Easter Bunny Appeal

Following on from the great success of the Christmas appeal for our charity of the year, I am launching another plea to your generosity in the form of an Easter Bunny appeal to provide Easter eggs and treats for the food bank recipients.

The time of this latest lockdown and the impact of home schooling has hit hard for so many families and the number now receiving support from the Bildeston Support Group foodbank is 17 families.

I am asking for donations of Easter eggs, chocolates, Easter biscuits and cakes. If you have any gift bags into which we could pack the goodies these would also be appreciated.

If you would prefer to donate money then I will use it towards this appeal to make up the goodies bags appropriately for each family.

Please could you bring your donation to me at Low Barn, Church Road by Sunday March 28th or if you would rather, I can pick them up from you on my daily walk.

My thanks in anticipation and as ever, I am here if you just need someone for a chat.
Stay safe,
Jo Silburn

Bildeston Health Centre Update

Some good news, we are now calling our patients in Priority Group five for their Covid vaccination, this is patients aged 65-69 years.

As we are currently vaccinating with the Oxford AZ vaccine we are able to pick up supplies on a daily basis to run small clinics here at Bildeston. This will change when the hubs receive the Pfizer vaccine – please appreciate we have absolutely no control over which vaccines are sent or when.

A reminder of the Priority Groups

1. residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

2. all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care
workers

3. all those 75 years of age and over

4. all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

5. all those 65 years of age and over

6. all individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

7. all those 60 years of age and over

8. all those 55 years of age and over

9. all those 50 years of age and over

A big plea!

We have a team working really hard trying to call patients in cohort 6 – Can we ask that you wait for us to call you, our reception are getting inundated with calls and enquiries. We do appreciate everyone’s anxiety and are doing our best.

Patients are asking us if they can book their second vaccine appointment. Please do not call us to book, we will call you, once we know when we can book and when our vaccine delivery date is.

Bildeston Health Centre COVID Vaccination – February update

Bildeston Health Centre continues to undertake the covid vaccination programme run collaboratively with our two local practices, Constable Country Practice at East Bergholt and Hadleigh Health Centre. The two hubs will be Hadleigh and East Bergholt.

We are not writing to patients to invite them due to the short notice required to deliver the programme, instead we are calling our patients from the surgery by telephone to invite you to attend either the Hadleigh or East Bergholt site. This may change as we move through the cohorts. Please can we request that you do not call us, we will call you. Please help us by waiting for your turn according to the Government’s guidelines. Patients will be invited following the strict criteria we have to follow. The first cohort, patients aged 80 and over, have been called and we are now working our way through the next cohort of 70 and over. We cannot vaccinate you earlier outside your cohort. Please be patient with us, the roll out of the covid vaccination programme requires a lot of planning in order for us all to deliver safely and efficiently while we continue to deliver our normal service.

FAKE NHS TEXT
A dangerous fake NHS text has been circulating, telling people they’re eligible to apply for the
Covid-19 vaccine. It takes you to a fake website and asks for your personal details, which the
scammers then use to access your bank. Please take extra care during this vaccination period and delete any suspicious texts or emails.

Congratulations to Bildeston Food Bank

Many congratulations to Shaun Moffatt and all the team of helpers who run the Bildeston Food Bank. The BBC Radio Suffolk ‘Making a Difference Award’ is well deserved and so appropriate for the incredible achievement of establishing such an amazing supportive resource from scratch.

Shaun Moffat said, “Congratulations to everyone who has helped us in running Bildeston Food Bank. We’ve won our first award – The BBC Radio Suffolk Making a Difference Award. This has been a team effort and every one of
you is appreciated.”

Ed’s comment – February Bugle

There is nothing like personal experience to bring home the true impact of major events on our lives. As we enter February and this phase of our fight to beat the virus, it’s put into perspective by borrowing a phrase from Churchill, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

The first personal experience was the decision by the Bugle team to suspend printing the January and February Bugle, the first time since it was established in November 1990. A sad and difficult decision given what it takes to produce the Bugle. Even though we now have the printer housed in Chamberlin Hall which collates, folds and staples, it still takes from 9.00 in the morning until 5.30 in the afternoon to print them all. We normally work in pairs on a rota through the day, finish the folding and bag them up before handing them over to the wonderful
team of deliverers. Given the need to stay indoors, social distance and not put anyone at risk we had no alternative. We are very grateful for the digital version on the village website but fully appreciate not all our villagers have access to the internet. We hope to be back printing the Bugle as soon as possible.

The mass vaccination roll out continues. I drove my 95 year old father-in-law to East Bergholt Constable Country Health Centre for his vaccination. We were not the only ones from Bildeston in that priority group, who had agreed to travel there for the jab. It was very well organised, even though the day was blighted by awful weather, bitterly cold and driving rain and the most elderly, and some infirm, of our community queued outside. Days later it was my turn. Again, along with many others from Bildeston, vaccinated at East Bergholt. The whole experience has been very good indeed, with excellent service from our own Health Centre staff and superb organisation at Constable Country Health Centre. Seeing the mass vaccination at local level brings home the dedication, expertise and professionalism of the NHS staff supported so well by an army of local volunteers.

Heartfelt thanks to you all.

