We will endeavor to post any useful information regarding the Coronavirus (Corvid 19) on this page, as we receive it.
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Vulnerable people in Kent who need URGENT help, supplies or medication are also reminded of the helpline – called Kent Together – which provides a single, convenient point of contact for anyone in the county who is in URGENT need of help during the Coronavirus outbreak. It is a collaboration between KCC, central Government, District, Borough and local councils, the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and other partners to ensure help is at hand for vulnerable people.
If you are vulnerable and have an urgent need that cannot be met through existing support networks, you can contact the Kent Together helpline at www.kent.gov.uk/KentTogether or by calling on 03000 41 92 92. It is a 24-hour service.
Are you feeling anxious and full of uncertainty?
This anxiety is natural, and we are all feeling it. Fortunately, there are things that we can do to protect our mental health and to support the wellbeing of our friends and family.
Kent County Council have launched a new Mental Wellbeing Support Info Hub. At www.kent.gov.uk/wellbeing you can find information, advice and signposting to other great sites which can help, whatever your situation and need.
Support for the local Business Community
The Government has introduced key initiatives to run alongside existing schemes, to support business during this challenging time. These include:
- Coronavirus business Bounce Back Loan scheme
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers
- Coronavirus Small Business Grant & Retail Hospitality & Leisure Grant Scheme
- Independent Retail & Hospitality Business Support Programme
- Local Telephone Help Line for Folkestone & Hythe businesses
- Folkestone & Hythe High Street Fund
To view further details and links, please click HERE
'Anxiety is a natural reaction to COVID19. We’ve had our everyday lives transformed overnight and are unsure of what might come. All-present news about the pandemic can be overwhelming and contribute to feelings of restlessness or unreality. However when this pandemic has passed, just like previous ones, we will respond with the same sense of relief, a revived appreciation of one another, for the outdoors and life’s other simple pleasures. These will be just some of the benefits. In the interim time, it’s right to be gentle with ourselves and open up about what’s happening to us.' (Lauretta Kavanagh, Mental Health Programme Director for the NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group).
A new text service has been launched across Kent and Medway for people of all ages needing mental health support.
As part of the Release the Pressure campaign, the texts are free on all major mobile networks and the service is provided by SHOUT and the Crisis Text Line.
By texting the word “Kent” or “Medway” to 85258, you will start a conversation with one of the many trained and experienced volunteers who can give support at any time, wherever you are. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
Please share this around.
Southern Water have issued information on Extra Support for Customers during COVID 19. To view it, please click HERE. Please see Southern Water's Facebook page also, for ideas, regular updates and support.
South East Kent Police have advised us that one of the latest scams that they have been made aware of in the last few days is one regarding phone calls from an alleged Government Dept. offering facemasks and other PPE equipment. Obviously this is a scam as they will ask for your Bank details so please do not engage with these calls at all …….they are fake.
Whoever you are, social Isolation is not an excuse for domestic abuse. Please click HERE for help and support information.
For Police guidance on What Constitutes a Reasonable Excuse to Leave the Place Where You Live, during Covid 19 restictions, please click HERE
For a Press Release from the Chief Constable of Kent Police please click HERE
The HRMC online portal for furloughing workers was opened this morning and Folkestone and Hythe District Council have provided relevant links to the information required for registration and to the portal itself on their www.folkestone.works website. They have also provided other relevant information on recent government announcements for business and please see below the link for eligible businesses to register details to receive the business support grants that are being administered by Folkestone & Hythe District Council.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers - this explains the information that employers need to provide when registering their furloughed workers on the HMRC online portal https://folkestone.works/2020/04/covdi-19-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide/
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - The HRMC portal is now live and can be accessed via this link https://folkestone.works/2020/04/covid-19-job-retention-scheme-up-and-running/
Financial support for innovative firms hit by coronavirus - the government has announced a £1.25 billion government support package to support these businesses
Coronavirus Business Grant Scheme for businesses in Folkestone & Hythe District– for eligible businesses in Folkestone & Hythe District that have not yet provided details to receive this grant, please provide these using the electronic form that can be accessed via https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/business-grant-fund
For further details on all of the items mentioned above and more information that you might be interested in, please see www.folkestone.works website.
Folkestone and Hythe District Council have advised that, in line wirh new national guidance they have reopened all their cemeteries and memorial grounds, and thank everyone for their understanding during the closures. If you do visit please #keepyourdistance and stay at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household.
