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Changes to the Royal Mail

From LAST Saturday, the 2nd May, Royal Mail won’t be delivering normal post on a Saturday.  Post will still be collected from post boxes on a Saturday and also registered post and parcels will still be delivered. They are obviously struggling with staffing levels at the moment.

This news seems not to have been read by our post man on Saturday, who turned up with his shiny new van as normal.



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Household Waste Recovery Centres (tips) are reopening TODAY, Monday 4 May.

If you’re one of the people who has been clearing stuff out and is now wondering what to do with it. If your war with flora in the garden has left a mountain of dead and dying weeds and cuttings.

As outlined in DEFRA guidance, journeys to waste sites are only allowed under the lockdown restrictions if the waste materials cannot be stored at home without causing risk of injury or harm to Restrictions will apply. The Berwick site will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To make sure that each facility can operate in line with Public Health England guidelines, and to protect the health and safety of our staff and our residents, restrictions will be put in place.

Strict social distancing measures will be in place, which means that the number of visitors will be limited. Residents should be aware that this may result in queuing traffic due to these restrictions.

There may be significant demand in the first few days following the reopening. Should very long queues form, residents may be asked to leave and come back at a later date.

Hopefully, the pile of rotting vegetation by the back door, and the collection of scrap metal and broken toys you have been storing on behalf of Northumberland County Council is lethal enough to warrant its safe disposal!


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Coronavirus update

I hope you are all well. Once more I am emailing with the latest news, and how to get the information you might need.

Expansion of testing
Testing for Covid-19 has now been expanded once more to allow the following to be eligible:

  • all essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms (see the full list of essential workers)
  • anyone over 65 with symptoms
  • anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers)

We will also test anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus that lives with those identified above.

In addition, we’re also testing:

  • social care workers and residents in care homes (with or without symptoms) both to investigate outbreaks and, following successful pilots, as part of a rolling programme to test all care homes
  • NHS workers and patients without symptoms where there is a clinical need, in line with NHS England guidance

You can find out more about what the tests involve  HERE. If you meet the criteria and have symptoms, you can self-refer HERE.

Bounce back loans
The Chancellor has announced new small loans to help smaller businesses through these times.  They will range from £2,000 to £50,000 and will be available from Monday 4th May.

There will be no repayments for the first 12 months, and the Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months.

You can find out more about that HERE.

Funding for Northumberland County Council
An additional £1.6 billion funding has been announced for local authorities, bringing the total extra funding package for dealing with Covid-19 to £3.2 billion.

Of that, Northumberland County Council will receive an extra £19,105,111 to tackle issues faced by the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

Northumberland County Council has done a sterling job making sure our vulnerable residents receive the support they need, and administering the grants to businesses to help them get through these difficult times, in fact it is in the top 4 local authorities for administering the funds.

Each local authority will be able to decide how best to spend the money where it is most needed.  You can find out more about this funding HERE.


As ever, please do get in touch via annemarie.trevelyan.mp@parliament.uk if you need my help.

Best wishes

Anne-Marie Trevelyan


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The Village Hall is to be used for the production of PPE for the NHS.
Annie Robinson is involved with a Northumberland project to produce washable gowns for the NHS. The village hall is to be used as a depot to store and cut out material to make these. She is hoping that local sewers and seamsters would like to contribute.
Peter Calder of the Village Hall Committee says: “We are happy to open up the hall for this, and we will make a donation to buy material.”
Annie and Davis Robinson went down yesterday and set it up with 3 double tables spaced out, 5 small tables laid out with materials, cotton quilt covers, threads etc and sets of Isolation Gown Patterns.
Annie adds: “Commencing today, Thursday, at 10.30. Fiona from Kemping Moss is going in to collect some elastic and cut out some material. Helen Evans
is making some bias binding for Fiona so will go along to assess what she needs. Lynne will go along as she too is making  gowns and will get some advice. All socially distancing procedures will be adopted.
Good news for the the village, and for the fight to beat the virus. Stay Safe! Protect the NHS! Save Lives!
And raise an extra cheer for Annie and her team at 8.00pm tonight!


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Who’d have thought when all this started that we’d still be battling away in week 5? Well, we’re still pretty much clear of Covid-19 here in our patch and if we continue to behave as requested there’s every chance that we’ll remain that way. But things could happen and we could have members of our communities who catch the virus and end up in hospital. So, we need to keep our guard up and continue to try to support one another whilst sticking to the rules!

the news this week

  • Do you know about the Thursday fish van from Ross Dougal from Eyemouth (the same firm that has the van in Berwick Market)?  He comes to Bowsden and Lowick on a Thursday afternoon and you can arrange a delivery by phoning – 01890 751911
  • There’s a tight community feel developing up there in Holburn. Susan Graham (01289 388695) is the person to call if you need help locally (she’s also on Lowick Parish Council). Holborn is largely looking after itself and will let us know if they need anything extra.
  • There’s a scheme offered by Bell View of sharing books and we’re thinking of taking part. They’d delivery to the Lowick Village Store some safely wiped books in three categories – crime, thriller and general – and people would be able to pick them up or we could arrange for delivery if people are isolating. And we thought we could extend the offer through offering some DVDs and I’ve already had some offered by 2 households. Is this worth a try?