At the other end of the age scale, I helped remote learning for my youngest grandchildren. Perhaps more hindrance than help! Complete days of school lessons planned and delivered by teachers working from home, leading ‘Zoom’ meetings with classes of children. A day in an infant classroom is hard work at the best of times, emotionally and physically, to replicate that on line is quite a task.

The work that has gone into helping to make sure our children do not lose their natural curiosity for learning, is astonishing and we need to pay tribute to all the teachers working from home whilst trying to retain a sense of what it would be like if the children were in their classroom with their teacher. Not every child’s remote learning experience has been so positive. The system relies on each child having access to a decent device and then quality experiences being planned
and delivered on a consistent basis. The ones I saw, from a teacher who lives in Bildeston, were very good indeed.

Bildeston Health Centre COVID Vaccination – January update

We would like to inform our patients that Bildeston will be undertaking the covid vaccination programme starting mid-January. The service will run collaboratively with our two local practices, Constable Country Practice at East Bergholt and Hadleigh Health Centre. The two hubs will be Hadleigh and East Bergholt.

We will not be writing to patients to invite them due to the short notice required to deliver the programme, instead we will call our patients from the surgery by telephone to invite you to attend either the Hadleigh or East Bergholt site. This may change as we move through the cohorts. Please can we request that you do not call us, we will call you.

Patients will be invited following the strict criteria we have to follow. The first cohort will be patients aged 80 and over. We cannot vaccinate you earlier outside your cohort. We need your help to communicate this information to relatives, friends and neighbours in this cohort who do not have access to social media, by letting them know that we will be calling them in January.

Please be patient with us, the roll out of the covid vaccination programme requires a lot of planning in order for us all to deliver safely and efficiently while we continue
to deliver our normal service.

Taking care of yourself in isolation

While we all MUST follow the national guidance to stay at home and stay safe, we must also make sure we take care of ourselves and interact as much as we can from a distance or by helping others. It’s a serious message – take care of yourselves each and every day and follow Public Health Suffolk’s five ways to wellbeing to improve your physical and mental health while we stay at home.

  • Connect with others. Take time to call a friend or family member. It’s important to stay in touch with others however you do it, and sometimes simply talking
    about how you feel can make a big difference.
  • Be active. It can improve your physical health, help manage stress and anxiety and generally make you feel better.
  • Learn. Take the opportunity to think about learning a new skill or pick up something you have enjoyed doing before. More classes and courses are also
    available online now than ever before.
  • Take notice. It’s all too easy to become immersed in the constant, and everchanging media coverage surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19). Take a break from watching, listening or reading news stories and use the time for the things you enjoy. Techniques such as mindfulness can be helpful.
  • Give. Giving your time and energy to others is extremely important, never more so than now, and can pay dividends for your mental wellbeing. Whether it’s looking out for and helping a neighbour, or registering to volunteer to offer support in your community, there is plenty you can do.
  • Treat all ‘foreign’ items (food packages, parcels etc) coming into the home as potential threats, wipe them and then wash your hands thoroughly.

Bildeston Coronavirus Support Group

The Bildeston Coronavirus Support Group can offer the following services free of charge: food delivery, medical supplies/prescription deliveries, posting mail and dog-walking.

Please email Bildeston Coronavirus Support Group or call 033 33 355254 for any of the above services.

Asda has launched volunteer shopping cards to enable the elderly, vulnerable and those self-isolating to have their shopping collected by volunteers safely and securely. In response to the number of people having to rely on friends, neighbours and NHS volunteers to get their groceries for them, the two retailers have launched dedicated e-cards online, which allow self-isolating shoppers to buy a voucher which they can give to someone else to use on their behalf in store. The scheme has been designed to create a “contact free” and safe way for people to provide funds to those shopping on their behalf and gives customers confidence that they do not need to share bank or card details.

For those seeking help from Bildeston’s Coronavirus Support Group to pick up groceries etc., please note that you will need to ensure that you make an online payment transfer to pay for your goods, or that you pay the store directly over the phone, or provide your volunteer with a Volunteering Store Card (such as those issued by ASDA) to make the purchase – for their safety, our volunteers cannot handle cash during this pandemic. If you need assistance with the provision of food for you and your family, the Bildeston Food Bank is ready to help. Speak to a member of the support group for more information on the Food Bank.

Bildeston Food Bank

The Bildeston Food Bank offers free food to Bildeston families who find themselves in need during this coronavirus crisis. It is being operated by the Bildeston Coronavirus Support Group from the Baptist church in Duke Street (due to the St Mary Magdalene Church now being locked). To use this service, please call the support group on 033 33 355254 to speak to a coordinator in complete confidence.

The group are collecting all tinned and dried food together with basic toiletries. Drop off points are Fiona Crabtree, Chris Clarke, Lisa Chinnery, Shaun Moffat and Bildeston Village Store.

Bildeston Primary School – Coronavirus update

Bildeston Primary school closed to most pupils as part of the response to the coronavirus outbreak. However, it was used as the main venue for children of key workers and vulnerable children from other local schools, including Whatfield CofE, Kersey Primary and Elmswell Primary schools. Many thanks to all the staff, teaching and ancillary, who carried on working looking after those children. You too are the unsung heroes alongside NHS staff, and the others now classified as ‘key workers’.