Coronavirus

Coronavirus Information

In light of the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, please find below some useful information including contacts for local support services & advice, meal deliveries, ideas for home activities, as well as a list of known event cancellations in Thame. Please let us know via info@thametowncouncil.gov.uk if you spot something we’ve missed – this page is updated daily.

For the latest information always use reliable and official sources such as the Government Official website and the NHS on the links below:

Government’s latest advice on Coronavirus           NHS Information & Advice

New Information Highlights – added on 28 May 2020

  • Thame Market – to allow all stallholders to trade safely and for social distancing to be adhered to, please note the Upper High Street Car Park will be closed from 7pm on Mondays to 5pm on Tuesdays. There will also be no parking along the side of the entrance road to the car park to allow stalls to be more spaced out, however access for residents and businesses with off street parking will not be affected.
  • Thame Lockdown Treasure Hunt – No.5 is now live!
  • SODC resume council meetings, which will be held online from 28 May 2020.
  • South and Vale Olympics are launched by the Active Communities Team at SODC
  • Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) – The Town Council would like to take this opportunity to say a massive ‘thank you’ to all of you amazing people who have supported and continue to offer support to our local residents, particularly during this difficult time.
  • OCC announce bold transport plans in preparing for the ‘new normal’

A Message from the Mayor of Thame

On 28 April, the Town Mayor, Cllr Ann Midwinter, issued a second message for the residents of Thame. Thank you so much to the Love Thame Helpers who are coordinating 180 ‘Blue Heart’ volunteers, have delivered over 1000 prescriptions and taken over 500 calls to support our local residents during this difficult time! View the video below (a transcript of the video can be download below the video): 

A message for our Mayor, Cllr Ann Midwinter. Thank you so much to the Love Thame Helpers who are coordinating 180 'Blue Heart' volunteers, have delivered over 1000 prescriptions and taken over 500 calls to support our local residents during this difficult time!

Posted by Thame Town Council on Tuesday, 28 April 2020

 

Download the video transcript [Word Document]

Council Services & Information

Thame Town Council

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To contact Thame Town Council for any assistance, please email (info@thametowncouncil.gov.uk) or call 01844 212833 (this number is monitored during our standard office hours). Thame Information Centre is currently closed.

  • Thame Market – The market will operate with a reduced number of stalls & in line with Government guidance. For the latest updates, visit the Thame Tuesday Charter Market Facebook page.
    • Update 28/5/20: In accordance with government guidelines, outdoor markets will be allowed to fully open as from next week. In order for all the stall holders to trade safely and for social distancing rules adhered to, the Upper High Street car park will be closed from 7.00pm on Mondays until 5.00pm on Tuesdays until further notice. There will also be no parking along the side of the entrance road to the car park to allow stalls to be more spaced out, however access for residents and businesses with off street parking will not be affected. If you have any questions regarding this please contact Thame Town Council.
  • Play Areas and Skate Park – Please remember that during the pandemic all play areas remain closed and safety inspections of the equipment are not being undertaken. Thame Town Council has received a number of enquiries regarding the closure of the skate park. Alongside all the other play areas in Thame the skate park was closed in line with government guidelines. Thames Valley Police have also confirmed that the skate park must remain closed until further notice. The skate park, like all our play areas is inspected annually by RoSPA and weekly by our maintenance team to ensure it is safe to use.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions we are unable to regularly inspect the play areas or skate park and therefore for this reason too these areas must remain closed. The area has been fenced off and the police have assured us they will be increasing patrols in the area, however if you see anyone trying to gain access please contact the police on 101.
  • Parks & Public Open Spaces – Parks and Public Open Spaces are open for daily exercise but users are asked not to linger, sit or congregate. If walking your dog in areas used by other people, you should walk your dog on a lead to ensure you can safely keep 2 metres away from others. SODC have placed signage on the footpaths at the entrances to Elms Park and Queen Elizabeth Circle (QEC) to remind users of the government’s social distancing requirements. The Police are patrolling the Public Open Spaces, Parks, Skate Park and Play Areas around the Town and can enforce the law regarding gatherings and non-compliance in relation to social distancing.  The Maintenance Team are continuing to litter pick in the parks and open spaces and also grass cutting.  These services are under constant review and being performed in line with Government guidance for the safety of the public and Town Council staff. Read the Government’s advice on using open spaces
  • General Services – our phone lines remain open during office hours and all staff are working from home, with regular communication with each other and Councillors via phone, email and video conferencing. 
  • Council Meetings – New Government legislation now allows Councils to meet online and the National Association of Local Councils have issued guidance on how to hold virtual meetings.  Please keep up to date with future Council meeting dates by visiting our website, the Town Council weekly newsletter and social media.
  • Grants – applications for the annual grant scheme which were due to open on 30 March 2020 have been postponed.
  • Parking fines – if you have an outstanding parking fine please make payment online at www.councilparking.org/thame/pages/home.aspx if possible. 

