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Search begins for 2021 Community Champions

Nominations are now open for our Community Champion Awards 2021!

The Community Champion Awards are an opportunity to say thank you to people who have done something special for their local community. They honour those individuals and community groups who have gone above and beyond to support residents throughout West Berkshire this year.   

Nominations are open until Monday 1 November. All of the awards will be judged by an independent panel and the winners will be presented with their award at an awards ceremony to be held in January 2022.

Nominations for the Community Champions Awards 2021 can be made in the following four categories:

  • The Pat Eastop Junior Citizen of the Year
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Community Group of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

To read more about each category and make a nomination, visit the Community Champion Awards page.


Domestic Abuse Consultation now live

We’re investing an extra £250,000 in safe accommodation services to offer more support to victims of domestic abuse, including children.

The £250,000 funding, provided by the Government, follows the passing of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which places new duties on local authorities across the country to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation.

We’re running a public consultation until Wednesday 10 November to explore what support and safe accommodation you feel needs to be in place, or expanded further, to make sure the needs of all victims are met.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, social or economic status, sexuality or background. That’s why it’s so important that we get as many views as we can from people to make sure individuals and families are safe, sooner.

Read more about this on our website.

Cycle training available during half-term

Are you or your children looking to improve your cycling skills? Look no further! We have a number of Bikeability Training courses that might be just what you are looking for over the October half term break.

The courses available are:

If you are interested, please email: activetravel@westberks.gov.uk for more information and to book on to a course.

Read more about Bikeability here: https://bikeability.org.uk/


Plant a Tree to support the Queen’s Green Canopy

We’re working with Greenham Trust to help celebrate its 25th anniversary during 2022. During this time the organisation has awarded an amazing £64m in charitable grants to local charities, community projects and voluntary organisations both large and small across West Berkshire and north Hampshire.

As part of the upcoming 25th anniversary celebrations and in support of the Queen’s Green Canopy (marking Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee) we’re delighted to be working alongside Greenham Trust to offer local schools, councils and community groups the opportunity to plant one or more trees to enhance the local environment for years to come.

The Trust plans to provide up to 25,000 trees to be planted throughout the region over the next planting seasons. An initial order has been placed for trees to be planted this Autumn and the Trust is now accepting applications for free trees.

You can read about this initiative on our website.


Covid-19: Staying healthy this autumn

Flu and Covid-19 booster jabs

This winter there are two essential vaccines you’ll need to protect yourself and your loved ones.

This is the first year that flu will co-circulate alongside COVID-19. It’s easy for us to pass on COVID-19 or flu viruses without knowing, so (if you’re eligible) it’s advisable to get both jabs.

How do I book my flu jab?

You can book your free flu jab at your GP surgery or local Pharmacy subject to eligibility. More info on who is eligible can be found here

How do I book my Covid-19 booster jab?

If you’ve been contacted by the NHS and you are either:

  • Aged 50 and over
  • Aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts you at risk of Covid-19

You’ll be able to book an appointment for a booster dose if it’s been at least 6 months (180) days since your 2nd dose of the vaccine. If you meet this criteria you can book your booster jab here

If you do not meet this criteria please wait to be contacted by the NHS before booking your booster dose.

Changes to ‘Pharmacy Collect’ Service

Anyone who does not have symptoms can get regular rapid lateral flow tests to check for COVID-19. These can be ordered for delivery to your home or picked up in locations including pharmacies and testing sites.

You can find out how to get hold of lateral flow tests on the NHS website.

If you collect (or are thinking of collecting) kits from your local pharmacy there will be some changes to the service from next Monday (4 October):

  • The number of packs of test kits to be handed out per transaction will be reduced from four to two. Each pack contains seven tests.
  • You’re asked to register for a collection code online or 119 prior to making a collection from a pharmacy. Collection codes will be launched from 1 October. However, anonymous collections can still be made where residents don’t want to register for a collecion code.
  • The minimum recommended age for a person to collect LFD test kits will be reduced to 16 years or older.

NHS Covid-19 App

On Friday it will be one year since the launch of the NHS COVID-19 app. It has played an enormous role in helping to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

The NHS COVID-19 app is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from coronavirus. The faster you know, the quicker you can alert and protect your loved ones and community, helping to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The app has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, information on local area restrictions and venue check-in. It uses proven technology from Apple and Google, designed to protect every user’s privacy. 

Did you know that: 

  • Between September and December 2020, before the successful rollout of the vaccine programme, the app prevented an estimated 600,000 cases of coronavirus. 
  • At the peak of the ‘pingdemic’ in July, the app was proven to avert 2,000 infections each day meaning that an estimated 1,600 hospitalisations were prevented. It also shows the app reduces the spread of COVID-19 by around 4.3% each week, and for every 200 to 250 tests entered and shared in the app one person is prevented from being hospitalised from the virus.  
  • For every 1% increase in app users, the number of coronavirus cases in the population can be reduced by 2.3%. 

The NHS Covid-19 app is available to download from the Apple and Google Play app stores.


Zero Carbon Tour

In early September, we were lucky enough to join several of our partners at Newbury College’s new Renewables Centre where the UK’s first 100% electric coach made a stop on its Zero Carbon Tour journey through the UK to COP26 (the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference).

This event provided an opportunity for Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to launch its Berkshire Net Zero Carbon Research Report, sharing the first in a series of priorities that will ensure that Berkshire plays a leading role in the UK’s drive to net zero carbon emissions. This means the Council, our partners, businesses and communities all working together with the aim to put no more carbon into the atmosphere than it takes out and is key to help secure a sustainable future for the planet.

We showcased our progress on the Council’s Environment Strategy Delivery Plan and talked to attendees on working together as well a fun interactive quiz with eco-prizes.

The Tour is accelerating the UN-backed Race to Zero as part of the UK’s #TogetherForOurPlanet campaign, and provided the ideal opportunity to showcase how Berkshire is leading the global green agenda on a local level.

Catch up on everything that happened on the day at https://youtu.be/TfrxX0BEsrg

Have you responded to annual canvass?

If you haven’t already, you’ll be receiving a letter from us about the electoral register this week.

Every year, we check that everyone who is eligible to vote in our area is registered.

It’s a legal requirement to make sure these records are up to date.  Being on the electoral roll will allow you to vote and help keep your credit history up to date.

We may have contacted you by email or letter already so please check carefully to see if you need to respond or not.

Please respond as quickly as possible. You can do so online at www.householdresponse.com/WestBerkshire where you can enter your security codes.  This allows you to update residents, make amendments or ask for a postal vote application form.

Any new eligible residents aged 16 or over at your property will still need to register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

If you need any help, contact the elections team on 01635 519464.

Find out more.


And finally…

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