This update includes information on:
• Regional testing centre update
• Emergency foster carers
• Learning disability day services to reopen
• Mobile phone app launched to help support veterans
• Vote for Gladstone Pottery and Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
• Face coverings on public transport
Regional testing centre update
The bet365 Stadium was upgraded on May 29 from a satellite testing site for NHS and key workers only to a regional testing centre for wider residents to be tested. As a satellite centre, it received between 20-40 people a day. It is now receiving an average of 230 people a day. The total figure of people tested at the centre is 2,283, between May 29 and June 7.
The facility has the capacity to test up to 1,000 people a day, so it is coping with demand and there is scope for more people to be tested. Stafford’s regional testing centre at Stafford Education and Enterprise Park opened on June 4.
The opening of the regional testing centre at the bet365 Stadium follows a campaign by the council and partners. We lobbied government on a number of occasions, and are pleased to see it being well used.
The testing centres are run by the National Testing Programme. Tests can be booked in the following ways:
- For essential workers (including NHS, Social Care, Police and Fire): https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-essential-workers.
- For care homes use the care home portal: https://www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test-care-home.
- For members of the public who are eligible visit the NHS portal: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test.
Full criteria of who is eligible to be tested can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.
Emergency foster carers
During the pandemic, there are more and more children in need of temporary care. We are looking for local people with a spare bedroom and a big heart who can offer a safe home to one of our children in need.
We have around 940 children in our care and placements can range from a few days, weekends only or full-time. Our fostering service provides full training and support to help you. We want to keep Stoke-on-Trent children in the city where they belong. But to do this we need your help.
We currently have 294 fostering households across the city who do a brilliant job in supporting local children.
Despite the myths there really is no typical foster carer. Anyone can come forward and make such a big difference in a child’s life regardless of age, gender, religious or cultural background, sexual orientation, whether or not you work, or if you are married, single or divorced. Our friendly team will be more than happy to talk you through the process step-by-step.
Learning disability day services to reopen
We recognise that local carers have taken on additional caring responsibilities over the past few months and they will be pleased to know that there will be increased opportunity to access our learning disability day services from Monday, June 15. This will ensure the needs of our vulnerable residents can continue to be met while enabling our valued carers to have the additional support they need to continue providing the crucial care that they offer on a day to day basis.
We will be opening Waterside and The Meadows day centres. Social distancing measures and signage have been put in place and PPE has been provided for staff members to wear. We have carefully considered the
numbers of people using the service at any one time to ensure safety of individuals and staff and appropriate transport has been arranged.
Mobile phone app launched to help support veterans
A new mobile phone app, developed by Northumbria University’s Northern Hub for Veterans and Military Families Research and the US tech firm RippleNami, Inc, has been launched to help support veterans across the UK. The Veterans’ Gateway, a 24-hour service for veterans’ support, has been funded by the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces Covenant TrustFund.
The first of its kind in the UK, the Veterans’ Gateway app provides a comprehensive interactive digital directory of all services available for almost three million veterans across the country.
Vote for Gladstone Pottery and Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
Gladstone Pottery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery have been nominated for the Kids in Museums, Family Friendly Museum Award from Home. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s Family Friendly Museum Award has been cancelled and instead are holding the Family Friendly Museum Award From Home to celebrate how museums and heritage sites have supported families through lockdown.
If you have enjoyed the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery’s new home learning section on their website or their themed VE Day activities last month, nominate the museum for the award here.
If you have enjoyed the Gladstone’s online drawing challenges and Potbank puzzles nominate the museum for the award here.
The closing date is Tuesday, June 30 and the Family Friendly Museum Award winners will be announced in October.
Face coverings on public transport
As per the Transport Secretary’s announcement last week, wearing face coverings on public transport will be mandatory in England from Monday June 15.
Please be aware:
- The new guidance refers to face coverings – not surgical masks – which you can easily make at home.
- Exemptions will be made for very young children, the disabled and those with breathing difficulties.
- You can be refused travel if you don’t comply and could be fined. Alongside transport operators, this will be enforced by the British Transport Police, as necessary.
You can find the Transport Secretary’s full statement here.