GPs are still there for their patients during the Covid-19 pandemic

General practice staff have produced a video message to patients asking them not to put off contacting their GP surgery if they need to consult a doctor or nurse.

Do not to avoid contacting your surgery if you feel you need to. It is  important that parents of babies and young children get in touch with their practice to arrange for their routine immunisations, and that women who are pregnant or new mothers contact their surgery if they are worried about their own or their baby’s or child’s health. Even though we’re experiencing a unique situation, it’s important to remember that GP services, pharmacies, NHS 111, out-of-hours services and emergency departments are all still available to patients.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic means that patients are asked to contact their surgery online or by phone rather than go in person, doctors are still able to see patients via video conferencing or telephone consultation. Doctors and nurses can also still see and examine patients in person if this is necessary. This may or may not be at your regular practice because, working together, surgeries in Lewisham have made arrangements to try and ensure that they assess people with symptoms of COVID-19 separately from other patients.

All Lewisham residents are encouraged to download the free ASK NHS GP app to any mobile device. The app features an interactive symptom checker which helps you find the right healthcare at the right time, whether that’s NHS111, your GP appointment or accident and emergency, it also provides great advice on how to stay well and self-care. For more information, go to

This is particularly important for adults and children who are living with long-term conditions who may require repeat medication and a review by a practice, nurse GP or pharmacist. Any routine annual checks still can be arranged, for example, to check blood pressure.

Found out more about online and video consultations here.

Creative activities to do at home

Lewisham Education Arts Network (LEAN) have produced a fantastic resource booklet of creative resources “Let’s Create at Home”, listing a wide selection of resources and arts activities for children, young people and their families.
From visual arts, craft, theatre, dance and much more, there’s something in here to inspire everyone. Download the booklet here for inspiration and ideas.

Coronavirus workout

Telegraph Hill Centre have produced the attached booklet. With support and advice in relation to healthy eating, coping with stress, sanity saving tips, mindfulness, greiving, fitness, feldenkrais, massage, pilates, breathing and survival, all from the providers of usual services within the Telegraph Hill Centre, this helps us to think about how to look after ourselves at this difficult time. Click here to download.

What’s happening at The Somerville during lockdown?

“The Somerville are dedicated to providing support for users and community members throughout this time and are continuing to engage people remotely. We are keeping in contact with users via one-to-one phone sessions as well as engaging in bigger groups via Whatsapp and HouseParty. We are also holding competitions for all ages, sports challenges and workouts, storytimes for the younger users, art tutorials and much more! The staff are sharing their lockdown tips as well as what they have been up to over the last few weeks and fun TikTok videos. Follow our instagram @the_somerville to get involved!”

Some useful links they have shared in their most recent newsletter:
Young People: – free, safe and anonymous online counselling for young people. Counsellors available until 10pm every day. /0808 8080 4994 – Online guide to life for 16-25 year-olds in the UK. Emotional support is available 24 hours a day. On the website, you can chat about anything you like on their moderated discussion boards and live chat room. 
Mental Health Direct Crisis Line (24 hour) 0333 555 1000
National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 
AgeUK – 0800 678 1602 /

  • Home learning links:
  • BBC Learning (overall curriculum)
  • BBC Bitesize (overall curriculum)
  • Mystery Science (science)
  • The Kids Should See This (science)
  • Scratch (programming)
  • Red Ted Art (arts and crafts)
  • Khan Academy (maths and computing)
  • Blue Peter Badge Challenges
  • Future Learn (variety of courses for all ages)

Community help and mutual aid

Urgent Plea – Supplies for our NHS
food, toiletries, toilet rolls etc need for NHS staff. All donations to 401 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 6NZ
Need some Help? Are you unable to leave or concerned about leaving your home? Do you need someone to run errands, do your shopping,
cook food or pick up a prescription? Or maybe you want to someone to talk to? Please text or ring 07395 371 571 if you want to help your
neighbours or go to the to join the
organising WhatsApp group.
New Cross Mutual Aid Centre at The Field, 385 Queens Road, SE4 5HD – 07857 024 435 – opening hours 12 – 2pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Email:
Can provide weekly deliveries. Donations also wanted: non-perishable foods: tinned food, pasta, rice, dried foods; cleaning products: medical supplies: Paracetamol, inhalers;Baby products: nappies, wipes, baby formula.
If you are in need of assistance whether due to isolation or you are in need of supplies, please feel free to call or email and we will do our
best to help. Volunteers are also welcome. Call in or call us.
Feed the Hill – are offering food support for families in need call Victoria on 07462 574 516. For others there is a food box delivering service.
A box for 4 people is £25. Feed the Hill are also helping with basic grocery shopping and pharmacy pick-ups for anyone self-isolating, elderly or
housebound – call 07538 437 216. This group covers Telegraph Hill, Honor Oak, Hatcham and Kender.
If you live on Honor Oak Estate Sam Dias, Peabody Rep on the Honor Oak Tenants and Residence Association, is the contact for help and
support in the area her number is 07979 247776
Lewisham Local and Rushey Green Time bank are currently leading a Lewisham wide community response to helping those in need during
the coronavirus outbreak. Please visit their website for help in accessing food, keeping healthy, looking after your mental health, finding out about volunteering, support with benefits and services, and much more.

