New arrangements for Covid-19 testing
Arrangements for using Covid-19 mobile testing facilities in Bridgend County Borough have changed. The former testing centre based in the Bowls Hall car park of Bridgend Life Centre is now closed. This has been replaced by a new mobile testing facility located at the Evergreen Hall, which can be found at the end of the Civic Offices building in Angel Street, Bridgend. The new centre is available for walk-in tests seven days a week between 9am-3.30pm. A second mobile testing facility has also been opened at the Richard Price Centre in Llangeinor, and is available between 9am-5pm seven days a week. No booking is required, but please only attend if you are showing symptoms of coronavirus such as a high temperature, a new persistent cough, or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell. Queuing should be expected, so please remember to wear a mask, and be prepared to provide your name, date of birth, address and mobile phone number. Once tested, return home and self-isolate until you receive your results. Visit the council website for more information.
Temporary service changes are in place at hospitals across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board region as a result of the pandemic. In Bridgend County Borough, a small number of cases of Covid-19 have been identified at Maesteg Hospital. A ward has been closed as health professionals continue to take all necessary measures to reduce further spread of the virus. Anyone who has queries or concern can contact a helpline on 01685 726464 between 9am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Pandemic restrictions remain in place
Welsh Government has confirmed that pandemic restrictions will remain in place for the foreseeable future. The restrictions, have been imposed following a rise in local cases of coronavirus and form part of efforts to prevent the pandemic from spreading further. Similar interventions are also in place at Cardiff, Caerphilly, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Wrexham, Torfaen, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Llanelli, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy and the Vale of Glamorgan. While the restrictions are in place, extended temporary households can no longer form unless one of the households features just a single adult living alone. Residents need to work from home wherever possible, and people cannot leave, enter or remain away from the area without reasonable excuse. Licensed premises must stop serving alcohol at 10pm, close by 10:20pm and remain shut until 6am the following day. Businesses and schools remain open with appropriate precautions in place, but indoor and outdoor visits to care homes are suspended. People can travel out of the area to provide and access care, including childcare. For more details, visit the coronavirus page at the Gov.Wales website.
Public toilets open at Bridgend market
New wheelchair-accessible public toilet facilities will open this weekend at Bridgend Indoor Market. With a 30p charge which will go towards their upkeep and maintenance, the toilets will also include baby-changing facilities. The new toilets have been built in partnership with market traders, the Rhiw Shopping Centre and Bridgend Town Council, who provided £10,000 towards the cost, and will be managed by the market traders association with cleaning support from the local authority. The toilets form the latest phase in a planned revamp which has already seen the creation of a ‘market square’ which can be used for customer seating, specialist events, family entertainment and as a children’s play area. The exterior of the market has been improved with the relocation of the historic 1837 market bell and a series of large wall panels detailing the rich history of the market, and the council has also introduced a new rent system and flexible lease terms for stallholders.
A community pantry scheme is running to support people who may be struggling to get to local shops or who are experiencing difficulties affording weekly groceries due to issues such as limited mobility, vulnerability and more. The scheme, which is organised by Reach and Elipse, provides people with a bag of food ranging from cupboard staples and family favourites to fresh fruit and vegetables in exchange for a weekly £5 subscription. Delivery can be arranged if necessary, and you can find out more by visiting Special Families at the Fairfield Centre in Maesteg on Mondays and Wednesdays (01656 856950), Lewistown TRA House between 3pm-5pm on Wednesdays (07970 862840), Bryncethin Community Centre between 2pm-4pm on Thursdays (07473 888876), Nantymoel Community Hub between 11am-1pm on Thursdays (07703 888004), and Community Church in Aberkenfig between 10am-12noon on Fridays (07985 153777).
Keep up to date with details of which foodbanks are open and how they can be accessed during the ongoing outbreak by visiting the Bridgend Foodbank website or checking their social media pages.
Civic Offices ‘goes green’
The Civic Offices and the Old Bridge in Angel Street, the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl and the Angelton Clinic in Bridgend will all be turning green this weekend to mark World Mental Health Day. The buildings will all be illuminated and change colour to shine a light on the support and help that is available for mental health. Other community and voluntary groups are being encouraged to join in on Saturday, 10 October by decorating their premises in green. Anyone who is experiencing issues with their mental health can contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647 or visit www.mentalhealthsupport.co.uk
Looking out for children and adults
The Bridgend Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is continuing to provide safeguarding services for vulnerable children and adults. You can report concerns about a child to 01656 642320 or firstname.lastname@example.org, while concerns about adults can be directed to 01656 642477 or adultsafeguardingMASH@bridgend.gov.uk. For more information, visit the MASH page.
Don’t miss your chance to vote
Did you know that as well as ensuring that you can cast your vote and have your say in forthcoming elections, being on the electoral register can help you to avoid problems with obtaining credit, passports, mortgages, mobile phone contracts and more? To ensure that as many people can benefit as possible, council staff are currently calling at specific addresses to support households that have yet to register throughout the county borough, and are carrying full identification. To find out more about how you can register to vote, visit the electoral page at the council’s website.