Let’s pull together to defeat Coronavirus

There is no doubt we are now facing a great challenge over the coming weeks and months where our everyday lives will change. Many of us will never have experienced the measures that our country are taking, and I appreciate that many people will be very anxious at this time. 

This challenge presents us with two options. We can allow fear of the unknown to overtake us and pull up the drawbridge to think only of ourselves. Or we can rise above it with positive thinking, looking out for those around us who may need support and helping them out. 

I know many of you are already making contingency plans and offering your support, and I want to say a big thank you for that. It is so pleasing to see voluntary groups across Halesowen & Rowley Regis offering their support. 

In Dudley the Council’s Voluntary Service are coordinating support between groups, and they are contactable on 01384 573381 or at info@dudleycvs.org.uk . They will work in tandem with the local services and you can also get in touch with them to sign yourself or your organisation up if you are in a position to help. 

In Sandwell the Council are similarly coordinating efforts between service providers and community groups, and there is further information at their website, www.sandwell.gov.uk/coronavirus . For support for older people, Age UK Dudley and Age UK Sandwell are contactable on 01384 354508 and 0121 437 0033 respectively. 

As this challenge develops daily and sometimes hourly, it is important to keep on top of the right up-to-date advice, and therefore I would advise you to keep following the Government’s website at www.gov.uk . Here you will find information on what to do if you think you have the symptoms, as well as key information for employers, employees, business, travel advice, vulnerable people, those affected by school closures, and much more. These pages are regularly updated as advice and circumstances change. 

Finally, even if you don’t have the symptoms we can all play a part in keeping healthy and hygienic, by regularly washing our hands for 20 seconds, covering mouths and noses with a tissue when we cough or sneeze, and avoiding close contact with those who may have Coronavirus. I would urge you to follow the advice of the Government by social distancing as much as you can, working from home where possible and only travelling on public transport when necessary. I am continuing to update this siteand my Facebook page with updates too when they arrive. 

Thank you again for all the efforts and sacrifices you are making. By pulling together we will get through this challenge, and I believe our communities and our country will be made stronger through it.