For information on the Increase to Working Tax Credits please follow this link:
For clear guidance on how to deal with the current Coronavirus situation, please see this Government leaflet:
The Government have brought together an initial list of online educational resources to help children to learn at home. These are free to use, and can be accessed through:
This is a children's book, written by a nurse, about coronavirus that aims to give information without fear.
With everything that is going on at the moment; big changes to children’s routines and lots of stories on the news it can be a really scary time for children.
This book aims to open up the conversation about coronavirus and some of the things they might be hearing about it and provide truthful information in a reassuring and child friendly manner.
It's free to download from the following link:
Do you need help with your shopping? Please see picture for information from Romney Marsh Community Hub with how they can help.
For a handy, relevant and informative advice leaflet, for Individuals, on Coronavirus Scammers and Fraudsters, from Victim Support, please click HERE
For a handy, relevant and informative advice leaflet, for Community Groups, on Coronavirus Scammers and Fraudsters, from Victim Support, please click HERE
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For the latest Media release from Kent County Council regarding their 'Kent Together Helpline' please click HERE
Folkestone and Hythe District Council have today advised us that, following the issue of guidance from the ICCM (Institute of Cemeteries and Crematorium Management) they have taken the decision to close their cemeteries to the public with immediate effect. Processes will be put in place to allow access for funerals following the guidance issued.
To see the latest letter to all Kent residents from Kent County Council Trading Standards, regarding Scams Advice During Coronavirus Outbreak, please click HERE
A Government sponsored Coronavirus fact sheet for children is now available.
Information for children to help them understand what Coronavirus is, the importance of hand washing and how to help stop the virus spreading is available on the Campaign Resource Centre.
This was developed by the Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust.
They have also made an animation to go with it. To download, follow the link:
We have received the following information from the National Government Association:
A new GOV.UK WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service has now been launched. The purpose of this product is to combat the spread of misinformation propagated through WhatsApp on an Official Government channel. To use the service, members of the public simply add +44 7860 064422 to their contacts and send a WhatsApp message saying “Hi”.
Follow this link for some useful Government guidance and resources on supporting children and young people's mental health and well-being: https://www.gov.uk/…/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-childr…
Running a Business in Kent? Don't forget that Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce can offer support and advice, especially at this difficult time. Their Business Support Hotline is 03333 602300
Now that the Chancellor has announced the new Income Support Scheme for the self-employed, it is highly likely that a new wave of scam emails, calls and text messages claiming to be from HMRC will start to circulate. They will no doubt be offering financial help in exchange for you bank details etc. and probably contain a link where an email or text is concerned.
The messages will be scams – do not respond, delete immediately. HMRC do not contact people out of the blue asking for these details.
From South East Kent Police, Neighbourhood Watch officer:
Please see the attached , taken after someone received this scam text/email, no such procedure exists so please pass on.
Stay vigilant, safe and well.
Please see the following letter from KCC regarding Free School Meals:
We have been made aware that some parents in the County have been approached via text and/or e-mail in relation to Free School Meal arrangements in light of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). We understand parents have been asked to provide their bank details
and personal information about children who are eligible, including names and dates of birth, with a promise that money will be sent to them directly.
This information is not accurate.
Further information will be available from government later in the week which will confirm it is the school who will be managing the voucher system in consultation with a government’s identified provider. Therefore, please do not respond to any messages you receive unless they come directly from the school. Can we also take this time to remind you to be aware of anyone who
contacts you either directly or via social media offering services for your family in these difficult times. Unless you can trust them, you should not be sharing personal information related to you or your family as it may not be used in the manner you would have hoped.
At this time of crisis there is lots of help and support coming from the community and organisations around us. However, unfortunately there is a sharp increase in scams too, with new ones emerging every day.In times of crisis when fear of the unknown is heightened, people – particularly the vulnerable, become more susceptible to trickery. Unfortunately, there are plenty of malicious individuals out there who are willing to leverage the situation in order to make a quick buck. We will continue to endeavor to update you on these, as they are brought to our attention, from reputable sources. Forewarned is forarmed!