Jane Pannell
Keeping Lowick and District Connected


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Here at Northumberland County Blind Association, we have had to suspend all face to face services and social groups.

We have developed a ring a round service, where our volunteers are calling all of our clients to keep intouch to reduce isolation, and to let them know we care at this difficult time.

We are desperate for more volunteers, if you think anyone in your organisation can help us and can come with a recommendation, we would like to hear from you. We have some guidelines which we will issue to each volunteer and a point of contact for safeguarding issues should they arise.

Please help us to help some of the most isolated people in our communities across Northumberland.

Contact us by emailing barry.frost@ncba.org.uk or lynn.woods@hotmail.co.uk

Julie Boyack
Chief Officer





Or you can collect (on behalf of a client) from Lindisfarne Adult Learning centre Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9am – 11.30am

Wednesday 1pm – 3.30pm

Email; alnwickdistrictfoodbank@gmail.com or Text 07498488797 to make an apt.

  • Amble – Email: amblefoodbank@aol.com and they will contact person.
  • Berwick – Telephone 01289 303366 to arrange collection.
  • Wooler – Temporary new home in Cheviot Centre. Call 01668 282406 or email ggtadmin@wooler.org.uk if you require help. Open Monday – Friday 10am – 3pm but MUST ring first.
  • Longhoughton – Collection point at Company B Café Call Charlotte – 07539774844



Our information and signposting service is still here for you during the coronavirus outbreak so if you would like any information about, or help accessing, health, care or support services please get in touch with us in one of the ways listed below.

During this time of the coronavirus outbreak we are sharing information on local services, changes to existing services and where people can access help and support, through our Facebook and Twitter pages and through our website and newsletters. We have a dedicated website page which brings together current information and advice for people in Northumberland:


The page has information on self-isolating and shielding, plus help with mental health and official guidance from the government and the NHS.

Northumberland Communities Together

Northumberland County Council has set up a Community Response Hub, for those struggling to manage at home and needing support for basic things like food. If you, or anyone you know needs assistance the number to call is: 01670 620015, or you can email: northumberlandcommunitiestogether@northumberland.gov.uk. Lines are open 9.00am – 6.00pm, seven days a week.


If you are worried about the immediate welfare (health or well-being) of a child or adult contact Onecall – 01670 536400 – 24 hour service, every day.

 Ways to get in touch with Healthwatch Northumberland:

Telephone: 03332 408468

Email: info@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk

Text: 07413 385275

Website: healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk

Or via Facebook and Twitter



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My latest video on support for employers and employees.


Good morning, I wanted to summarise a number of developments and share more information on them.

Testing, studies and vaccines

Starting today, all essential workers (find the qualifying list HERE) and members of their households showing coronavirus symptoms will be able to book a test directly online. They will then be able to use one of more than 30 drive-through testing sites across the country or receive a home testing kit, receiving their results by text. This will simplify the process, making it easier and faster for any essential worker in England who needs a test to get a test.The Government is also setting up an large-scale antibody study – more on that HERE.

You may also have seen the incredible news that human trials have begun on ground-breaking vaccine trials at Oxford University, with another trial on a different vaccine due to start at Imperial College in the coming months, both funded by the Government. There is more information on the Oxford trial HERE 

As well as trials into vaccines, we are also running trials into possible treatments of the virus.  More information on that HERE.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now live.  This will enable employers to furlough staff, who will receive 80% of their salary capped at £2,500 per month.  More information HERE.

I am in close contact with both Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable, and our local inspectors.  Both report to me that there have been few problems and the vast majority of people are following the rules. Across the whole county, a total of 41 fines have been issued in relation to breaches of the legislation, since the new regulations came into effect.  I am pleased to report that in my own constituency, there have been no fines.  The Chief Constable confirmed to me this week that he is happy with the responsible way in which our community has responded to the new rules, and that the Force will continue to use the following approach: Engage, Explain, Encourage and only if entirely necessary/appropriate, Enforce.

Daily press conferences
As you may know, the Government is holding daily press conferences to ensure the latest information is available to the public. This usually involves the Chief Medical Officer or Chief Scientific Officer presenting the latest data. If you are not able to watch them live, you can find the information being delivered HERE. 


My team and I remain available to help people where we can – on coronavirus and other issues. I have replaced my normal face-to-face advice surgeries with telephone surgeries to ensure I can still speak to constituents about any issues they need to raise with me.

Best wishes

Anne-Marie Trevelyan