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Working Families, Carers and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Support for Working Families & Carers

The Working Families Workstream acknowledges the very difficult circumstances families and carers find themselves in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have pulled together some information and resources that we hope will help to support efforts during this time.

Support for Parents

A number of organisations are offering online support to families supporting children with home schooling. Some resources are free of charge, others are offering free trials.

A number of these, including Tes resources, BBC Bitesize and Twinkl can be found here: Coronavirus: 118 free resources for home learning.

Tutortastic also provides a list of online resources. Whilst many of these sites are listed on tes.com, tutortastic provides some information about each site, including what resources are covered by subscription versus free content.

For older children, eParenting has compiled a list of resources, split by general/subject specific, and with links to exam boards and study skills. Again, there is some repetition of the more popular sites however worth checking out.

Download: Tips for working families – a covid 19 response

Entertainment, exercise and family activities

Many organisations and individuals are offering resources to help keep children entertained during lockdown, such as games, arts and crafts and other fun activities.

The Scouts have a wide range of useful resources covering activities and hints and tips to on how to support children struggling to deal with the lockdown.

There are also a range of virtual museum tours available.

Some well-known faces are also doing their bit to support families – some of these events are daily, others at various times during the day/week and some offer playback of previous content:

Supporting the+70s through a pandemic: Ideas for shielding

The COVID 19 crisis has placed unprecedented restrictions not just on the general population, but in particular on those over the age of 70 and/or with pre-existing health conditions.

Asked to stay indoors at all times, the extreme experience of social isolation, reduction in physical activity, and lack of routine will undoubtedly contribute to stress, both in the short term and notably, over the 12-week period set out by the government.

Below are our top tips for supporting the elderly in your life through this crisis. Please also refer to the official government advice on shielding:

 

As many continue to struggle to secure supermarket delivery slots, reach out to local businesses. Many have by now found ways to adapt to the crisis by either offering deliveries or no contact collections.

Use Google Maps to zoom in on the surrounding area and identify names of e.g. the small corner shop that can supply eggs and milk. Neighbourhood App NextDoor is also offering a HelpMap where local volunteers register by location and state which service, i.e. collecting prescriptions or shopping they offer.

Neighbours may also be able to offer support.

If your parents or grandparents have ongoing health conditions, help contact their local GP and pharmacy to arrange either telephone reviews or deliveries.

Babylon is a great app for NHS video consultations.

Pharmacies will be overrun with additional delivery instructions, try to collect or arrange for a volunteer or neighbour to help.

Technology will be the most useful bridge to help overcome social isolation and boredom. Check that the internet service provider is set up for the fastest possible Wifi connection.

Amazon Firefox is a helpful alternative to Sky and Facebook’s new Portal device more user friendly for video calls.

Order replacement charger cables ahead of time, along with a portable powerbank, to enable more freedom of movement should batteries run out.

Try to think of all the tasks that usually require technical support around the house and write out easy to use procedures/How To Use guides. RING, a doorbell app, can help you monitor the home from your smart devices and can be useful for no contact deliveries from third parties.

Now that the household of the person you are shielding is no longer accessible, it may be worth putting in place a few pre-emptive risk measures.

List out any risks and plan to mitigate them, i.e. a slip proof bathmat for the shower/bathroom, have enough supply of drain unclogging liquid, have spare keys cut and check that the fire alarm is in working order.

Store disinfectant wipes near the front door to wipe down any deliveries and reduce transmission risk. Non-clinical standard protective gear, such as facemasks, disposable gloves and hazmat suits are available online; and may be useful if access to the property is suddenly required.

The biggest challenge during this crisis will undoubtedly be the mental health challenges for those not able to leave the house at all. The lack of social interaction, frustration, boredom will all contribute negatively on mood levels.

Help establish a routine by scheduling in regular check in times for a video call. Having virtual dinners and quizzes together can help replicate normal social life and perhaps you can use drop off times to sit outside the window or front door at appropriate social distance.

If there is an outside space, help optimise this to encourage time outside. In particular, encourage as much physical movement as possible, or even offer to do exercises together via video calls.

Also, whilst the focus will lie heavily on sourcing basic supplies, a few luxuries such as chocolates, bath products, reading material, baked goods or a meal from a local restaurant will go a long way. For further guidance on mental health please refer to Every Mind Matters and your GP.

Carers UK

As the situation with coronavirus evolves, it is important to know what support is available to you as a carer, and to those you look after.

There is a lot of help and advice available on the Carers UK website.

Domestic Abuse Support & Advice

For some, the lockdown is a difficult and frightening time. There are organisations that can provide help:

Revised Supermarket Opening Times

Many of the supermarkets have reserved morning time slots for carers and the over 70s to shop in store.

Please check online for individual store opening times to take advantage of this.

 

Supermarket Store Opening Time
Asda

www.asda.com/feeding-the-nation

Iceland

www.iceland.co.uk/store-finder

Lidl

www.lidl.co.uk/about-us/store-finder-opening-hoursl

M&S

www.marksandspencer.com/MSResStoreFinderGlobalBaseCmd

Sainsburys

www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/working-to-feed-the-nation-/latest-information--

Tesco

www.tesco.com/store-locator/uk/

Waitrose

www.waitrose.com/ecom/help-information/customer-service/coronavirus

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