Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Staying Well at Home

Staying at home can be a difficult, frustrating and lonely time, so it’s important to remember to take care of your body and mind and to get support if you need it.

Advice for residents who are 'shielding'

The government has updated its guidance for people classed as 'shielding', those who are potentially most at risk from coronavirus.

View the latest Government guidance.

Around 2.5 million people in the UK, including more than 13,000 Rotherham residents were advised to stay at home as lockdown began, because they were identified as being at particularly high risk of needing hospital treatment for coronavirus symptoms.

People on the shielding list include solid organ transplant recipients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, pregnant women with heart disease and people with severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and severe asthma.

Changes to national guidance suggest that if you have been advised to shield you can now go out your home, however:

  • While the number of infections has come down, there is still a risk of catching COVID which may be more severe if you have an underlying health condition.
  • You should continue stay at home as much as possible, and work from home. You should continue to avoid crowded places, such as shops and public transport
  • If you feel you have to go out for your own wellbeing, you should limit the contact you have with other people. Remember to keep 2 metres apart from anyone outside your immediate household
  • It is important to keep washing your hands regularly or use hand sanitiser when you can’t wash your hands, and avoid touching your face.

Mental Wellbeing

It's natural to feel anxious during times of uncertainty, like during the current coronavirus outbreak.

Gov.uk has guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus. This includes information on what can help your mental health and wellbeing and staying at home, as well as guidance for those with specific mental health needs, people with a learning disability, autistic people, older people, and those living with dementia. Find out more.

Every Mind Matters offers expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. Find guidance, advice and tips on how to maintain your mental wellbeing if you need to stay at home as well as simple things you can do to maintain your mental wellbeing and deal with anxiety about coronavirus.

Visit the Every Mind Matters website

Be The One aims to reduce the numbers of lives lost to suicide in Rotherham. In this current situation, things may seem extremely worrying or stressful. Nobody should feel that suicide is the only way out of their current situation.

Everyone should have easy access to support and advice when they are feeling depressed, scared and alone, and we must all learn how to look out for one another and do our bit to help those in distress.

Visit the Be The One website to find the right support for you, or if you're worried about someone, advice on how you can talk, listen and care.

Five Ways To Wellbeing

We all have mental health, just like we have physical health and it’s important that we take steps to look after it, particularly during worrying times like the current coronavirus situation.

There are five steps, known as ‘Five Ways To Wellbeing’ which we can incorporate into our everyday lives to help with our mental health. You can find out more about Five Ways To Wellbeing here, and below are some ideas on things we can do whilst staying at home.

Be Active

Everyone must stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Under government measures, you can go out for one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household. Read the government guidance here.

It is important to keep active whilst you are working at home or self-isolating. There are some great tips on exercise that you can do whilst staying at home at:

Set yourself a challenge to get up and move about a least every hour. For your daily exercise session, try going for a walk or a jog down the street before you start work for the day – this can help you to feel like you have mentally ‘arrived’ at work. Doing the same when you finish your working day can help you to leave your work mindset behind and switch off.

Remember, you must follow government measures on social distancing by staying 2 metres away from other people, and follow good hygiene practice.

Children and Young People

There are lots of activities available online for children whilst they are at home. Why not try these workouts:

Older people

The Chief Medical Officer's physical activity guidance highlights the benefits of maintaining muscle strength, balance and flexibility. The NHS has several guides to gentle exercise:

10 Today is a set of fun 10-minute, audio and video workouts, designed by and for older people to keep you physically active, boost your wellbeing, and help maintain your mobility and balance.

Visit the 10 Today website

Connect

If you’re working from home, adapt your working style to make sure you keep in touch with your colleagues. Make sure you keep communication open with your team, as often and frequently as possible.

Why not share a selfie with colleagues and friends to show what you are up to and start a conversation. It can help you feel connected even if you’re working remotely. Find out how on the MHFA England website.

Virtual social sessions

If you usually schedule time in the workday for an activity or exercising with your colleagues/friends, continue to make time for this over webcam or phone. Here are some ideas:

  • Turning your morning or afternoon coffee break into a virtual coffee break
  • Sharing photo updates of your lunchtime run/walk
  • Video calling for craft session or cooking sessions
  • Daily online quiz sessions with your friends/colleagues
  • Say hello regularly to colleagues and friends on the phone, video messaging, WhatsApp

Give

Give time to yourself. Have a bath, read that book you’ve promised yourself you will read one day, or maybe start to learn a new skill that you’ve been wanting to try.

Give yourself a good night’s sleep. Mental Health Foundation has ten top tips on getting a good night’s sleep.

Give your time to other people - call people who might be living alone.

Always be kind to each other.

Keep Learning

Learning throughout life enhances self-esteem, increases confidence, encourages social interaction and generally leads to people having a more active life. This time staying at home is a great opportunity to learn something new. Why not take virtual cooking sessions with friends or grandparents; dig out that musical instrument that you have stored away and start learning again; or learn a new language.

If children are off school have a bit of structure to the day and introduce some fun learning activities.