Early Years Educators – This is is child minding and nanny support group
with relevant information, empathy and even humour whenever required. We share news, updates on legislation, ideas, issues and offer helping
hands, and giggles too. We share vacancies with parents permission.We are in our fifth year of supporting our great child caring key workers. Please
contact admin on 07926 958 940 to be part of this group.
Fresh Fruit and Veg – For people struggling to get fruit and veg in the shops, or for those currently in isolation, the New Covent Garden
are now providing home delivery boxes of fruit and veg so that this does not go to waste. See attached for more details:
Assistance for local people
Please find attached links to the following areas of support for people facing financial difficulties on account of the COVID-19 crisis:
Self Employment and Universal Credit:
Employment and Support Allowance:
Covid-19 Small business government grant: https://smallbusiness.

Coronavirus business interruption Loan:

Beautiful things are happening too.

Congratulations to everyone with a new baby or one or two on the way. Life goes on and lovely things happen every day. Jo, a local resident, gave birth on 17 March to a beautiful baby girl.
“Our daughter arrived three days before the lockdown. We were advised to self-isolate so have pulled up the drawbridge and have been trying to make the most of this special time – that newborn smell, intense love and the feeling of a newborn asleep on your chest. While family and friends have only so far met her through Facetime, we’ve been blown away by the support of friends and neighbours – virtually and physically.
Although the last fortnight has no doubt had its challenges, it’s also made us look around and really be grateful for what we do have – our little family are safe together, the kindness of friends, the arrival of
Spring and sunshine.”
Welcome to our world!–Supportfor-

Aim for a couple of treasured memories

It’s tough and it might well get tougher. Being cooped up with children of any age can be difficult enough. Young children seem to have endless energy and insatiable drives.

It seems being organised and having routines are fundamental to surviving this challenge, alongside, cutting ourselves some slack and getting and staying as chilled as we can under the circumstances. Like accepting the
things we can’t control and making the most of what we can.

Being at home with children and young people with Austistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder can be very challenging at the best of times. Right now it’s that little bit harder for all
Teenagers generally think they’re invincible, they naturally need to break the rules, challenge authority and question the ‘sanity’ of the world. Teeenagers with ADHD and ASD are finding the current situation very
hard but don’t assume they can’t be engaged in things they might normally avoid or refuse to do.
I know a teenage boy with ADHD and Conduct Disorder who has baked cakes, played board games and completed several art projects, in others words, he’s done stuff he’s rarely, rarely done before. It’s no miracle and
it’s not continuous but maybe now is the time to seize an opportunity or two, maybe a couple of treasured memories can be created out of this crazy and anxious ridden time. Here are some useful web links and resources which may be able to offer some ideas.

Welfare advice during Covid-19

170 Community Project – For welfare advice of all kinds call 020 7732 9716
‘Drop-in” service continues by phone every Monday.
Call them and they call you back.
Advice Line Lewisham– For benefits advice and support and much more
contact Advice Line Lewisham on other days call 0808 801 0366 or 07845 683 313
Emergency Funding:
Lewisham Carers
Provide information, advice and support for unpaid carers in Lewisham. You can refer somebody you know might be struggling with the increased burden of being a carer in the time of Coronavirus by putting them in touch
with one of the four volunteers detailed below.
For Evelyn, New Cross, Telegraph Hill and Brockley contact
Cathy on 07391405580.
For Blackheath, Ladywell, Lewisham Central and Lee
contact Ulalee on 07391405579
For Rushey Green, Catford South, Grove Park, Downham
and Whitefoot
contact Elizabeth on 07389100984
For Bellingham, Sydenham, Perryvale, Forest Hill and
Crofton Park
contact Paul on 07387100983
Rushey Green Time Bank is looking for some creative content to send to their members who are in self-isolation. They are looking for creative activities and resources that they can collate for their bulletins and possible digital resilience packs. Could you help? This could be a poem, craft activity template, writing and word games, sharing an inspirational quote, useful online resources, or whatever you think would be nice to receive digitally to know you are no alone during this challenging time. Please send
publish-ready content to:

Safety advice for survivors of domestic violence

We know that COVID-19 will have serious impacts on the lives of women and children. Survivors are telling us that they are feeling unsafe with the prospect of being isolated in the house with their perpetrator. We want to reassure survivors and local specialist services that we are here for you and we will be doing everything we can to support you during this challenging
Try and keep a mobile phone with you at all times if possible. The police are a key service when in immediate danger. Do not be afraid to call 999 in an
Silent Solutions.
Familiarise yourself with The Silent Solution system. This is a system for victims of domestic abuse who might be afraid of further danger and escalation of harm if they are overheard when calling 999 in an
emergency. When somebody calls 999, an operator will ask which emergency service is required. If the caller is unable to audibly signal to the operator, the call will be forwarded to an operating system.
If 55 is pressed by the caller, the system will detect this. The operator will then transfer the call to the relevant police force as an emergency.
National helplines, email, text and live chat support services, and local specialist services, are currently open for business as usual, although their delivery is likely to have to adapt over the coming weeks.

