LEAFLETS have been delivered to homes in West Berkshire with advice and guidance on what support is available during the coronavirus crisis. 

The leaflet gives details of guidance on staying safe, useful links to vital services, support from West Berkshire Council, and the newly launched community support hub.

Councillor Lynne Doherty (Con, Speen), leader of the council, said: “We want residents in West Berkshire to know where to go if they need help through this difficult time.

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“We’ve already been overwhelmed with offers of help and we are so proud to see the whole community pulling together. There is always room for more, though, so get in touch if you feel you can help; while adhering to national guidance on staying safe.

“As well as providing details of the community support hub, this leaflet offers tips for those struggling with the effects of isolation, gives details of financial support available and lets people know how to stay safe. 

“As always, we would urge anyone in need to contact the hub and we will help wherever we can.”

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The Community Support Hub can be contacted on: 01635 503579 or via email on: westberksbct@westberks.gov.uk.

People can also access free information about coronavirus from a new government chatbot on WhatsApp. The service provides official information on prevention and symptoms, number of cases in the UK, travel advice and myth busting. 

Those wishing to sign up to the service on WhatsApp should add 07860 064422 to their phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to sign up.

Cllr Doherty said: “This is a really important service and I am pleased the Government has put it into place. We want to make sure that everyone in West Berkshire is aware of how to best protect themselves and others from the spread of coronavirus in our community. 

“I would encourage everyone to sign up to these alerts and ask their friends and family to do the same so that we all have access to the information we need.”

The efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the district have so far “been going really well”, according Superintendent Lindsey Finch, who is in charge of policing in West Berkshire.

She said: “That is in large part due to what you’re doing to support us, and abiding with the guidelines that the government has set us.

PC Finch said police officers are explaining and engaging people in the community to explain the reasons behind the social distancing rules. 

“It’s really important we’re able to that with your agreement and your help, and if we can all do it together, then I’m really confident that we can keep people safe and healthy in West Berkshire.

“I also need to make sure that I can protect my officers, so when you do come across us out in the public, we will be trying to maintain that social distancing where we can and where we need to. I need to keep them healthy so they can stay at work and continue working for you.

“It’s going to take a bit of adjustment for us all to get used to this, but we are getting there. Having known West Berkshire for as long as I have, I know there are lots of willing and supportive people here who will help us to do this.”