New guidance on positive LFT tests

Yesterday (11 January) the guidance on what to do if you receive a positive lateral flow test changed. These are the new guidelines:

You have no symptoms → complete a positive lateral flow test → report your result, and self-isolate for 10 days – you will be contacted by NHS Test & Trace.

You do not need to book a PCR test.

Some exceptions where you will still be asked to take a follow-up PCR test include if you:  

  • are eligible for the Test & Trace Support Payment (TTSP) 
  • are in a clinically vulnerable group who may need early access to treatment 
  • are participating in research or surveillance programmes  
  • get a positive day-2 lateral flow result after arrival in England

As previously announced, you can reduce the 10 days of self-isolation to 7 days if you complete negative LFD results on days 6 and 7, with the tests taken 24 hours apart. You must take the first test no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period.

Those who leave self-isolation on or after day 7 are strongly advised to limit close contact with other people in crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, work from home and minimise contact with anyone at higher risk of severe illness if infected with Covid- 19.

If you experience any symptoms of Covid-19, you will still need to book a PCR test immediately.

Don’t get caught out by the cold

It’s likely to get colder from tomorrow with a cold weather alert in place until Monday (17 January). 

With the added pressures of Covid-19 this winter, we want to remind you about what you can do to stay well throughout the colder months. You can find our advice on coping with cold weather here which includes top tips for looking after yourself, checking on vulnerable neighbours, how to keep your house warm and what to do to prepare for cold weather.

Gearing up to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee

On 6 February this year Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.

To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, events and initiatives will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 to Sunday 5 June. 

We’ll be joining in the celebrations and will be telling you about our plans soon – so watch this space!

In the meantime there are national and local celebrations planned which you can be involved in – including tree planting, community lunches and activities for schools. You can find out more on the Royal Family’s website.

One of the events announced this week is The Platinum Pudding competition – a nationwide baking competition to find a brand new pudding dedicated to The Queen. 

Five finalists will prepare their pudding for an expert judging panel including Dame Mary Berry, Monica Galetti and Buckingham Palace Head Chef Mark Flanagan. The winning recipe will be made available to the public and the pudding will be enjoyed at Big Jubilee Lunches during the Jubilee weekend, and by generations to come. Could the winning pudding come from a West Berkshire resident? We really hope it does!

Holiday Activities and Food Programme

Our latest Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF) was a great hit.

During the first week of the Christmas school holidays over 400 children aged 5 to 16 attended the thirteen HAF clubs across the district.

All were provided with a nutritious meal each day and a fun filled programme of activities including cooking, arts and crafts, games, football, wall climbing, pottery painting, yoga and much more.

The HAF programme is funded by the Department of Education to provide free holiday activities including a nutritious meal for eligible children.

We’d like to say a big thank you to all children, parents, schools and partners who made HAF2021 such a success.

We can’t wait to work with partners on HAF2022 for the Easter, summer and winter school holidays.

Free business courses for West Berkshire start-ups

West Berkshire entrepreneurs of the future are being offered free places on an acclaimed workshop to turn their hobbies and dreams into a business.

We’ve teamed up with the popular Rebel Business School to help would-be start-ups in the district to get their ideas off the ground this February as a part of our economic recovery strategy.

Designed to inspire people and help them find the confidence to try their ideas, the Rebel Business School is aimed at everyone, from those with no cash and no business experience to fledgling start-ups that need guidance to keep on track. The course will teach you key business skills including making sales, marketing through social media and building websites.

All are welcome to take part via Zoom with new sessions every day starting from 7 February, 10am – 3pm. We are keen to point out that you don’t need money to start a business. With an approach that is firmly about starting a business for free, or with very little money, and always without debt.

Sign up here:

Health and Wellbeing Board Annual Conference

The Annual Health and Wellbeing Board Conference is back – and you’re invited!

The event will focus on our plan for improving the health and wellbeing for everyone living in West Berkshire over the next ten years. As well as presentations, there will be workshop sessions covering five health-focussed topics during which you can share your ideas and let us know what’s important to you.

​Last year’s conference attracted over 100 attendees and was a really helpful way for us to engage with local communities on this important issue.

This will be a virtual event via Zoom open to anyone in West Berkshire who has an interest in health and wellbeing.

Read more and book your Conference place.

Champions of Youth Work Conference

Do you work with young people – or have a keen interest in this area?

Berkshire Youth are organising a Champions of Youth Work Conference on Wednesday 26 January, with support by Greenham Trust. It’s an opportunity to listen to great speakers, network and discuss the year ahead. Go online to book your space or find out more about the event

And finally…

  • The Royal Berkshire Fire Authority is consulting on the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s funding through Council Tax for the next financial year. You can find out more and have your say until 5pm on Tuesday 1 February.
  • The Police and Crime Commissioner has launched an online survey seeking residents’ views on the budget for Thames Valley Police for 2022/23. You can find out more and have your say until 5pm on Tuesday 18 January.
  • It’s not too late to get your COVID-19 Booster and flu vaccines. Vaccines give high levels of protection but immunity reduces over time, so it is vital people come forward to get their COVID-19 boosters / flu vaccine to top-up their defences and protect themselves this winter. All adults are now eligible for the COVID-19 booster, for more info see here. Those who are eligible for a free flu vaccine can book an appointment through their GP surgery or local pharmacy. Those eligible include people with long term health conditions, all adults aged 50 years or over, health and social care workers, pregnant women and young children. For more info see here.

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