Have your say..

Welcome to our regular column where a local resident has their
say about something on their mind. This month a nurse from Lewisham
Hospital starts a discussion about Personal Protective Equipment, the lack of it and the importance of testing of all frontline workers
and much more besides
“We were all so moved last Thursday when the clapping and cheering started at 8pm. We were seriously moved and we all felt so appreciated, you cannot under estimate the importance of such solidarity.
But that appreciation fades when on the wards and we’re faced with patients who we so much care for but we’re expected to look after with just the barest of personal protective equipment. Going from patient to patient so badly protected is distressing for all concerned.
Similarly, the lack of testing of NHS staff, many of us find it unfathomable, we’re all asking ourselves and each other, why countries such as Germany are so on top of this and the UK is so behind? We have some of the
world’s best scientists, laboratories and manufacturers and here we are a bio-hazard in our own workplace!
And then there’s the situation in care homes for the elderly and disabled. This is causing us all much concern and stress. The trouble is public health and social care have been so badly hit by cuts over the past decade it is, perhaps, hardly surprising that we now face this crisis feeling like we’re working with both hands tied behind our backs.
Yes, we have to pull together, heed all the good advice, show our love and compassion, our appreciation but above all else it requires the right personal protective equipment and for NHS and care workers to be tested.
I have always been aware that a hospital, a health care system, locally, regionally and nationally, requires and depends on the work of so many different people, everyone of them doing their important job, part of a big
essential patchwork, all interdependent. Look how all of a sudden we appreciate the job of the supermarket shelf stacker, the bin men, the delivery drivers. The people on zero hour contracts, the low paid, the people that keep society going in times of crisis. We’re now short of fruit
and veg pickers, forever we’ve depended on migrant workers to do this back breaking work and without them there will no fresh fruit and veg to keep us fit and healthy. Yet, all too often they’re scapegoated and blamed for the shortage of houses, jobs, rise in crime and so.
If there’s one thing we can take from this crisis it is that we have to collectively reprioritise things, shake up the pieces and put them back together in a different order.

Be Good Neighbours

Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives
It may sound a bit contradictory to ask people to stay at home and be good neighbours yet this is what most of us have been doing since the ‘lockdown’. Checking on our neighbours is nothing new but it is especially important
right now. Just knowing someone cares can be enough but it can also save lives. Is your neighbour ill, do they need help with shopping, or maybe even cooking. With sensible proper precautions we can all help each other in
this crisis. Washing hands thoroughly remains the foundation to limiting the spread, along with social distancing and respecting the lockdown but we all have to apply common sense and do what we can to support each
other. And there are many, many heartwarming examples
of people doing just this. Let’s keep up the good work.

Domestic Violence

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19, domestic violence has increased across the world. Lockdown will ultimately save lives but it will cost some too. Victims of domestic violence are permitted to leave home during the lockdown. Good neighbours need to be listening and looking out for signs of
domestic violence and take action by calling the police if you think someone is in danger. Two women are murdered every week by a current or former parner. If you need help, if you are living in fear or you know someone who is please share these phone numbers and check out the links below.

Anyone who requires help or support can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline which is open 24/7 365 days per year on 0808 2000 247 or via their website
Refuge freephone 24-hour Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 2000 247 –
You can also contact Lewisham Children and Family Centres at: for Domestic Abuse support.

Food and love in the time of Corona

David Hockney, the 83 year old world famous artist, recently released some paintings of Spring to cheer us all up. He also said, ‘the only real things in life are food and love in that order’. He might well be right, so donating
what we can to our local food banks will cover both food and love and in that order.
There are many, many people living in much reduced circumstances
since the onset of the virus. Please, everyone donate what you can to local food banks. None of us know when we might need that food and love
ourselves. Donate to your local food bank:
Lewisham Food Bank
Hope Centre,
118 Malham Road,
Forest Hill SE23 1AN
or their regular drop-off points. They need: Washing tablets or capsules, tinned meat, toilet roll, deodorant for men and women, tinned vegetables,
tinned fruit, rice pudding, shower gel, washing up liquid, coffee, UHT milk, razors, pasta sauce and nappies.
You can also donate to the Lewisham Community Response to Covid-19. The funds raised will go to local food banks and voluntary sector organisations to help those in most need in our community.
Donate at:

Getting help during Corona virus lockdown

Lewisham Local and Rushey Green time bank are currently leading a Lewisham wide community response to helping those in need during the coronavirus outbreak.

Please visit their website for help in accessing food, keeping healthy, looking after your mental health, finding out about volunteering, support with benefits and services, and much more.