South Oxfordshire District Council

For the latest information from SODC, please go to: southoxon.gov.uk/covid19

  • Council meetingsSODC’s council committee meetings will be held online via video conferencing from the end of May.
  • South and Vale Olympics are launched by the Active Communities Team at SODC – http://www.southoxon.gov.uk/services-and-advice/sports-leisure-and-arts/physical-activity-get-involved/activities-young-people
  • Waste collections – most collections are now running as normal, including bulky waste, garden waste, small electricals, batteries and textiles. Please leave any uncollected bins out for three working days (including Saturdays) and report missed collections via SODC. Please do not put batteries in your bins as there is a risk of fire to bin trucks.
  • Council Tax – If you are having any difficulty paying your council tax for any reason, including if you have lost work or now have a reduced income due to the coronavirus, contact SODC as soon as possible on 0345 302 2313 or email sodc.counciltax@secure.capita.co.uk. SODC are awaiting details of the Government’s £500m hardship fund, which is likely to provide support for people on an existing Council Tax Reduction scheme, and will make adjustments to begin helping people when more information is available.
  • Thame Leisure Centre is closed until further notice.
  • Car parks – All charges are suspended until 1 June and during this time you do not have to display a ticket.
  • Support – Support line (01235 422600) for anyone who is not considered high risk and does not have a support network around them to help.
  • Businesses – go to https://www.svbs.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-and-support/

Oxfordshire County Council

For the latest information from OCC, please go to: https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/.

  • Household Waste Recycling Centres – these will reopen on Monday 18th May. Please only use them if you cannot safely store your waste at home. There will be reduced opening hours (8am-4pm), social distancing and limits on the number of vehicles. FAQs: http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/wastereopenquestions
  • Support – If you or someone you know has been identified as extremely vulnerable by the NHS (“shielded group”) and have no support network, please contact the dedicated team on 01865 897820 or email shield@oxfordshire.gov.uk.
  • Adult Social Care – if you know of a vulnerable person who is not in the “shielded group” and you are concerned for their mental or physical welfare, call 0345 050 7666 (Mon – Thurs 8:30am-5pm, Friday 8:30am-4pm) or 0800 833 408 (out of hours).
  • Volunteer support / opportunities Oxfordshire All In (https://www.oxfordshireallin.org/) is the go-to volunteer website for Oxfordshire. It allows groups and individual to sign up, but most importantly, it has an interactive map that allows vulnerable residents to find local support.  
  • Highways Repairs – OCC is continuing, under strict safety rules, work to repair roads across the County. The government has stated councils should carry on with work to improve and make roads safe as long as it can be done within Public Health England guidance – https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/work-to-repair-and-improve-oxfordshire-roads-rolls-on/
  • OCC announce bold transport plans in gradually emerging from lockdown and in preparing for the ‘new normal’

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Local Support Services & Contacts

The Town Council will do all it can to support its local community and businesses, so please do contact us on the above information if you need help.

Below is a list of useful numbers and local support services, and make sure to check out the links to the Useful and Emergency Contacts pages too.

Support over the phone

Age UK Oxfordshire – 01865 411 288 – telephone support service including a friendly, regular weekly call to see how people are and offer advice if needed.

Talking Team (Thame) – This brand new local initiative is available for those who are struggling to cope in these difficult times. If you feel you would benefit from having someone to talk to then why not give them a call on 0300 303 4123

Help with prescription / shopping collections

Love Thame Helpers Line – 0330 022 1441 – Local telephone support line available for anyone needing a chat, support or help with shopping or prescriptions collections. The Love Thame Helpers have a map of local coordinators and will be able to put you in contact with someone who can help. If you are on Facebook and would like to help, join the group: www.facebook.com/groups/lovethamehelpers.

