Our Community During Coronavirus
How You Can Help
We know that many of you want to get out there and do what you can for our vulnerable, including the elderly, homeless and those in in food poverty and people that our isolated. Here are some ways you can help the most vulnerable in and around the Quarter and boost your own wellbeing too by giving – even if you are stuck at home for now.
Charities supporting the vulnerable, including the homeless, are currently in desperate need of extra funds to support their operations – in particular, for deliveries, shelter, fuel and food:
– Foodcycle has moved from providing hot meals at St Paul’s church for the vulnerable to providing a takeaway/delivery service. Donate here.
– North Paddington Food Bank – particularly needs funds for fuel for deliveries and food. Donate here
– Fareshare – a charity which collects food from hotels and other businesses and redistributes to those in need. Donate here
– WLM Seymour Place Night Centre – which helps homeless people who are close to the job market or already working but can’t afford to pay rent and live in their own accommodation – has been suspended in consultation with Westminster City Council, with all service users being redirected to a hotel with all their expenses covered by WLM. Please consider donating to help them continue to provide services to these very vulnerable groups during this period. Donate here
– St Mungos – offers beds and support to some of our most vulnerable people, and works to prevent and support homelessness and recovery. In these current circumstances St Mungo’s knows that homeless people are far more likely to have health problems that put them at a higher risk of getting ill as a result of coronavirus. With the cancellation of its usual fundraising activity, St Mungo’s is desperately trying to raise funds and vital supplies to help support this vulnerable group of people. Donate here
– StreetLink – if you are concerned about someone sleeping rough refer them via StreetLink to help connect them with local services. This is even more crucial now there are less people on the streets being able to refer rough sleepers to StreetLink
– Support from companies with a delivery capacity to help with food and pharmacy deliveries – if you or one of your contacts might be able to help contact Kate
– Clothing donations for the homeless – if you or one of your contacts might be able to help contact Kate
– Food donations to support food banks – if you or one of your contacts might be able to help contact Kate
Perhaps consider donating your train fare for this week if you’re working from home?
Please do get in touch with our Smarter Giving Manager, Kate if:
- You are based locally and would like to volunteer your time to assist with deliveries and practical support
- You are unable to get in to the Quarter but interested in volunteering your time to call the elderly or isolated
We are co-ordinating with our local charities, Westminster City Council, local residents and the Marylebone Association to ensure assistance is focused where it is most needed.
Supporting local businesses – We are keen to support local businesses now more than ever. There are a range of businesses that are still operating, whether that’s looking after NHS with free/discounted food and beverages, offering take away options or an option to purchase vouchers. We are updating and adding to this list list as things change, please do contact us if you are a local business and want to be added.
Helping Key Workers – Westminster City Council are asking businesses if they can help provide parking and PPE for Key Workers.
The Council needs to find more parking for key workers such as health care professionals, GPs and Pharmacies and this need is likely to increase over the coming weeks. All offers will be considered by the Council’s parking teams and would be gratefully received.
PPE Equipment – Businesses who hold stock of Personal Protection Equipment – such as face masks, gloves, overshoes, hairnets, aprons – and are not using them are being asked if they can offer these for use by the Council’s critical services. They are grateful to food outlets and others who have already offered these up. This need is critical and increasing.
Financial Donation – for Westminster Connects/ Food – supporting the council’s Unity Café provide over 400 meals a day for the homeless and/or coordination of food support with charity/community partners for the vulnerable.
If you can help with these requests please contact the Westminster Connects email address [email protected] or complete the webform to register your interest https://www.westminster.gov.uk/coronavirus-how-you-can-help
Working From Home and Staff Wellbeing
We’re moving some of our wellbeing activities online for the time being. Below we’ve outlined some top tips and online resources to support our Quarter’s working community during this period, especially if they are working from home.
Over the following weeks we will be creating a virtual community platform to maintain our Quarter’s community spirit, we will host free workshops, webinars and workouts – watch this space! Please do get in touch if you are a local business and would like to get involved.
- Free online Mindfulness and Meditative Practice – Join us at 2pm on Thursday 9 April for a free 45-minute introduction into how mindfulness and meditative practice can support your overall wellbeing. Hosted by the University of Westminster’s experienced practitioner, Yusuf Kaplan. Register now.
- Working from home – For many of us, this will be a completely different way of working, so we’ve teamed up with leading physiotherapist, West1 Physio for tips on how to set up your work space read it here.
- To help protect your workforce from the risks associated with coronavirus, the British Safety Council are offering a range of FREE online resources and short courses for employers and employees, access it here.
And from our Quarter some fun activities to do:
Natural Kitchen – Make Natural Kitchen’s famous and delicious Greek style lamb burgers at home. More recipes to come.
Home House – The G&T is the quintessentially British drink to end all others. But what is the magic formula for the perfect one? Home House’s Head of Bars Nikolett reveals the secret of how to create the nation’s favourite drink at home.
KOBOX – Strength, cardio and core workouts with brilliant personal trainers.
Safety, Security and our Street Team
Safety and Policing – We are in touch with the Police and Safer West End regularly and monitoring crime trends during these unprecedented times. Updates including Police advice are being provide via our Incident Alerts system. Do get in touch [email protected] with anything of note or concern.
BakerstreetQ Street Safety Team – Our Street Safety Team are on adapted schedule for the time being and are contactable via the usual channels – please do get in touch – even just to say ‘hello’ – it is very quiet out there.
Policing Update – Policing in the area is currently business as usual. The Police ask that if you have any concerns regarding crime, especially coronavirus-related hate crime you contact [email protected]
The Metropolitan Police have provided advice on closed premises and anti-social behaviour which you can find here.
Reporting crime online – Anyone who wants to report a crime (non-emergency) in London is asked to do so via the Metropolitan Police’s website or by tweeting @MetCC. The public should only call 999 in an emergency.
Business Advice and Support Hub
Support for Businesses
Government Coronavirus Business Support Website – Information to help businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply here. Information on referral of VAT payments here. Coronavirus WhatsApp Information Service – add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp to get it started.
Business rates holiday for all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses – You will shortly, or may already have received your 2020/21 Business Rate bill – this will show the levels of business rate prior to the new relief announcements. The Council will be writing to businesses that are affected by the enhanced reliefs as soon as possible. Business rates accounts will be adjusted where necessary and revised business rates bills will be issued.
Advice for Businesses
Guidance for employers and businesses:
- Government guidance here
- Seddons advice on employment matters here
- Seddons latest information on furloughing staff here
Other important information:
NHS advice here
Working from home advice here
Mental health and wellbeing advice here
The latest information from Transport for London here
Police advice on empty premises and anti-social behaviour here