Normally, many of us would be looking forward to going outside over the bank holiday weekend to enjoy some sunshine. However, this weekend is different.
It is more vital than ever that we stay at home to protect the NHS and to save lives.
This means we must not go out to meet up with friends and family. Parks and other outdoor spaces – including outdoor areas on estates – must only be used once a day for daily exercise, by yourself or with your household members. You must stay two metres away from others.
Many of our residents have no outdoor space. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, please ask yourself whether you need to leave your home this weekend. The fewer people who use our parks, the easier it is for those who need to use them, to do so safely.
This weekend is also an important weekend for many in our faith communities. I am thankful to our faith organisations in Southwark, who are playing a key role in supporting our vulnerable residents and also finding new virtual ways to hold prayers and services, so that their congregations can abide by government rules banning large gatherings.
Every day the council is delivering food to vulnerable people across the borough. Alongside the essentials, the food parcels this week will have a Fairtrade chocolate egg included, secured by the council at below cost price from local Fairtrade company, Divine Chocolate. It’s important to recognise that we can still do little things which can make people smile, brighten their day or uplift them in such difficult times. We hope this will give residents some cheer while they are missing their families and friends at this time of year.
In this newsletter you will find some key updates about council services You can also check our website for updates at www.southwark.gov.uk/covidsupport.
I know that for many of you, this will be a strange and at times lonely Easter, as you miss the family and friends you would normally see at this time of year. These are indeed extraordinary times. But the scenes coming out of hospital intensive care units, the deaths of thousands of much-loved UK residents, and the news about the Prime Minister this week show us just how deadly this disease is, and how important it is that we take the rules seriously.
I wish you all the very best and thank you again for playing your part in keeping Southwark safe.
Cllr Peter John
If you know of a vulnerable Southwark resident who can’t leave the house due to coronavirus (COVID-19), and who may not have friends, family or neighbours who can help with the delivery of essential supplies, please tell us straight away so we can help them.
We’re providing grants to local charities and community groups that are supporting residents in Southwark in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The deadline for applications for the first round of grants is 13 April, but there will be three more funding rounds after that.