Are you an isolated person and would rather ask for assistance via text message?

The Greater Manchester Community Hub are happy to help.  Text them on 07860 022876 and you will get a response by the next working day.

Please text them if you are isolated and need support with personal and/or household supplies, food, medicines, fuel bills, or even if you are just feeling lonely.

 

Testing

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), can book an appointment via the online national booking system.

You and your household should self-isolate immediately if you have:

  • a new continuous cough or
  • a high temperature or
  • a loss of or change in your normal sense of smell or taste

 

 

Driving tests

Driving lessons and theory tests will restart on Saturday 4 July 2020 in England, and car driving tests will restart from Wednesday 22 July 2020.

The rule applies to all types of driver and motorcycle training in England, including private practice with someone you live with or in your support bubble.

 

MOT testing back from 1 August

Mandatory MOT testing is to be reintroduced from 1 August 2020.

All drivers whose car, motorcycle or van is due for a MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue driving their vehicle.

Drivers with a MOT due date before 1 August will still receive a 6-month exemption from testing.

However, all vehicles must continue to be properly maintained and kept in a roadworthy condition, and people are able to voluntarily get their MOT sooner should they wish, even if they are exempt from the legal requirement.

 

Bolton’s COVID 19 community support hub

The hub is there to help extremely vulnerable people needing vital help with food, medicine and essential items.

Particularly those who have received letter telling them to shield themselves against Covid-19 such as organ transplant recipients, those undergoing immunotherapy and people with specific conditions.

For help call 01204 337221 (8.30am to 5.30pm Mon – Fri and Sat 9am to 1.30pm) or complete the online Support request form.

 

How to help safely

If you are helping others because they can’t go out please follow the government advice about to protect them and yourself.

It’s a great thing that you’re doing but please don’t be tempted to take selfies or other photos.

As well as keeping your distance, we also need to keep our vulnerable residents safe from people who might exploit them if they are identified on social media for example.

 

Feeling the pinch due to Covid-19?

If you are struggling financially at this difficult time, Bolton’s Money Skills Service offers free, confidential and impartial services to people who live, work or study in the borough, including Bolton Council employees. The service can help with:

  • homelessness prevention advice and assistance for mortgage and rent arrears
  • dealing with Council Tax and fuel arrears
  • affordable and realistic payment arrangements negotiated
  • advice and assistance with court forms including Debt Relief Orders (DRO), Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA), Bankruptcy

 

Save money on your energy bills

It may be a good time to have a look at your energy bills and match those with how you use energy at home. Perhaps another supplier can save you money. Bolton’s Money Skills can do the hard work for you by finding you the cheapest deal.

You can simply call on 01204 33 1983 or alternatively email us on moneyskills@bolton.gov.uk with the following information:

  • The name of your current supplier.
  • The name of your current tariff – usually found on your energy bill.
  • The amount of energy you use – annual consumption. This is the amount of gas and electricity in (kWh units) you have used over the last year. Usually found on your bill and annual statement. 
  • How you currently pay and would like to pay with a new supplier.
  • Your postcode.

For information about energy saving quick wins visit the Evergy Saving Trust website.

 

Concessionary travel update

Greater Manchester concessionary pass holders will no longer be able to travel for free on public transport before 9.30am on weekdays from Tuesday 2 June.

You can still travel for free on buses (and by tram and train if you’ve added these to your pass) after 9.30am Monday to Friday and all day on weekends and bank holidays.

The pre-9.30am travel offer was introduced for a set period only up until 1 June.

Please stay at home as much as possible. Keep public transport for those who have no other option – don’t use it unless you have to.

 

Safer walking, cycling and travelling in vehicles during coronavirus (COVID-19)

As more people will be returning to school and work it is important for everyone to know how they can travel safely during the current pandemic. 

This guidance provides useful for information for different modes of transport - walking, cycling, using private vehicles (for example cars and vans), and travelling by taxis and public transport (for example trains, buses, coaches and ferries).

 

Childcare and education places for keyworkers

If you are a keyworker and there are no other suitable alternative arrangements, a childcare or education place will be made available.

To access a place:

  1. Speak to your child's current childcare or school and see if they can accommodate your needs
  2. If they are not open or are not able to meet your needs, you can ring the One Stop Shop on 01204 337220 to request support to find a place.

If your child is accessing childcare/school because you are a keyworker, you will need a letter from your manager to confirm your role is covered by the 'key worker' (critical worker) criteria set by the Government.

 

Bolton College

The first issue of ‘The Bolton Family’, Bolton College’s new e-magazine for Bolton residents, created with Bolton Council has just been launched. 

The magazine is packed full of information such as volunteering and job opportunities, useful contact information, spring cleaning tips, how to succeed with home learning, and book recommendations. You can read the magazine here.

 

Bolton at Home

Bolton at Home are providing regular updates on how they are delivering services differently and other ways they are trying to keep people safe. They have provided information on essential services, help for money worries, support for older tenants, emergency repairs, closure of UCAN centres and reception areas, postponed community events, and help for those worried about domestic abuse.

For further information and for advice about paying your rent, please visit their website.

 

GOV.UK WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service

A new GOV.UK WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service has now been launched. The purpose of this product is to combat the spread of misinformation propagated through WhatsApp on an official government channel.  To use the service, members of the public simply add +44 7860 064422 to their contacts and send a WhatsApp message saying “Hi”.

 

Coronavirus information for children

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust has created some information specifically for children to help them understand what coronavirus is, the importance of hand washing and how to stop the virus spreading. Please see a video and factsheet containing the information.

 

National voucher scheme if you receive free school meals

The Government has issued updated guidance on free schools meals. A national voucher scheme has been set up for those schools that cannot provide pupils with meals or food parcels .

 

Easy to read guides

Public Health England have put together an easy-read guide to looking after your mind and body during this difficult time.

Similar guides are available for social distancing, staying at home and shielding. If you, or someone you care for, needs help to understand the new measures – then take a look at these clear and simple summaries.

 

Coronavirus advice in other languages

If you require guidance in another language, independent humanitarian movement Doctors of the World has produced advice in 35 different languages.

 

Beware of Covid-19 scams

Residents are being warned to be aware of scams connected to the coronavirus. These scams could take many forms - online, doorstep, refund, telephone, donation, counterfeit scams and free school meals e-mail scams. For advice on scams call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06. Report scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

 

Keeping up to date with immunisations and vaccinations

During the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it is particularly important that children and families are still vaccinated against serious diseases, such as measles and meningitis.

Babies and toddlers in particular need vaccinations to protect them from many infections including measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, diphtheria, whooping cough, meningitis, polio, tetanus, tuberculosis and more. 

Families and children should continue to receive vaccinations offered through the Childhood Immunisation Programme so that there is no resurgence of these highly infectious diseases in our communities and to protect the most vulnerable.

 

Reporting of discarded needles

If you see any discarded needles in public places or you are aware of any that require disposing of safely, contact the Sharps hotline number on freephone 0800 731 9835 for a speedy response and advice.

The service is free of charge for any needles found in public places throughout Bolton.

 

Free Metrolink travel

Some Bolton residents may use the Metrolink to get to work. From Saturday 11 April NHS staff and people working in social care will be able to travel for free on Metrolink to make essential journeys.  For more information please visit the TfGM coronavirus webpage.