Go out into the garden and grow some seeds. Learn the names of plants, build a bug house, make mud pies, make a list of the birds you have seen in your garden, camp in your garden, go star gazing at night, have a picnic in your garden.

Indoors, you could make a den, put chairs together and make a bus/boat, play shops, make things out of cardboard, paper planes, play musical statues or be super heroes

Get kids involved in making tea and jobs round the house, make cards for people, form your own musical band, have an indoor treasure hunt, play board games, finish that Christmas jigsaw, make a scrap book, create a time capsule or have a carpet picnic take pictures and share with friends. More ideas are available here.

Take Notice

Try and have a daily routine. Get up at the same time and try to have some structure, and try to distinguish between weekdays and weekends.

Although you may have some extra time in bed without a commute, aim to wake up around the same time every day. This helps stabilise your internal clock and improve your sleep overall. You’ll feel less tired, more refreshed, and find it easier to concentrate throughout the day. 

Keep to your established morning routine if you can – get ready, washed, and dressed as if you are going to the office. This will help you get into the mindset that you are at work.

Try to set aside a work area separate from your sleeping area, as this will help to prepare you for work mode and make it easier to switch off at the end of the day. You don’t need a home office to do this – a small desk set up in a corner of your room, or a laptop at the end of the kitchen table can do the trick. 

If you’re working with a small space, you could try setting up temporary ‘zones’ by hanging blankets or screens to visually separate your work area from your bed or living area. 

Watch the sunrise and sunset.

Children

With schools being closed, a change in routine and coronavirus constantly in the news, it can be a scary and worrying time for children. Mental Health Foundation has some tips on how to talk to children about what is happening here.

Tips and advice on how to look after your mental health during this time is available here.

Try to practice mindfulness regularly. Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time

Support for children and families

A range of information and support available for children, young people families who are worried about the coronavirus outbreak is available from the Rotherham SEND Local Offer website.

Resources include: guides on looking after children’s physical and mental wellbeing; speaking with children about the outbreak; guides on supporting learning from home; guides for those with sensory impairment; support for parents; and activities and games when staying at home.

Visit the Rotherham SEND Local Offer website

Get Healthy Rotherham

It is important to look after your mental and physical wellbeing during lockdown. If you want to make a change but need support, Get Healthy Rotherham is a free service designed to help you make healthy changes to your lifestyle. You may be eligible to receive the following support to:

  • help reduce your weight, including free access to Slimming World
  • help stop smoking, including free nicotine replacement therapy such as patches or gum
  • become more physically active
  • eat a healthier diet

All services provided by Get Healthy Rotherham are available either over the phone or through the Get Healthy Rotherham website, with lots of advice and guidance on how you can make positive long-term changes to your lifestyle.

Please visit www.gethealthyrotherham.co.uk or call 01709 718720 for more information.

Quit smoking

Government officials have recently advised that research into previous coronaviruses has shown that smoking makes the impact of a coronavirus worse. You can find local support to quit with Get Healthy Rotherham.

If you wish to stop smoking, advisors can provide personalised motivational support and access to nicotine replacement therapy.

Support is currently available by telephone only. Register now on the Get Healthy Rotherham website.

Support and advice is also available from Today Is The Day website, including a personal quit plan and the Smokefree app.

Help is also available via daily Twitter Quit Clinics with @QuitForCovid. Taking place 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm every day, you can ask a question on Twitter to help you #QuitforCovid.

Support for people with dementia and their families

Dementia UK have a series of webpages giving support and advice relating to the coronavirus outbreak. If families have any concerns about caring for someone with dementia through the coronavirus pandemic, they can call the dementia specialist Admiral Nurses on their Helpline on 0800 888 6678, or email [email protected]. The Helpline is open seven days a week, 9 am to 9 pm Monday to Friday, and 9 am to 5 pm on weekends.

The Dementia UK webpages are:

Information can also be found at:

Promoting positive mental wellbeing for older people

Older people, including those living in care homes, often experience depression, loneliness and low levels of satisfaction and wellbeing. This quick guide will help managers of care homes to identify older people’s individual needs and to improve their mental wellbeing by offering personalised support. Find out more here.

Herbert Protocol

These are unique times, frustrating and confusing for all of us. At these times those living with dementia are more vulnerable. Please remind your groups, supporters and families of the Herbert Protocol - a simple risk reduction tool to help police search for people with dementia who go missing. Find out more on the South Yorkshire Police website.

Observing Ramadan during COVID-19

As we progress through a range of holy festivals, worshipers of all different faiths may find it challenging to celebrate during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The holy month of Ramadan will soon begin, and everyone must continue to follow the public health guidelines at this time. You must observe Ramadan at home rather than by visiting the mosque.

Places of worship are finding new ways to broadcast over the internet and radio. This is a way to observe in the safety of your own home. Contact your local place of worship to see what is available to you or seek advice from The Muslim Council of Britain:

Visit the Muslim Council of Britain website

Stay at home:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • If you go out, stay two meters (6ft) away from other people at all times
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

Further guidance on COVID-19 and staying at home

Holy festivals and religious celebrations are often when communities come together to support those in need. There are opportunities to still do this while respecting social distancing.