The government are relying on emails and text messages as communication channels and we are already seeing scams circulating which have untrustworthy links in them. Many have seen text messages which look like they come from GOV.UK and suggest that some kind of financial support package is available. They require your bank details and provide a link for you to click on. These texts are scams and should be deleted immediately. Remember, if the link does not end in “gov.uk” or “nhs.net”, it is not legitimate.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) are taking down a lot of these malicious websites as soon as they become aware of them. If you are sent a suspicious email or text, please report it via the Netcraft website at:
Be vigilant, stay safe.
30.03.2020 Government guidance for access to green spaces:
The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home.
However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave their homes for exercise once a day.
Please use the following guidance in order to stay safe:
stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily
you should only go outside alone or with members of your own household
keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this
if you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
Please see the latest government guidance on social distancing.
Please be aware that if you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19) or at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, then you must stay at home. See the latest guidance from Public Health England.
For Government advice on how to help safely, please follow the link below
Support for Folkestone & Hythe business community - latest update from Folkestone and Hythe District Council
"We have been updating our www.Folkestone.works/coronavirus-business-updates/ website with further information and links following recent announcements from Folkestone & Hythe District Council and the Government over the last day or so. This includes:
Local Telephone Help Line - the council has also part-funded a dedicated business support telephone helpline which will be run through KICC. The helpline is now open today - Wednesday 25th March. The number is 0333 3602300 and will be open 8:30am – 6.30pm Monday to Friday
Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19) updated 24th March, which includes information on what you need to know following the Prime Ministers announcement on 23rd March
· Small Business Grant Fund & Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (Version 2) – updated guidance 25th March. Sets out updated details and eligibility criteria for the SBGF and RHLGF and informs local authorities about the operation and delivery of the 2 funding schemes.
Expanded retail business rate discount - guidance on the operation of expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021 coronavirus response
Nursery schools business rate holiday - nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.
Business VAT Deferral - support for businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months
Business extension period to file accounts during COVID-19 - businesses are being given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19
Nursery (childcare) business rate discount 2020 to 2021 – local authority guidance on coronavirus response
Summary of support for the self employed
Folkestone & Hythe High Street Fund – launched in Oct 2019, this District Council grant scheme supports improvements and encourages new and innovative ideas to help our high streets adapt and thrive in the future. The fund is still open for applications. However, applications will not be reviewed until September and the Economic Development team will not be able to offer support in developing project ideas during this time. All approved projects will continue to be processed.
Please see the www.folkestone.works website for more information and links for the above "
In line with Government directives, the following New Romney Town Council areas are
CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC:
Outdoor Gym at The Greens Littlestone
Children’s Playground at The Greens, Littlestone
Fairfield Road Recreation Ground, New Romney
All access gates have been padlocked and clear signage is in place, so please ensure that your children and teenagers
DO NOT ENTER THESE AREAS
Families may take a single walk, run or cycle alone or as a family unit each day but MUST keep away from all others. They may NOT use outdoor playgrounds or outdoor gyms.
Please heed Government instructions:
Stay Home, Save Lives!
19 March 2020
COVID-19: EVENTS ON NEW ROMNEY TOWN COUNCIL LAND CANCELLED
Events due to have been held on land owned by New Romney Town Council up to and including 31 July 2020 have been cancelled.
These cancellations are a necessary measure in line with the government advice to try and limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision will be reviewed in June for events in August onwards.
Cllr Paul Thomas, Chairman of New Romney Town Council, said: “This decision is very regrettable but the welfare of local residents is our top priority. We are all in this together and we must do what we can to curb the spread of this virus.
“There may be events planned in New Romney on land not owned by the Town Council. If so, I would strongly urge organisers to consider the government advice about social distancing and give very careful thought as to whether their event should go ahead.”
Current government advice recommends social distancing and encourages those who can work from home to do so.
For more information about COVID-19 and local support please visit the District Council information page:
For more information, please email
We have been advised by Folkestone and District Council that their Wednesday morning Surgery (One Stop Shop), in New Romney Town Hall, has been cancelled until further notice.
Their Contact Centre will continue to open as usual and they have email and web chat facility.
Updated information regarding business support, from Folkestone and Hythe District Council
"Further to the Governments announcements last Friday, we have further updated our www.Folkestone.works website with information and links, and I have summarised key points below.
For UK workers of any employer placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the government will pay up to 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month. These will be backdated to 1st March, will be initially open for 3 months and may be extended if necessary.
