited Discovery Museum. Explore a streetview inside the museum (it's changed a little bit since this footage was taken) and images of a selection of the museum's objects. • Our galleries on Art UK You can find images of paintings from all of our galleries, amongst art galleries from across the UK on Art UK. Newcastle libraries expand online services • Library services in Newcastle are doing their bit to support people staying at home as part of the effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus. • The service is expanding its range of electronic books, magazines, comics and audiobooks so people can still enjoy reading, even while libraries are having to remain closed due to social distancing measures. • And to make it easier for more people to use the service, the libraries team has also made it easier for people to automatically join online and get reading or listening straight away. • To join the library online visit: For more information about borrowing electronic books, magazines, comics and audiobooks visit: AND FINALLY…. …..News from New Zealand about a key worker (as far as children are concerned) This special city-wise eFocus (CV5) is produced by Newcastle Liberal Democrats as an information source for local people during the coronavirus emergency. 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