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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Coronavirus - Sunday update

It was a much quieter day on Facebook yesterday for messages about the coronavirus crisis.

But there were still a number of posts aiming to get information across to concerned local people.  

The Llangollen Zero Waste and Food Share Project, for instance, said: “We are now OPEN every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 2pm - 2.30pm at Pengwern Community Centre.

“We are here to help everyone who is struggling and we understand that the current crisis has put many more people in financial difficulty.  PLEASE DO NOT GO WITHOUT FOOD.

“We have enough supplies to support everyone in need. Please point people in our direction, including over 70s, people in isolation and anyone who is vulnerable, or contact us on their behalf.

“You can contact us using the message button on our Facebook page or phone us on 07710 789 854.  We will respond as soon as we can.  Please be patient, we are run entirely by unpaid volunteers.

“However, we ask that you only use our services if you need to: if you can afford to buy food but can't get to the shops there are delivery services and volunteers available to support you: visit the Llangollen Coronavirus Help Page and see the Coronavirus Newsletter for phone numbers.

“Please message or phone us in advance before 2pm on our opening days if you would like to collect a food parcel during our opening times for yourself or someone in need.  Let us know how many adults and children it is for, and how long it needs to last.

“Social distancing applies when collecting from Pengwern Community Centre as follows:

- You cannot come inside the Community Centre
- The ramp is too narrow for 2 people to pass. - Wait on the car park keeping 2m apart
- One at a time come up the ramp onto the decking
- Your parcel will be put out on the decking
- Wait until the person in front of you has left the ramp before you walk onto it.

“If you are unable to collect, and no one can collect for you, volunteers can deliver to your home.  Please phone or message us before 2pm on our opening days for delivery that day.

“Calls and messages after that will not be delivered until our next opening day. Delivery volunteers will drop your parcel outside your door, knock or ring the bell, and step away a few metres.”

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes (pictured) took to Facebook to tell his constituents that: “The government has launched a new #Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. Get official advice and information about coronavirus directly from the UK Government. Get started by WhatsApping ‘hi’ to 07860 064422.”

* Father Lee Taylor has been streaming services and prayers
live on Facebook during the coronavirus crisis.
Llangollen vicar, Father Lee Taylor, posted that his thoughts had been included in an article featured in, the online resource of the Qatari-based international news channel.  

The subject was how coronavirus is changing funeral rites, mourning and grief.

The article said: “In Llangollen, a rural town in northern Wales, Father Lee Taylor presides over four churches scattered in the area.

“He said social distancing measures had devastated the vulnerable, elderly members of his congregation who relied on Sunday church notices for information.
“‘People are dying in my community, and I'm not able to tell [their friends] because they're not on social media,’” he told Al Jazeera.
“He said his pastoral practice felt regimented and apathetic at a time when physical touch and presence were a critical source of consolation.
“‘Traditionally, when somebody dies, I visit the next of kin in the family. Being alongside people physically, being next to them, having a cup of tea, putting a hand on their shoulder, praying with them as you hold their hand, it's such an essential part of that pastoral work.
“‘When someone dies, you feel isolated as it is. You're out in the wilderness. With these restrictions and isolation measures, it's ten times as worse.’"

Via Facebook, Father Less put out the message that mass will once again be streamed live at 11am today.:
He added: "Downloaded the order of service from our website:
"Please share and start a 'watch party'.
"Send any prayer requests, names of those who are sick or departed you would like prayed for during the live feed."
Yesterday saw a press release issued by North Wales Police on the subject of coronavirus and still hammering home the “stay at home” message.
It said: “As the Coronavirus epidemic develops and with the introduction of stricter restriction on peoples movements nationally, North Wales Police are urging members of the public to use their services wisely and help keep the 999 line free for emergencies only.
“The call is being made as the Force has seen a significant increase in the amount of calls they have received over the last week, in particular calls regarding matters unrelated to police and non-urgent matters being reported via 999.
“Superintendent Neil Thomas, who is in charge of the Force’s Control Room in St Asaph said: ‘This week has been another challenging one for North Wales Police with a surge of public calls into the control room from people trying to seek clarification on various issues related to the coronavirus. Whilst I appreciate that people are calling us in good faith, these calls are dealt with by emergency call handlers who are already working on high demand and reduced staffing levels. I would like to emphasise that we have well-rehearsed plans in place to ensure that we continue to provide a service the public.
‘However, unnecessary calls into the control room is having a significant impact on our ability to deal with genuine calls and is putting people’s lives at risk. Please only call the police when necessary and do not revert to dialling 999 if we are unable to answer your 101 calls or webchat.
‘The volume of calls has grown significantly and there has been a large increase in the amount of people contacting us via live webchat and emails. I want to encourage people to continue using the live webchat and email functions for non-urgent police matters. Thank you to everyone who has been doing this already in an effort to reduce the demand on our emergency call handlers, who are already working extremely hard to continue to support our response to incidents.
‘We have also seen an increase in the number of reports being made to us relating to potential breaches of Government guidelines on social distancing and isolation. Our initial approach will be to engage with people who are found not abiding to the guidelines before explaining why these rules are important and encouraging them to follow them. If they are not compliant, then as a last resort we will enforce the emergency legislation brought in this week where necessary.
“Supt Thomas added: ‘We are urging the public that if they are seeking advice around COVID-19 and what it means for them, they should refer themselves to the UK Government, Welsh Government and Public Health Wales websites for information and guidance. This will enable our call takers and officers to focus purely on policing matters and ensure resources are being utilised effectively.’”

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