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Thu 19 November 2020:
Your regular update from Reading Borough Council on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can help
A message from Reading Borough Council leader Jason Brock

We are now two weeks in to the new national coronavirus restrictions – thank you for doing all you can to follow the rules. Please continue to do the right thing for Reading, including responding if you are contacted by our local contact tracing team.  

Reading’s Coronavirus contact tracing service is vitally important to help stop the spread of COVID-19 amongst residents, calling people who have tested positive. 

If you’re called from 01189 373720 please answer, so they can take you through a tracing questionnaire, signpost to support and help you identify who you’ve been in direct and close contact with. It is an outbound only number, so if you miss a call from them please call the service back on 01189 373797.

They can assist with local support and advice and help you take action to stop the spread of the virus in Reading and keep your family and friends safe and well. The team are working seven days a week to help stop the spread of COVID-19; Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 1pm.

Find out more about local contact tracing and test and trace here on our website.

Keeping Active To Help Body And Mind This Winter
Through our ‘Stay Well In Reading This Winter’ campaign this week we are encouraging people to get active. Even just 20 minutes a day can really make a difference to wellbeing, providing huge benefits to your physical and mental health.  Our video below with Laura from Sport In Mind will give you some ideas of what you can do and the benefits exercise brings, and we also have some tips below on how to cut down your acohol intake as it is Alcohol Awareness Week – or get support if you or someone you know if struggling. You can find all this and much more on our dedicated page here.
You will also be able to get out on your bike more in future, with good news this week that Reading has been awarded over £1m to create permanent new cycle schemes. This will make travelling by bike in Reading easier in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and beyond. The Active Travel funding award from the DfT is a real vote of confidence in us to successfully deliver permanent new schemes, as many local authorities around the country received less money than they expected. We are now waiting on full guidance from the Department for Transport before finalising which of the proposed cycle schemes to bring forward, and will consult widely with local communities, including local residents and businesses, and all road users before decisions are made.
The new schemes are in addition to temporary cycle schemes already in place at a number locations across town as part of the first phase of our Active Travel programme. More details on those, and the new proposals, are here.

Seeking The Views Of Reading's Young People
Finally, we’re currently working to understand how we can communicate key Covid-19 messages in an engaging way to young people living in Berkshire, and we would like your help to do it. Our Insights survey has been designed to understand people’s views and attitudes towards COVID-19, current guidelines and existing communications and messaging, and we are offering a chance to win a £50 shopping voucher as a thank you for taking part. We want to hear from everyone, but currently have a low number of responses from young people, so if you are under 30 or can forward this on for completion to someone who is, then the link is
Thank you.

Stay Well In Reading This Winter:
Keeping Active - Even If You Are Isolating
Watch our video with Laura from Sport In Mind for some ideas and inspiration for staying active during lockdown and how it can benefit you.
With many people needing to isolate at home, it is still important to keep active even if you can’t go outside to take exercise (other than in your private garden). It can feel a bit of a challenge to get active inside but there are still plenty of ways you can build movement and exercise into your day when you are at home.
  • Reading Sport and Leisure team have lots of videos online, including classes with their own coaches. There are activities for everyone, including people with long-term conditions, and it’s all free to access.
  • Get Berkshire Active has created an Active at Home website with a range of activities to suit all ages and abilities
  • Sport England’s Stay in work out portal has a great selection of online fitness options.
  • Check out the NHS Fitness studio - Take your pick from 24 instructor-led videos across our aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and pilates and yoga categories.
  • THIS GIRL CAN home exercise ideas:
If you are isolating at home with the kids, and you are all well enough, here are some great free ideas for getting everybody active inside:
Stay Well In Reading This Winter:
Advice On Reducing Alcohol Consumption

This week (16-21 November) is Alcohol Awareness Week, so we’re highlighting some support and advice on cutting down your alcohol intake to improve your wellbeing.
  • Drinking alcohol might help you to relax and switch off, especially during lockdown, but drinking more than 14 units a week can negatively affect your health. Use this handy unit calculator to find out how much you're drinking: and follow these top tips for cutting down.
  • If you are using alcohol as a way to handle stress or anxiety, why not try other ways to relax when you are feeling anxious such as yoga or meditation? If you are suffering with anxiety or depression, Compass Recovery College is a great source of help and advice.
  • If you are worried about your own or someone else’s alcohol use, talk to your GP or contact Change Grow Live, Reading’s drug and alcohol service, or call them on 01189 557333. They can offer support if you or someone you know is struggling.
The One Reading Community Hub

If you need a helping hand to get through the Covid crisis, the One Reading Community Hub is here for help with urgent food and prescription needs, getting a priority supermarket delivery slot, or other issues such as debt, loneliness, stress and anxiety. 

If you have received a letter advising you that you are 'Clinically Extremely Vulnerable' (CEV) then please follow the instructions in that letter. If you need some extra help, the letter will tell you how to register with the National Shielding Service System (NSSS). Your details will be passed on to us, and we will be in touch. If you are having difficulty registering with NSSS, we can help you do that.

If you have not received a CEV letter but you are struggling to cope, you can contact the Hub:

The Hub is a partnership between Reading Borough Council, Reading Voluntary Action and voluntary and community partners in the town.

With the latest advice and service information changing regularly, you can keep up to date by following our dedicated page to the Covid-19 response here:
Please also follow us on Facebook and Twitter (links below) for regular updates.
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Reading Borough Council
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