Rotherham Heroes and Rotherham Community Hub are recruiting volunteers (individuals and businesses) to support vulnerable people in the borough.

Voluntary Action Rotherham can provide information about local initiatives in your community that need donations and volunteers.

If you or somebody you know needs help and support during the COVID-19 pandemic, please complete a request form here:

Request support here

Relationships Matter

The coronavirus outbreak is leading to big changes in the way we live our everyday lives. Our relationships will be hugely important for getting us through this but self-isolation, social distancing and other concerns may also place them under added pressure. You can find blogs, advice and tips for helping your relationships stay healthy during the pandemic.

Visit the Relationship Matters website

Domestic Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Covid-19

We know that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) will have a serious impact on the lives of women, children and men who are experiencing domestic abuse.

This is a difficult and stressful time for everyone. If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic or sexual abuse it will be even harder. This is because for most of us it will mean:

  • Increased time at home
  • Increased time in close proximity to the person causing harm
  • Increased emotional and financial stress
  • Increased isolation
  • Reduced family and social support
  • Increased risk of debilitating illness

Rotherham Helpline:

Rotherham Rise Confidential Advice Line: 0330 2020571

National Helplines:

  • Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (run by Refuge)
  • Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
  • Respect helpline: 0808 802 4040

(for anyone worried that they may be harming someone else)

  • Galop: 0800 999 5428

(national helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse)

  • Forced Marriage Unit: 0207 008 0151

If you suspect that an abuser is monitoring your internet usage, find out how to hide your browser history:

Women’s Aid also provides webchat, Monday to Friday 10am – 12pm.

Webchat with Women's Aid

Safety Plans:

If you have a safety plan review it with your support worker or consider creating one and sharing with a trusted friend or family member –You can use the Women’s Aid Survivors handbook:

Visit the Women's Aid handbook

You may want to consider:

  • Setting up code words for safe contact – so that you can text or message someone to let them know if things are difficult without alerting the person who is abusing you
  • Save the your support worker’s number under a pseudonym or different name e.g. as the health visitor, your manager, a friend – anything that is realistic and safe
  • Think about who you are having contact with – a worker, friends or family who can raise the alarm if you need emergency help
  • Think about where you can flee to if needed e.g. is there a neighbour or friend you can rely on?
  • Have you got a health visitor, do you know the local neighbourhood police officer? Is there another worker you can keep in touch with?
  • Think about what action you / your children can take if the situation gets worse at home – in an emergency how would you get out or raise the alarm?
  • Chayn have set up a Telegram channel which survivors can sign up to – they’ll be sharing supportive notes and helpful info every day

Visit Chayn website

  • There are also useful apps e.g. the Hollie Guard app which can also offer reassurance
  • Bright Sky app is currently available in English, Urdu, Punjabi or Polish and is free to download
  • If you are worried about your finances and the abuse making things worse at this difficult time there is advice and a new resource that you can access from Surviving Economic Abuse

Visit the Surviving Economic Abuse website

  • Safelives has published safety planning guidance for victims

Visit Safelives safety planning guidance

Housing issues: Housing advice services, refuges and other emergency accommodation are operating as normal.

Telephone: 01709 336009

Emergency/Out of hours: 07748 143170

Sexual Assault or Abuse

South Yorkshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre:

If you have recently been sexually assaulted you can ring 999 and report to the Police and they will refer you to Hackenthorpe Lodge (South Yorkshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre).

Visit Hackenthorpe Lodge website

Or you can ring Hackenthorpe Lodge direct to make an appointment on 0330 223 0938

The Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy Service

If you want support and advice please contact:

Telephone: 01709 835482

Email The Independent Sexual Violence Advocacy Service

The Rotherham Abuse Counselling Centre cannot offer face to face counselling while the situation continues but telephone support will be offered to people needing support. An Independent Sexual Violence Advisor will also be available to support victims of Sexual Abuse and violence on 01709 835482.

If it’s an emergency always ring 999.

If you are worried about a child:

If there is no immediate risk of significant harm, please complete a worried about a child form with details of your concerns online at:

  • Rotherham Safeguarding Children Partnership:

The Rotherham Safeguarding Children Partnership and its Safeguarding Partners are continuing to ensure that children and young people are safeguarded and protected across Rotherham during this unprecedented time. The Partnership will be seeking assurances that agencies are working together effectively to protect frontline services, keep their staff safe and key services running.

Visit the The Rotherham Safeguarding Children Partnership website

  • Rotherham Council:

You can also telephone the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (Mash) to discuss your concerns. We can help you decide if you need to make a referral: Tel: 01709 336080.

Go to the Rotherham Council webpage

If you are worried about an adult:

If it is an emergency call 999 or you have reason to believe a crime has been committed in a non-emergency situation contact the police on 101.

In other cases, you can contact us anonymously and in confidence to report suspected abuse or neglect in the following ways:

You report online at:

Fill in the online form to report suspected abuse or neglect of an adult

Or by contacting: 01709 822330

Your concerns will be taken seriously, and we will act promptly and appropriately.

To find out more about safeguarding adults in Rotherham, visit:

Information on safeguarding adults in Rotherham