Thame Good Neighbour Scheme – 07913 713 452 – www.thamegns.org. This scheme exists to help residents of Thame with tasks such as shopping and prescription collection. You will need to register with TGNS first to receive help or volunteer. TGNS is currently directing new requests to the Love Thame Helpers.

Oxfordshire All In / Oxfordshire Together – if you are not in a high risk category but still in need of support, there are a number of initiatives taking place across the county. You can visit Oxfordshire All In or Oxford Together for more information on community support near you.

Support & Advice Services

Citizens Advice – the team are able to offer advice over the phone on 0300 330 9042 or by email thame@osavcab.org.uk between 9am and 5pm on weekdays. You can also visit citizensadvice.org.uk for advice related to Covid-19 and employment, as well as universal credit, benefits and scams.

Online Child Abuse – Reports of online child sexual abuse in the Thames Valley area were 146% higher in March 2020 in comparison with March 2019. For a list of support services, resources and contact numners go to: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/police-forces/thames-valley-police/areas/c/2017/hidden-harm/online-child-abuse/

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services – free advice: 0800 731 0055 (Mon-Fri 10am-7pm), or the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. For more information on where to get support and what to do if you’re in danger, go to: https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/domestic-abuse-support-shared-by-oxfordshire-county-council-and-partners/

Spiritual Support

Useful Contacts               Emergency Contacts

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Health & Care Support and Prescriptions

Read the latest updates in the Town Council’s e-newsletters from: Rycote Practice and Unity Health.

Looking after yourself – these are unprecedented times and it is normal to feel anxious, stressed or worried, but it is important to take care of yourself during this time. Check out the Activities for Adults and Activities for Children sections of this page for resources and ideas. Exercise videos for the elderly – Generation Games (part of Age UK Oxfordshire) have uploaded exercise videos specifically for the elderly – https://generationgames.org.uk/

Coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms? Follow government guidance on isolation and social distancing and observe good personal hygiene at all times. DO NOT attend your doctor’s surgery FOR ANY REASON if you have Covid-19 symptoms. Get help online at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 and only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Other medical conditions? GP surgeries are temporarily suspending all non-urgent services and hospitals have suspended routine operations and referrals, as well as many outpatient appointments. If you have worrying symptoms (such as possible cancer symptoms, heart disease or stroke) do not hesitate to contact your GP. Necessary consultation may take place online, by telephone or video link and some may take place face-to-face.

Repeat Prescriptions

Do NOT order medication more than 2 weeks before you run out.

Update (27/4/20): Boots will deliver prescriptions to

  • those over 70
  • individuals shielding for medical reasons
  • individuals and members of their households isolating under the Government’s 12-week lockdown.

If this applies to you, call Boots High Street (01844 213882) or East Street (01844 218248) to arrange delivery – note both surgeries shut for 2 hours at lunch time and have limited hours at weekends. 

The Love Thame Helpers will continue to deliver urgent medication and prescriptions for those who do not fall into one of the above categories. Call 0330 022 1441 or complete the Google Form to request prescription collection and delivery requests. The delivery team have been DBS checked and have strict protocols to manage the deliveries which protect them and you. 

Rycote Practice – 01844 261066 or www.therycotepractice.co.uk

Use one of the following options:

  1. Post your prescription form by mail
  2. Send an administrative eConsult www.therycotepractice.co.uk/appointments-clinics/appointment-types/econsult/
  3. Order via online access account (to set this up if not already registered, download form www.therycotepractice.co.uk/appointments-clinics/online-services-2/patient-access or ask for one to be e-mailed or posted to you)
  4. By telephone IF YOU CAN’T ACCESS OTHER OPTIONS.
Unity Health – 01844 212553 or www.unity-health.co.uk

Use online access. If you do not already have online access, call reception and they can arrange this. No access to internet? Call reception.

Collecting Prescriptions?

Do NOT attend your GP practice – all prescriptions will be sent to your nominated Pharmacy -inform your GP practice which pharmacy you would like this sent to. (Note: Unity Health will automatically send to Boots High Street unless you told otherwise). Boots offer a text alert service which you can sign-up to to be notified when your prescription is ready to collect.

