Wray with Botton





Learning plus fun things to do together

The BBC has set up a host of fun learning opportunities, with many celebrities involved in teaching their favourite subjects.  There are menus for three groups:  3 to 11 year olds;  11 to 16 year olds; and 16+ year olds (of all ages!).  Check this out at www.bbb.co.il/bitesize .

Find amazing footage from wildlife cameras at www.wildlifetrusts.org , and a long list of great family wildlife projects to do together during lockdown on their ‘Looking after Yourself and Nature’ page.

Look not just for books and illustrations, but also for videos, games, recipes and competitions on the Book Trust’s ‘Home Time’ page at www.booktrust.org.uk .

If you want to challenge yourself, try www.coursera.org , to access UK and global online courses at some of the world’s best universities.  There are free modules on environmental and business topics, and many others in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities.  Follow an interest, take courses with online assessments and certificates to boost your CV, or even build modules into a degree.


Vulnerable people

The NHS has defined groups of shielded/extremely vulnerable people and written to them direct.  But this does not catch everyone who is vulnerable.  So the City Council has been working to put its own list together, and is contacting everyone on it to see what they can do to help.  If you think you or someone you know needs help, and should be on this list, contact the City Council via customerservices@lancaster.gov.uk , or by calling them on 01524 582000.

Sadly the number of covid 19 scams are increasing.  These include offers of fake testing kits, fake tax refunds, and taking money for goods that are never delivered.  If you are worried about scams aimed at you or someone else, contact the national Action Fraud unit on www.actionfraud.police.uk or 0300 123 2040.  You can also contact the Citizens’ Advice Consumer Helpline for further advice – on 08082231133.

Refuge is still operating its 24/7 national support line for domestic violence survivors on 0808 2000 247, and can also be contacted online at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.





If you are supporting someone through bereavement, you can find practical and emotional help from national groups like:


  • Cruse Bereavement Care (the national specialist charity) at cruse.org.uk and
  • Cancer Care on 033301 50628.


Or, more locally, contact Simon Stewart at the Cornerstone in Lancaster, on 01524 840027, and simoncornerstonecafe@gmail.com .





An emergency food-hub has been set up in the district to help people access key supplies.  Contact the food-hub on 01524 932001.


As well as using our local volunteers, if you are finding it difficult to get out to buy essential food and household supplies, you can find a list of local retailers that will deliver to you at www.lmds.co.uk .



Council tax


District residents who were or are now eligible for Universal Credit, are also likely to be eligible for full council tax support.  Those who are not eligible for Universal Credit can also contact customer services to discuss what other support is available.  Find them on 01524 582000 and at customerservices@lancaster.gov.uk .





The City Council has set up a business support team.  They can be contacted at 01524 582000 and econdev@lancaster.gov.uk .  Business rate relief can also be discussed with this team.


Government is providing outright grants (not loans) of up to £10,000 to small businesses, and grants of up to £25,000 to those in the retail, leisure an hospitality sectors (subject to rateable value).  So far the City Council has paid out over £17 million from this fund to some 1500 businesses, but it believes another 1500 or so local businesses may be eligible.


Online application forms are available on www.lancaster.gov.uk/coronavirus .


Lancaster CVS has established an Urgent Response Fund specifically to support local community organisations during the covid crisis. Apply online at www.lancastercvs.org.uk/funding/coronavirus. You can also keep in touch with developments by signing up for the Lancaster CVS newsletter at www.tinyurl.com/CVS/Lancaster .


Other national bodies have opened specific funds to support community and voluntary organisations working in their sectors too.  Find more information for example via the Arts Council England (www.artscouncil.org.uk) and Sports England (www.sportengland.org).





Lockdown is not easy.  It is a mentally stressful time for many, and having limited opportunities to exercise can be frustrating too.  Here are some websites that have been circulated by the NHS and the national College of Medicine that might help.


There is a lot of good information on www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise .  Try the strength workout videos, or the 5 week strength and flex programme with podcasts (no equipment needed).  There is also a section on sitting exercises, and more specialist exercises aimed at older people at www.moveitorloseit.co.uk too.


For relaxation try www.themindinstitute.com for free online breathing practices sessions, and for help with sleeping www.sleepio.com .


If anxiety or depression start to trouble you, there is help available at for you on sites like www.headspace.com, , www.trydaylight.com, and www.elefriends.org.uk .


This recent bulletin on mindfulness and covid 19 from the Royal College of Nurses may help too:  www.rcn.org.uk/magazines/bulletin/2020/april/mindfulness-tools-in-a-crisis-stress-meditation-covid-19 .



Key workers


For local people working in key sectors and on the frontline in the fight against covid 19, things can be particularly stressful.  Hopefully your employers are being understanding and supportive, but extra help can be useful too and sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone you don’t know.


For free chats about building and maintaining resilience try www.wisdomforwellbeing.co.uk/the-listening-space .  There is also free online counselling available at www.qwell.io .



We hope you found this information useful.  If you know of any good websites or other resources that you think others might be interested in, please let us know.  Just fill in the contact form here on our website and send it on to us.  The Parish Clerk will collect all your ideas and we will use them and any other notifications we get to keep this page up to date in the coming months.  Thank you.



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