Don’t let the lockdown get you down

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week (18 to 24 May), the council is urging residents who are experiencing mental distress due to the pandemic where they can seek help and support. The effects of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic on people’s mental health is of major concern, and the World Health Organisation has urged people to seek help if they develop signs of mental illness such as long-lasting sadness or irritability, extremely high and low mood, excessive fear, worry, or anxiety, social withdrawal, or dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits. Visit the council website for further links to help and support such as Samaritans Cymru (116 123), Mind Charity (0300 1233393), Welsh Womens Aid (0808 8010800), Calan DVS (01656 766139), Childline (0800 1111), NHS Direct Wales (0845 4647) and more.

Events at council and Awen venues

Bridgend County Borough Council and Awen Cultural Trust have agreed to reschedule or cancel all events that were due to take place between now and the end of September 2020 at venues such as the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl. The decision follows the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and has been taken to protect residents and visitors alike. It also takes into account updated advice and guidance from Welsh Government and Public Health Wales on the likely stages the country will move through once the current lockdown is over, and what the expectations are likely to be for cultural venues such as theatres and cinemas.

Council contacting vulnerable residents

Thousands of ‘shielded’ vulnerable residents have been contacted over the last few weeks to check that they are managing during the pandemic. Following letters from Welsh Government advising them to stay at home, council staff have been contacting residents to check on their wellbeing and signpost them to help and support. If no one answers after three attempts, the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations arranges for an accredited volunteer to knock on their door and check that they are ok. The council is also delivering a leaflet to all residents featuring important contact numbers for safeguarding, general mental health and wellbeing, and more.

More than 2,160 business grants approved

Business grants processed by Bridgend County Borough Council currently stand at 2,162 with £26.8m awarded to local businesses. The support is available for businesses that are eligible for small business rates relief in Wales and who occupy premises with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. It also includes those who fall under small business rates relief but who do not currently pay business rates, and retail, leisure or hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £12,001 to £51,000. Applications can be made by completing the online form.

Number plate system for site reopenings

When community recycling sites reopen for essential visits only on Tuesday 26 May, access will be via an odds-and-even number plate system which has been successfully used elsewhere in the UK. If the last number of a vehicle number plate is even – i.e. 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 – that vehicle will be granted access on Wednesday 27, Friday 29 and Sunday 31 May, and Tuesday 2, Thursday 4 and Saturday 6 June. This will apply to plates reading e.g. VH92 GHD or RECYL8 where the last numbers – ‘2’ and ‘8’ – are both even. If the last number of the vehicle number plate is odd – i.e. 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 – then that vehicle will be allowed to enter a site on Tuesday 26, Thursday 28 and Saturday 30 May, and Monday 1 June, Wednesday 3 June, Friday 5 June and Sunday 7 June. This will apply to plates reading e.g. GJ25 HJK or PRIV8 A3 where the last numbers – ‘5’ and ‘3’ – are both odd. Further details and a schedule for the recycling centres will be made available at the council’s website before the sites reopen.

Social care opportunities

More people are being sought to help support the county borough’s most vulnerable residents. A number of employment opportunities are available, and anyone who has previously worked in social care or who has transferable skills is invited to apply. A fast-tracked application process and rapid refresher training course are available. To apply or find out more, visit the job pages at the council’s website.

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