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 3 July)

  • Skate Park and Play Areas – From Saturday 4th July, all play areas in Thame will re-open. The equipment is not cleaned, so please regularly wash your hands, avoid touching your face and do not allow children to touch it with their mouths. The Skate Park and open spaces are already open. Please maintain social distancing at all times – come back later if it is busy.
  • High Street Recovery Plan – Thame Town Council has put together a plan to help the High Street recover, and you are encouraged to read and comment on it.
  • Councillor Drop In for 4th July is cancelled – but you can email or call the Town Council to be put in touch with a Councillor.
  • Thame Food Festival is cancelled for 2020 and rescheduled for 25th and 26th September 2021.
  • The Monster Hero Safari is coming to Thame on Thursday 9th July – details to follow in our newsletter, website and social media.
  • Co-Op Midcounties ‘Essential Shopping’ Home Delivery Service makes 50,000 deliveries during lockdown, thanks to volunteers including Thame’s Blue Hearts team.
  • Parking restrictions reintroduced in Town Council’s car parks from 15 June. Please note parking is not permitted in the Upper High Street car park between 7pm on Mondays and 5pm on Tuesdays because of the market.

Read our latest newsletter for all the latest updates

Read our latest business newsletter for the latest local business news

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.

  • Car Parks – Parking restrictions reintroduced in Town Council’s car parks from 15 June in the High Street (1hr) and Upper High Street (3hrs, except Tuesdays) Car Parks. Parking will still be free for the specified periods. Please note parking is not permitted in the Upper High Street car park between 7pm on Mondays and 5pm on Tuesdays because of the market.
  • Thame Market – For the latest updates, visit the Thame Tuesday Charter Market Facebook page. 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. 
  • Skate Park, Play Areas, Parks and Open Spaces – From Saturday 4th July, all play areas in Thame will re-open. The equipment is not cleaned, so please regularly wash your hands, avoid touching your face and do not allow children to touch it with their mouths. The Skate Park and open spaces are already open. Please maintain social distancing at all times – come back later if it is busy.
  • 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. Our post is being monitored regularly.
  • 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.
  • Councillor Drop-In – whilst face-to-face meetings are on hold, so are our Councillor Drop-Ins. If you would like to speak to a Councillor, please email or call the Town Council to be put in touch with a Councillor.
  • Information Centre & Upper Chamber – read the latest TTC update (25 June 2020) for our plans on re-opening these.
  • High Street Recovery Plan – Thame Town Council has put together a plan to help the High Street recover, and you are encouraged to read and comment on it.

South Oxfordshire District Council

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

Oxfordshire County Council

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

  • Household Waste Recycling Centres – 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 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

NHS ‘Health at Home’ has lots of useful information on how to order repeat prescriptions, contact your GP, find out about urgent dental treatment, manage long-term conditions and maintain your mental and physical well-being.


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/

To protect yourself and others, always follow government guidance on social distancing and face masks, and observe good personal hygiene at all times.

Covid-19 symptoms? You must stay at home if you have Covid-19 symptoms. Get advice and book a test online at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 and only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Other medical conditions? Many non-urgent services, routine operations, referrals and outpatient appointments were cancelled during the Covid-19 outbreak, but some have since resumed – contact your GP for the latest update. If you have symptoms that you would normally speak to your GP about, do not hesitate to contact your GP (by phone/online). Necessary consultation may take place online, by telephone or video link and some may take place face-to-face with appropriate safety measures in place.

Repeat Prescriptions

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

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

Call: 01844 261066
Website: www.therycotepractice.co.uk
Facebook updates: www.facebook.com/therycotepractice

Unity Health

Call: 01844 212553
Website: www.unity-health.co.uk
Facebook updates: www.facebook.com/UnityHealth2020

 

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

  • See also the Support & Advice Services section of this page
  • 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 measures for visiting – see https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/covid-19/
  • 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

Thame Initiatives

SODC Initiatives

Government Initiatives

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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.

Government 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 applies 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.
Co-Op Community Shopping Scheme

If you’ve been instructed by the Government to stay home, you can purchase or top up a Co-Op Community Shopping Card by calling 0800 029 4592. The card is a bit like a gift card which you can top up. The card will be posted to you within 2-3 working days and friends, family or volunteers can use this to do your shopping in store. Co-Op can also connect you to local volunteers in your area if support is needed to collect and deliver your shopping.

Supermarket Priority Shopping Hours

The first hour of opening each day  is usually reserved for the elderly, vulnerable and NHS workers (with ID), but please check before you travel to shop. Where possible try to use delivery services. Supermarkets are limiting the number of people in their stores at one time so you may be asked to queue outside. 

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. Note that some funding applications below may be temporarily paused / being reviewed.

Creative / Sport

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.

Warning over Coronavirus Test & Trace Scams – The latest scam tries to convince people that they have been in contact with someone who has been tested positive, pretending to be Track and Trace. They then either ask for money to send them a test, or try to get hold of their personal details. If NHS test and trace calls you by phone, they will only use: 0300 013 5000. Contact tracers will not ask you to ring a premium rate number (09 or 087), access a website that does not belong to the Government or NHS, or for personal or bank details.

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: Monday 6 July 2020