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Channelling Optimism, Vitality
&
Information Daily

Issue 2
Coronavirus: What Are Your Consumer Rights?


The Consumer Council has launched a dedicated website that provides a variety of helpful information for consumers in Northern Ireland who may have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The website, which is updated daily covers topics such as:
  • Travel (including cancelled flights)
  • Home Energy
  • Personal Finances 
  • Postal Services
  • Information for Vulnerable Consumers (including how to avoid scams)
Carmel McConville from The Consumer Council, said: “The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is impacting us all right now in various ways and many people in Northern Ireland are understandably concerned.  To help, we have produced a dedicated section on our website to keep consumers up-to-date with advice regarding travel, supermarkets, home energy, personal finances, scams and more.

The site is updated daily and any consumers out there without access to the internet can give our Consumer Protection team a call on 0800 121 6022 to receive advice and information on their rights over the phone.”

https://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/coronavirus

 
Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing  
Connect                                             
Since launching in 2009, WhatsApp has become the world’s most popular text and voice messaging application. It is a free service that lets users message one another and is a great way to keep connected with your loved ones.  For anyone who doesn't know how to access and use Whatsapp click on this link for a great video on how to get started.

https://youtu.be/QXogMHsnXMY


Rural Transport Support
Rural Community Transport Partnerships and the Disability Action Transport Service are providing a free pick-up and delivery service for food and medication. You do not have to be a member of these schemes to use this service. Contact details for all the Rural Community Transport Partnership are available using the following link,
http://www.nidirect.gov.uk


 
Be Active

Yoga Time

Did you know that yoga can help you sleep better, give you an energy boost and stop cravings? It’s not just about flexibility and stretching! It also improves both physical fitness and mental wellbeing.

Online yoga classes for complete beginners are available on https://youtu.be/v7AYKMP6rOE

Exercise Class for Beginners
If you haven't exercised for a while and would like to get back into it, this is a great 30 minute workout for beginners.
https://youtu.be/gC_L9qAHVJ8


Take Notice
On Your Doorstep
The benefits of nature are great and they’re right on your doorstep. Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing especially if you’re feeling a bit claustrophobic.  With the new government restrictions, we are all spending more time indoors but you can easily try:
  • Opening the window to let in the fresh air.
  • Having flowers or potted plants in your home.
  • Arranging a comfortable space to sit and look out over a natural view.
  • Growing plants or flowers on windowsills. 
  • Listening to natural sounds — be they audio recordings or apps that play birdsong, ocean waves or rainfall.
  • Getting as much natural light as possible. Spend time in the garden if you have one, or open the door and sit outside if you can.
  • f you can, get out and about; go for a walk or run, keeping in mind government restrictions.
Less News is Good News
Stay informed, but set yourself a limit on the amount of news you watch or consume each day.  Avoid stories or footage that you recognise are making you feel anxious or sad.  
Worrying about events or situations you have no control over only leads to more worry, so try to put these things to one side in your head and focus on the good things in your life instead.

Appreciate the Small Things
Notice one good thing each day, no matter how small. It could be reading about an act of kindness in the news or appreciating an evening sunset now that the days are getting longer. At times like this, we may need to work a little harder to appreciate the good things in life, but when we do it is worth it for that little mental boost.


Click on this link for some useful tips on looking after your mental health.
Coronavirus (COVID-19)- Looking after your feelings and your body


Give 

Travelling to donate blood and platelets is considered essential travel.

If you are a fit and well, and not affected by any of the current restrictions, please continue to donate. #GiveBloodSaveLives

 

 


Can’t get out but want to spread kindness during the Coronavirus outbreak? 

😊   Tell someone you know that you are proud of them

😊   Tell someone you know why you are thankful for them

😊   Send a motivational text to a friend who is struggling


Keep Learning 

BBC Bitesize
This is a brilliant website if you are homeschooling your children.  
You'll find daily lessons in Maths and English for every year group, as well as regular lessons in Science, History, Geography and more.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons
 



Air Ambulance Northern Ireland 

Staying at home is difficult, but it is vital to protect our communities. To give back to all of the families currently homeschooling & everyone out there practicing safe social distancing, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland have created a Boredom Buster Pack!
Download Your Free Boredom Buster Pack! 


 

Measuring the Impact of Covid-19 on the Women's Sector

The Women's Regional Consortium invite you to take part in a survey to measure the impact of Covid-19 on the Women's Sector in Northern Ireland.  The survey will take less than 3 minutes to complete and is aimed at women's groups and organisations.  The anonymous information you provide will be used to identify the particular impact Covid-19 is having on women’s groups and organisations. The results will be published in the May edition of the Covid-19 Women's Sector Update from WRC. 