VAT payments due between now and the end of June will be deferred. No VAT registered business will have to make a VAT payment normally due with their VAT return to HMRC in that period. Income tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, launched at Budget, will now be interest free for twelve months.
A £10,000 grant payment for businesses in properties in receipt of rural rate relief or small business rates relief on 11th March, including those in receipt of tapered relief, will be eligible for.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure properties qualifying for retail discount on 11th March will be entitled to either, £10,000 where the RV is £15,000 or less or £25,000 where the RV is greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000.
All grant payments will be made directly to businesses by the local authorities and no business needs to apply for these grants. The Government is aiming to make this funding available to local authorities for payment in early April.
For any further information and updates, please see https://folkestone.works/coronavirus-business-updates/ "
In line with current Government guidelines the Town Hall is now CLOSED to the public until further notice.
To contact New Romney Town Council please call 01797 363 248
Communication from Folkestone and Hythe District Council; regarding Coronavirus:Business Support Measures...
"The Government has made a series of announcements in the Budget last week and over the last few days on measures to support businesses during this difficult time. We are regularly updating information about these on our www.Folkestone.works website, including:
Details on how to access the hardship funds and loans, as this emerges
Other information that might find useful, including sector specific announcements
Links to government and other business association websites.
Please click on the link below to a summary of the most recent announcements, including today’s announcement on the British Bank’s website that applications for the Government-backed loan scheme for businesses will be available from 23 March 2020.
In view of the particular difficulties facing the retail and hospitality sector, the council has introduced a new Folkestone & Hythe District Council Retail & Hospitality Business Support Programme for independent businesses across the district. Click below to find out more detail about this scheme and how it can be accessed support.https://folkestone.works/2020/03/measures-to-help-business-update/
We understand the difficulties that business is facing at this difficult time. However, if you have any specific coronavirus-related issues that feel it is important to share, then we are keen to hear from you. The Council is constantly looking at ways to support our business community through this difficult period and we can also pass on any intelligence directly to the Government through our own channels. Please send any emails to email@example.com"
Scammers and criminals are already looking for opportunities to scam people as a result of the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic. Happily, there are many more stories of kindness and generosity but we want to make people aware of the scams as they emerge – which they seem to be on a daily basis.
We have been made aware, by Kent Police, of two scams that are being carried out in the area, relating to the Coronavirus, where unsolicited callers have tried to gain entry to people's homes. In one, the people are saying that they can test for the Covid 19 virus, and in another, they are offering to take people's temperature. If you get any unexpected callers to your door in such circumstances, please do not allow them entry, and do not allow them to take any money or details from you. The Health service will not cold call like this. Additionally, call Police on 101 to let them know your concerns. If the scammers will not leave , call 999. Please make family and friends, in particular the elderly aware of these two types of scams.
Additionally we have heard of an elderly person who has lost money when he gave his bank card to a person who had offered to do shopping for him. The advice is, as always, don’t ever give your bank or card details to anyone, even if you think you know them very well. You could either agree to pay in cash after they have delivered the shopping or pay them online if you have the facility to do so. Or maybe you could agree another method of payment - but never give your bank or card details.
03.03.2020 To see the Council's information poster, please click HERE
New Romney Counselling Service are still operating, and available for your needs..
They are offering Telephone and Zoom Counselling for anyone suffering from any form of distress, who would like a listening ear. Call 01797 367809 for further details.
They are also running a Crowdfunding page, aiming to raise £5,000 so that they can keep up with the demand for their service, during this pandemic.
A mental health and wellbeing online platform for young people has been extended for all young people across Kent.
As part of the Headstart Kent Programme, the Kooth digital mental health support service has already given one in five young people, aged 10 to16, easy access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors.
The service is free and can be accessed at www.kooth.com. It’s a place to get advice, information and support 24/7. You can chat to a friendly qualified counsellor Monday to Friday between 12pm and 10pm and Saturday and Sunday between 6pm and 10pm.
To view further information please click HERE
A message fom Kent County Council...
We continue to face a huge challenge from COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its impact on our lives and work. We are committed to ensuring we continue to deliver services - though we recognise that, in these challenging times, some of these will be affected as we follow government advice.
There’s lots of information on our website including:
updates on how our services are being affected
how we’re supporting vulnerable people through Kent Together
advice and suggestions on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing
what support is available for local businesses
information on the latest scams affecting Kent