John McDonnell MP
Responding to the Covid 19 Pandemic Locally
I would like to thank you to everyone who is working so hard locally to assist our community in dealing with and helping people come through the Covid 19 pandemic.
All our local agencies are working hard together, the Police, Council and Councillors, Fire Service, our local voluntary organisations, residents’ groups and religious bodies, and of course our local carers, hospitals, doctors, paramedics and all those working in our health and social services.
I can’t thank them enough for the tremendous work they are undertaking.
I am proud of the way local people have rallied round to support one another. Thank you to you all as well.
In addition to the work which is being undertaken to protect and support our local community, there have been a large number of issues that local residents have raised with me that I have taken up as the local MP.
The newsletter section highlights just some of the issues that my constituents have raised with me.
Below is an updated list of links to reputable sources of advice together with some links to craft activities, concerts, educational and environmental activities and other pursuits that may be of interest to you
Stay well and stay safe
Local Support & Volunteering
We have to be mindful that vulnerable people need to be protected from opportunistic crime. It is agreed that a coordinated, central point for people to volunteer and to receive support is helpful.
The council is working with H4All, a partnership between five of Hillingdon’s leading charities, to provide support to the most vulnerable members of our community at this difficult time.
If you are unable to leave the house because you’re ill, because of your caring role or if you are self-isolating due to the coronavirus and do not have a friend, neighbour or family member available to support you, then we can offer peace of mind.
- help with food shopping – if you are unable to find a neighbour, friend or family member who is available to shop for you, then we can help to ensure you get a food delivery.
- emergency food parcels – H4All can deliver a box of essential food items to eligible residents.
- prescriptions – we can help you to register with your local pharmacy and arrange for regular prescriptions to be delivered to your door, to ensure you have a supply of essential medicines for yourself or the person you care for.
- a regular telephone call – if you are feeling lonely and isolated or struggling with your emotions during this time, then we can call you for a friendly chat, as frequently as you need, to see how you are getting on.
- information and advice – our skilled advice team will contact you on the telephone to support you through the complexities of the welfare benefits system, if you are eligible to claim, we will help with your claim and answer your questions
- dog walking and posting mail – if you need someone to walk your dog or to post letters we can help.
If you are on a special diet for medical reasons or need essential equipment, we will do our very best to help. This is a free service, with the exception of food shopping, which will be arranged individually.
If you would like to use this service, email COVID19Hub@hillingdon.gov.uk or call 020 3949 5786 from 8am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday (10am to 2pm weekends and bank holidays).
Please fill in the online form if you want to volunteer to help www.hillingdon.gov.uk/community-support
NHS Volunteer Responders
You can sign up to volunteer for tasks such as delivering medicines from pharmacies, driving patients to appointments, making phone calls to check on people https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS
Your Local Councillors
To find the contact details of your local elected councillor
Assistance with Meals
Petito can provide a hot or frozen meal service to residents in need https://hillingdon.gov.uk/article/3959/Meals-service
Hillingdon Food Bank welcomes any support that can be afforded at this time. https://hillingdon.foodbank.org.uk/
Hillingdon Womens Centre
Our one-to-one support service will be available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. Women can contact us at
01895 259 578
Facebook Messenger: https://www.facebook.com/HillingdonWomen/
The Traveller Movement
They offer advocacy, support and advice
Health and Wellbeing
NHS Coronavirus helpline
This is the official NHS website that contains all necessary health related information and advice on Coronavirus.
Health Advice Sheets in Different Languages
(Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Dari, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Kurdish, Malayalam, Mandarin, Pashto, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese), please click here:
Government Information – support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
Macmillan Cancer Support
MIND ‘Coronavirus and your wellbeing’:
Mental Health at Work
FREE online 70-day Lockdown Wellbeing support Programme
free Expert written support resource link that has been especially created to support individuals and families during the current Coronavirus crisis.
www.zumos.co.uk or direct link https://www.zumos.co.uk/Wellbeing.aspx
The wellbeing course will continue for 70 days initially and should it be required will continue until we have moved through to a semblance of normality.
The course is delivered as video and vocal recordings, has 4 different daily steps that cover relationships, managing anxiety and depression making good use of the time and mindfulness. As well as links to trending support services.
All our credentials and testimonials can be found at www.zumos.co.uk to be assured that this is approved expert written and peer reviewed information.