Groups' Survey - 
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NHM23GP
 
Individual Woman's Survey- http:// https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GCPNXC8 

 

Financial Advice 

Kith & Kin are a Community Interest Company based in Belfast that provides access to Financial Advice and money management. They are the only Social Enterprise in the UK that provides Financial Advice to individuals free of charge.

Coronavirus is affecting everyone financially and many are struggling to pay their mortgage, loans and bills as their income has decreased for people, both employed and self employed.

You can download their free Budget Planner and Financial Virus Newsletter by clicking on this link: https://www.kithandkinwellbeing.org/coronavirus-advice


Alliance for Choice - Abortion Information Update
The below information is accurate for people living in Northern Ireland as of 15th April 2020. Millions of people take abortion pills at home safely globally. 1 in 3 women will have at least one abortion in their lifetime, many have more.  
At the moment there are clinics providing early medical abortions up to 10 weeks in Northern Ireland. The clinics in Belfast, Ballymena and Derry are both multi-use clinics so no-one will know if you are attending for abortion services.

If you cannot travel to a clinic due to illness or isolation please contact 
BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) on 0300 500 8086 who are offering a telemedicine service to any woman or pregnant person in Northern Ireland that qualifies for it below 10 weeks. After 10 weeks contact ASN (Abortion Support Network) on 07897 611593

This service is provided free of charge to NI women because there are no abortion services operating in NI at present.  This will prevent NI women from having to travel hundreds of miles using ferries and public transport during the COVID-19 outbreak to be treated at UK clinics.  Instead they can have a telephone consultation and medical assessment from the safety of their home and get treatment delivered direct to their door. 

Please call Alliance for Choice on 0333 050 9569, if you have any other queries or want to know where is best to call.

Funding Support

RAFT Fund
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Fore has launched RAFT (Rapid Action by The Fore and Trusts).  RAFT consists of a number of emergency activities to support small charities and social enterprises adversely affected by the crisis.

RAFT Fund is seeking to ensure that effective small charities and social enterprises are able to meet the rapidly changing needs of their benificiaries, remain viable and prepare for delivery when the acute phase of the crisis is over.  The fund will provide grants for high quality, well managed small charities and social enterprises doing vital work in their communities.

For further information proceed to their website https://www.thefore.org/the-raft-emergency-fund/


Comic Relief - No Child Goes Hungry
Comic Relief and the Community Foundation respond to child hunger in Northern Ireland as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis. Through the Children Surviving and Thriving theme £100,000 is being directed towards a No Child Goes Hungry – Community Support Programme.  

The programme aims to contribute to community-based food provision responses that support local families with children under the age of 10 who may face food poverty as a result of school closures and/or loss of household income as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Comic Relief believes that every child has the right to the best start in life. Grants are available up to £2,000 for constituted community/voluntary organisations providing support in this area.  

Apply to the Fund here: https://communityfoundationni.org/grants/comic-relief-no-child-goes-hungry-community-support-programme/
Banana Bread

Bake the perfect banana bread with this easy tutorial video from cookbook author Felicity Cloake. Enjoy slices for breakfast, elevenses, with afternoon tea or as a midnight snack!  Get the recipe here: https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/perfect-banana-bread or watch the video https://youtu.be/bSQyJuMN0d4
 
We want to hear about people in your community who have stepped up to help during the current Coronavirus Pandemic.  This could be in a variety of ways, collecting prescriptions or shopping for vulnerable citizens, delivering takeaways to local NHS staff or carers, community volunteers helping people in isolation or indeed any activity that has addressed a need during this crisis.

If you would like to nominate someone to be showcased in our ezine and receive a small gift, please send a picture and some details to paula@nirwn.org 
Keep Connected
As we are spending increasing amounts of time online these days here are some of our top recommendations for you:

Top 3 Facebook Pages
https://www.facebook.com/mumsni/
https://www.facebook.com/stuartrobinsonradio/videos/2694681530755303/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/natgeophotos/photos/

Top 3 Twitter Pages

https://twitter.com/FactCheckNI
https://twitter.com/letscraftni
https://twitter.com/funpalacesni

Top 3 Webpages
https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://mentalhealth-uk.org/help-and-information/covid-19-and-your-mental-health/
 
...and remember
This project has been supported by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland
through the Coronavirus Community Fund 
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