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All council facilities to close except Town Hall as Council leader announces ‘Crawley’s biggest response to a civil emergency in its history’

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Crawley Council Leader Peter Lamb has released a statement about how the council is planning to deliver measures to ensure vulnerable adults and residents required to self-isolate are able to do so safe in the knowledge that they will have food, medicine and sanitary goods.

The statement reads:

‘Crawley Borough Council is in the process of planning and delivering the biggest response to a civil emergency in the history of the New Town. In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the council has been tasked by government with ensuring that vulnerable adults and other residents required to self-isolate are able to do so safe in the knowledge that they will be provided with all food, medicine and sanitary goods they need.

In order for this to be made possible, we are acquiring data held by a range of public sector organisations which identifies those individuals designated as being high risk and entering into a government-led supply chain to secure access to the goods necessary to make up parcels of food and other items. It’s an enormous logistical task and a huge amount of ground has been covered since we were allocated the task earlier in the week.

It has been fantastic to see how local community, charity and religious organisations have all stepped up to help support their fellow residents, and we are asking that these groups and individuals continue to play this vital role by signing-up to the council’s supply network. Where groups do not currently exist we will be looking for volunteers to help council workers to ensure that provision is in place and the Government will be beginning a nation-wide recruitment drive in the next few days.

Our network is set to go live next week and we will be providing more details closer to the time, but for now please do email me at peter.lamb@crawley.gov.uk if you would like to offer your support or if you fall into a category of needing support and I will ensure it makes it onto our databases. You can also access a range of advice in relation to Covid-19 by visiting the council’s homepage http://www.crawley.gov.uk, including signing up to council coronavirus updates.

The council itself is now on an emergency footing. We are in the process of closing all council facilities, with the exception of the Town Hall (although we would encourage people to visit only in the event of an emergency), and all council officers are being re-tasked to focus solely on essential services and crisis response.

I know that many people are suffering severe financial hardship as a result of this crisis and we are looking into what support can be offered locally. Could I encourage everyone effected to see if they are entitled to any government support by visiting https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Coronavirus_help. If you qualify, it is really important that you register for Universal Credit as soon as possible, as other forms of support can often only be accessed if you do register and it could take a long time before you receive the first payment.

I have written to our local MP to ask that he lobby government to introduce legal restrictions to prevent stockpiling in order to back up their efforts and to provide the military presence required to ensure that those restrictions are followed. In the meantime, we are looking to use the council’s own Civil Enforcement Officers to help maintain order.

Lastly, for the duration of this crisis I intend to make myself available for weekly question and answer sessions online, to ensure residents are kept informed informed and to ensure that local democracy continues throughout the crisis. Details will follow in due course.’

Charity

Crawley boy receives pioneering kit to help with his disabilities

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Eleven-year-old Theakston Lee-Watson is among the first recipients of innovative new equipment to provide disabled children with sensory activities in their own home.

Theakston, from Crawley in Sussex, received the equipment from Caudwell Children as part of a UK-first charity campaign to deliver sensory equipment and support to disabled children across the country.

The sensory pack will provide a range of therapeutic benefits for Theakston, who has autism and sensory processing disorder, helping him regulate his emotions and develop his motor skills. 

Theakston’s mum, Kitty Lee-Watson, has already noticed the benefits the equipment brings.

Kitty said:

“He has a lot of anxiety at the moment, I now have the sensory pack out on his bedroom floor so when he has a meltdown it’s easy to guide him to something or distract him. This has been a real help.

“Theakston’s favourite part of the Get Sensory pack is the Fibre Optic Light as it’s both visual and tactile. He likes touching the fibres.”

Caudwell Children has pledged to provide thousands of families with essential sensory equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic – with each family receiving a pack of appropriate and safe toys to support children living with a wide range of disabilities. 

Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, said:

“Our Get Sensory Packs are designed to support children who are likely to benefit from sensory resources – it’s so encouraging to hear that Theakston is enjoying using the equipment and his family can see the benefits already.”

“We’ve committed to provide thousands of families with a pack, because we know it’s difficult to access resources at the moment.

“To deliver on that we’re now calling for anyone who can to make a difference to the life of a disabled child by donating to our Get Sensory Packs campaign – you can make a life-changing difference from just £5.”

Caudwell Children launched its Get Sensory Packs campaign following consultation with parents to find the most appropriate and safe sensory items – selected by the charity’s Occupational Therapists.

The packs include:

  • A Liquid Cell Timer,
  • Scented Bubbles,
  • A BoBo Massager,
  • Sissle Brush,
  • 4 Ball Massager,
  • Weighted Cushion,
  • Spikey Domes,
  • Space Blanket, and
  • A Fibre Optic Lamp.

Packs are available to children who have a confirmed disability or chronic illness. Families can apply directly to Caudwell Children for support, with the charity providing 80% of the cost of each pack.

Families will be asked to contribute 20% of the cost, which is £20, and to confirm their financial status and their child’s diagnosis. More information is available at getsensorypacks.com.

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