Coronavirus support from the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is providing information and support to help you through these difficult times.
The patient organisation runs a free-to-use Helpline you can call on 0800 298 7650 or email at email@example.com.
Their NRAS Here for You service – newly launched in response to the Coronavirus lockdown – allows you to arrange a callback with someone with RA who understands you. You can get information about COVID-19, personal experience of RA drugs and medication, or just general tips and tricks on feeling less isolated and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
NRAS also runs weekly Coronavirus Q&As on Facebook Live – sign up at https://www.nras.org.uk/nras-live-ask-your-questions. In the weeks ahead, NRAS will be holding online Wellbeing Sessions to help you stay physically and emotionally well through the Coronavirus pandemic. Keep an eye on https://www.nras.org.uk/coronavirus-and-ra for all the latest updates.
There is also a video Q&A on Coronavirus in Hindi on the NRAS website, produced in collaboration with Dr. Kanta Kumar Lecturer in Advanced Clinical Practice at the University of Birmingham and Dr. Shirish Dubey, Consultant Rheumatologist at Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust, to help members of the UK’s Asian community keep themselves and their families safe from COVID-19. Watch it at https://www.nras.org.uk/new-video-for-south-asian-communities-about-covid-19.
This is a difficult time, but the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society is here for everyone with rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis and together we will get through it.
COVID-19 Factsheets http://www.hillingdoncarers.org.uk/PublicationsDownloads
- Our detailed advice pages for all unpaid carers, on our website.
- We have an email advice line (firstname.lastname@example.org) and a telephone Helpline service (0808 808 7777). Note: our Helpline hours have been extended to 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, to help carers access information at this time.
- We have an online forum – run by carers, for carers – full of tips and information where carers have been supporting each other.
- We have produced a local directory for carers, with details of local carers organisations and local authority support.
- We are also happy to provide support for any queries from constituents or provide information on the challenges facing carers during the coronavirus outbreak.
British Heart Foundation
This email provides the following information:
- New resources for patients with heart and circulatory conditions
- The impact of the covid-19 coronavirus on urgent care
- Supporting research during the Covid-19 pandemic
We have a range of resources available for patients and their families:
- Heart Helpline – expanded hours mean patients or their loved ones can speak directly with one of our specialist nurses about any queries or concerns any day of the week;
- Coronavirus and you information hub – the latest information and guidance on coronavirus, from its impact on people with heart and circulatory diseases to coping with the loss of a loved one during lockdown;
- HealthUnlocked – our online community where people can connect and support each other and speak to others who have had similar experiences.
Autistica – Autism Research Charity
some resources for autistic and neurodivergent people who are finding this period especially difficult.
Hillingdon Council Advice About Domestic Abuse
National Domestic Abuse Helpline (Women Only)
Freephone: 0808 2000 247
Domestic Advice Line (Men Only)
Freephone: 0808 801 0327
Telephone: 0344 515 1640
Streetlink – Assistance for Rough Sleepers
0300 500 0914
Local Businesses, Self Employed & Finances
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
This is the Government’s main site listing all nationally available packages of support to businesses, and how to apply.
HMRC Tax Helpline
The official helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to Coronavirus.
Phone: 0800 024 1222 (Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm)
ACAS – information for advice for employers and employees: https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus
Federation of Small Businesses
The Federation is a well-established non-profit organisation that campaigns on behalf of its members. They are nationally recognised experts in business and have set up a Coronavirus page on their website with advice and guidance specifically for small and medium size businesses and self-employed workers. They also offer a free webinar (on demand) that explains what financial assistance is available.
Health & Safety Executive:
Department for Work and Pensions (Benefits)
This is the official DWP website for claiming benefits including Universal Credit:
Local Credit Unions
Hillingdon Credit Union
m4money Credit Union
Turn2us – Charity providing help to those who are financially struggling
- Benefits Calculator so that people can work out what they are eligible for (coronavirus updated)
- Grants Search – containing over 1,700 charitable grants searchable by profession, health condition, location and age)
- Information pages on benefits and grants (including additional rights due to coronavirus)
In addition we offer a helpline to people who are digitally excluded:
- 0808 802 2000 (Mon-Fri 9:00-17:30)
In the coming days we will be opening a specialist grant fund for people affected by coronavirus funded by our crisis appeal Stand Together, which has enabled us to increase our support during this unprecedented time of need: turn2us.org.uk/together
Support for Parents, Carers and Teachers
List of Key Workers
This is the current official Government list of key workers. If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
Educational Psychology Service – Telephone helpline for parents and carers
Hillingdon Educational Psychology Service is providing a helpline for any parent or carer of children, who feel they would benefit from a consultation with a psychologist to support them with any concerns arising at this time, for them or their families. The concerns may be related to school or family life.
