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  • Trish Anderson

Charlton vs Covid: where to find tests, support or volunteering

Sadly, the Covid-19 numbers in Greenwich are grim at the moment. 1,561 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the borough during the last seven days. In the hospitals, it’s a similar situation to the worst days of spring earlier this year: admissions are on average 23 per day across Greenwich and Lewisham, compared with a peak of 28 per day in early April.

Vaccines are on the way, so we’re hopeful for a brighter picture as 2021 gets into its stride, but for now it’s crucial to follow the tier four rules and stay safe.

Getting tested

You can now get a free covid test even if you don’t have symptoms. And testing is much more widely available, with new walk-through sites opening in Plumstead and near the Old Royal Naval College in the De Vere Devonport House car park. Get booked in using the gov.uk site if you have symptoms and this Greenwich council webpage if you don’t.

Finding help

Live Well Greenwich has a hub of support from mental health tips to practical assistance with shopping. There are also tailored lists of advice and resources for those struggling with a mental health problem or disability, for young people and for parents and carers.

If you’re self-isolating and can’t claim sick pay from your employer and are a low-income household, a one-off £500 payment may be available from the government to support you and your family. Find out if you are eligible to apply for this or call 0800 470 4831.

Volunteering your time

If you’re interested in helping the community through volunteering, a short training is available from Greenwich council to introduce and prepare volunteers for the role of Neighbourhood Champion. Email victoria.smith@royalgreenwich.gov.uk to find out more.

More informally, why not lend a hand or donate to some of Charlton’s local organisations who are doing great work? The Old Cottage Cafe, for instance, runs regular food deliveries for the elderly or vulnerable, such as this Christmas appeal. Charlton Toy Library and the Big Red Bus Club provide lifelines for parents and carers in need of toys, friendly advice or a place to play. Or get your hands dirty with Charlton and Blackheath Amateur Horticultural Society’s mission to restore the fabulous walled gardens at Charlton House. The Charlton Champion is a go-to for more local links if you’re new to the area.

Don’t forget to enjoy the great outdoors

It’s been beautiful out there lately: these crisp, sunny winter days are the perfect antidote to too much time indoors. Charlton Park is a lovely spot for a walk, a skate in the skatepark or a kick-about with your household. Let’s keep remembering to leave the house and it’ll be spring before we know it.


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