 

Prescription Delivery to your home?

Other health support

  • Mental Health Helpline for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (Adults: 01865 904 997, Children and young people: 01865 904 998) has been launched in partnership with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and TalkingSpace Plus. It is open 24/7 and will direct people to the right mental health support to take pressure off NHS 111. 
  • Letter to a Loved One – if you have a relative or friend in a Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Hospital, you can email bht.lettertoalovedone@nhs.net with a letter and a photograph, and the staff will print it off and give it to the patient for you. Please include the patient’s full name and date of birth, and their NHS number, ward number and location if known.
  • Defibrillators – download ‘Save a Life’ app to find your nearest defibrillators.
  • For Carers – locally based ‘Maud & Mum’ blog have put together a guide for Carers: https://maudandmum.com/carers-versus-covid-19/
  • Antenatal / Postnatal Support
    • The Daisy Foundation Thame has offered free support and advice for any expectant parents – https://www.facebook.com/DaisyFoundationThame
    • A new weekly virtual baby group has been set up for first time mums in Oxfordshire, offering support that would usually be available. The meetings are held on Wednesdays at 10am or 12noon via Zoom, and are facilitated by Botley Bridges, The Maple Tree (Wheatley) and NHS Visitors. To join, email coordinator@botleybridges.org or hayley@mapletree.org.uk.
  • Hospital visits – to protect patients and staff, Oxford University Hospitals have announced that from 23 March 2020 no visitors will be allowed into hospital, except:
    • Maternity – 1 birth partner only (no children)
    • Paediatrics – 1 parent/guardian only (no siblings)
    • Patients at end of life – one visitor per patient to spend time with their loved one
    • Advocates / visitors who are required to make decisions on behalf of patients who do not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves.
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust are suspending the Community Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS) at the Thame hospital. The Ultrasound Service At Thame Community Hub is continuing but it is a slightly reduced service. A full list of the changes can be found at: https://www.buckshealthcare.nhs.uk/coronavirus/public-information-covid_19.htm

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Support for Businesses & Self-Employed

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Food Support, Meal Deliveries & Supermarket Hours

Food Support

If you would like to help the Foodbank in Thame, you can download the Foodbank app to your phone, and select ‘Sharing Life Trust’ to see the current list of needed items locally. If you need support from the Foodbank, please call 0300 201 0212 or 07541 299010, or go to www.sharinglifetrust.org/foodbank.

Sharing Life Trust have launched a Community Larder for Thame. This will provide a way to access staple food, reduce food waste and improve the well-being of residents. Membership is currently free and home delivery is currently being offered. For more information about the Community Larder, please visit the Sharing Life trust website. After the Covid-19 emergency, the Community Larder will operate as a drop-in cafe at Christchurch.

Food Parcels

The Town Council has been made aware that some residents are receiving food parcels from the Government that they do not require. If this apply to you, please do one of the following to stop delivery of the food parcels:

  1. Note to the driver stating no longer required.
  2. Go online https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable and go through all the questions again and tick not required on the Government Food Parcel.
  3. Ring Oxfordshire County Council Shielding Team on 01865 89 7820 and they will go online for you and help with the website questions.

 

Supermarket Priority Shopping Hours

In Thame the following supermarkets are offering selected hours for the elderly, vulnerable and NHS workers:

  • Sainsbury’s – Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8am-9am. NHS and social care workers have access 30 minutes before store opening each Monday – Saturday (with NHS ID). 
  • Waitrose – Monday-Saturday 7:30am-8:30am, and Sundays 10am-11am. Daily essentials kept aside for NHS workers (ask staff) and priority at tills.
  • Co-Op – Monday-Saturday 8am-9am, and Sunday 10am-11am

View the list of other supermarkets here & their hours for the elderly and vulnerable. Where possible try to use delivery services. If you cannot, Supermarket opening hours may change, please check before you travel to shop. Supermarkets are also starting to limit the number of people allowed into their stores at one time. 