Areas of concern you may wish to discuss may include: ● Anxiety around the current situation and its impact on your children and family; ● Supporting you to support your children’s emotional needs; ● Concerns about friendships, learning, daily structure and activities; ● The impact of change, loss or bereavement; ● How to best look after yourself so you can look after your children.
If you would like to access this service, please email email@example.com with the following:
- Your name; ● The telephone number you would like to be contacted on; ● The name of your child’s school; ● Times and dates you are not available for a consultation; ● A brief description of what you would like to focus on in the consultation.
We will aim to get back to you within two working days to confirm a date and time for your consultation. The consultation service will, as far as possible, be confidential.
Mental Health and wellbeing Resources from Mentally Healthy Schools
Helpline is free and available to all teachers, lecturers and staff in education (primary, secondary, further or higher education) in England, Wales and Scotland
24/7, 365 days a year.
Call 08000 562 561
Department for Education Helpline
Available for parents, young people and staff to ask any questions about COVID-19 and education and children’s social care.
Phone: 0800 046 8687 (Open: 8am to 6pm Monday-Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday-Sunday)
Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
How to Stay in Touch
Large numbers of people are self-isolating or are confined to their homes. It is vital that people with low or no digital skills can keep in touch with family and friends and access health services.
The spread of the coronavirus presents significant challenges to small businesses.
Families with children at home from school need to get the best out of technology to help their children to learn and play. And many people need support as they work from home for the first time.
Working in partnership with digital skills organisations, BT Skills for Tomorrow has free resources and information to help people with each of these challenges
Activities for During the Lockdown
Lockdown Learning with The London Fire Brigade
Home-Start have created some activities and resources for families during self- isolation
Craft club – Adults and Children
Young Traveller Times
An online magazine made by young gypsy, Roma and Travellers for young gypsy, Roma and Travellers
Travellers Times Educational Resources https://www.travellerstimes.org.uk/ytt/features/bank-free-educational-resources-kids-can-use-while-schools-are-closed
For as long as schools are closed, children can stream a collection of stories, including titles across six different languages. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.
The Scouts have pulled together some indoor activity ideas. These activities are free but donations are welcome!
National Geographic Kids
Activities and quizzes for younger kids.
UN Environmental Programme
A lot of these can be done in a garden, or if you can get to a remote forest location!
Wildlife Trust webcams
Gardners World Magazine
VR Museum Tours
Google Arts & Culture teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world
NHS Home workout videos
New Free Courses and hobbies
Activities with Celebrities
- 9am – PE with Joe Wicks
- 10am – Maths with Carol Vorderman
- 11am – English with David Walliams
- 12pm – Lunch with Jamie Oliver
- 1pm – Music with Myleene Klass
- 1.30pm – Dance with Darcey Bussel
- 2.pm – History with Dan Snow (free for 30-days)
- 4pm – Home Economics with Theo Michaels (Mon/Wed/Fri)National Theatrehttps://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home?queueittoken=e_safetyevent2apr20~q_933d26cc-ecfd-4e27-b1bc-18f7f0580974~ts_1585864953~ce_true~rt_safetynet~h_ad6c661cb42bf8e98d4d124c8352b09397c7ddda4f6bb60cf73f4bcc9fd6aea4 The Royal Opera Househttps://www.roh.org.uk/streamingThe Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestrahttps://www.liverpoolphil.com/the-orchestra/live-streamed-concerts/Sofa Singershttps://www.thesofasingers.com/London Symphony Orchestra https:lso.co.uk/whats-on/2019-20-season/alwaysplaying.html
- London Symphony Orchestra Each Sunday and Thursday (from 22 March) will be streaming a concert from our archive on their YouTube channel.
- The Sofa Singers is a free weekly online singing event hosted by James Sills
- You can stream concerts at
- The Royal Opera House have launched a programme of free online broadcasts and live content
- Every Thursday, the National Theatre are streaming a new play that is available for a week