Meal Deliveries

There are lots of businesses locally who are offering a delivery service from their restaurants, cafes and butchers. Thame Rewards Club has posted a handy guide of the known businesses at: https://www.thamerewardsclub.com/coronavirus-shop-local-thame-food-a

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Financial Support

Below are some of the funding streams the Town Council is aware of, which are available for community organisations and individuals to apply to:

Creative / Sport

Individuals

Community Groups / Organisations and Charities

If you are running a Community Support Group, make sure to check out https://www.oxfordshireallin.org/support-group-resources for useful resources and networks to support you, as well as the following grant funding:

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Activities for Children

All schools are now closed except for children of ‘key workers’ where no other childcare is available. Each school will offer their own arrangements for this as well as online resources and facilities, so for the latest information please check their websites below. Parent-mail / newsletters will the main way in which the school communicates with its parents so check your emails too.

Ideas for School at Home

Fun Activities

Activities for Adults

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Scams to be aware of & crime prevention tips

Scams

Unfortunately Trading Standards have reported that there are currently various scams circulating relating to the Coronavirus.

Criminals are targeting individuals as well as industries. In common with most other crisis situations, criminals are using emails, text messages, social media posts, online advertisements and phone calls to defraud their unsuspecting victims.

The following are known scams:

  • Emails from doctors claiming to have a cure or vaccine
  • Emails offering a Covid-19 Tax Refund – HMRC will never advise you of a tax refund in this way
  • Online adverts for protective masks and sanitiser gels, and online appeals from fake charities
  • Door-to-door salespersons offering Coronavirus tests
  • Offers for help with shopping from people you do not know and where they request your bank card / cash
  • Fake information / news on websites and social media

Do not:

  • Click on links in emails, especially ones that look too good to be true or where you do not know the sender (always check the email address as well as the sender’s name)
  • Accept offers of help from strangers – always ask family, friends or a known organisation/channel to arrange help
  • Give your bank card, details or cash to anyone you do not know
  • Order products from unofficial websites – always use reputable brands and retailers

If you become aware or a victim of a scam, please report it to Citizens Advice – https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Crime Prevention Tips

Thames Valley Police South Oxon & VoWH have recently received a number of reports of thefts from vehicles in Thame. Many of these thefts have been from vehicles which have been insecure. To reduce your chance of becoming a victim, follow these key steps:

  • Ensure your car is always left locked and secure.
  • Do not leave possessions in your vehicle, whether valuable or not.
  • Remove any valuables from your vehicles at night.
  • Do not leave valuables in your boot.
  • Anti-tamper proof screws for number plates are available from vehicle accessory shops.
  • Keep remote central locking keys away from front doors and windows, out of view and a distance away from the vehicle as there are devices which can copy the signal and open the vehicles

Please remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour or vehicles via 101 or online.

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Event Cancellations & Closures

The Town Council has been made aware that the following upcoming events in Thame have been cancelled or postponed:

All Thame Players productions and performances have been postponed to 2021.

Please be advised that Thame Museum, Thame & District Day Centre and Thame Youth Cafe are closed.

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How Can I Help?

  • Join the Love Thame Helpers Facebook Group, to assist with local requests for support: www.facebook.com/groups/lovethamehelpers
  • Volunteer with Thame’s Foodbank and Community Larder, both run by Sharing Life Trust: www.sharinglifetrust.org
  • Return loaned hospital equipment that you no longer use to Oxfordshire NRS Healthcare. The following items are urgently needed (please make sure they have an NRS Sticker on which includes a barcode): chairs, beds, wheeled commodes, mattresses, any electrical items, bed rails, walking & toilet frames, telecare items and slings. If you would like to hand back some equipment and would like to arrange a collection, please call NRS Healthcare on 01869 225 420 or email enquiries@oxfordshire.nrs-uk.net.
  • Sew items for NHS Staff – join the ‘A Stitch in Thame’ Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/757725801266066/) who are coordinating efforts locally.
  • “Hello! If you are self-isolating, I can help” leaflets – download a leaflet (JPEG) to print at home.
  • Oxfordshire All In (https://www.oxfordshireallin.org/) is Oxfordshire’s online database of volunteer opportunities supporting people across the county during the crisis.
  • If you would like to help with the Love Thame Helpers Phone Line, email helpers@oxtelecom.co.uk giving your name and contact number.
  • Volunteer with Citizen’s Advice – advisers are needed to assist with increased use of the service during and after the Covid-19 crisis – http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/oxfordshire-south-vale/volunteer/ 

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Date posted: Monday 16 March 2020

Updated: Friday 29 May 2020