Latest Coronavirus update
General Coronavirus advice and updates
Due to the current situation and the changes that are happening daily, we cannot be held responsible for the external information on this page that changes without our notice.
For information and updates on keeping safe, and current Council and Central Government advice and resources, visit the Bedford Borough coronavirus information page. https://www.bedford.gov.uk/social-care-health-and-community/public-health/coronavirus/
National Lockdown January 2021
From 5 January (today), England is in lockdown with restrictions explained at www.gov.uk.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely – expected to be until February half term at least. Early Years settings remain open.
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work
If you do need to go out, please keep your distance from other people (at least 2m where possible), wash your hands regularly, wear a mask where needed, and self-isolate and get a test if you have symptoms.
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
If you have any of these symptoms please self-isolate and get a test. Anyone you live with or in your ‘support bubble’ will need to isolate and be tested too.
Keep up to date on on COVID-19 Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home
Bedford Borough Council Coronavirus information including 8th January 2021 Parent/Carers FAQ regarding Covid-19
8th January 2021 Parent/Carers FAQ regarding Covid-19
Further to our update on Tuesday, we have been working to gather the most Frequently Asked Questions from parents and carers of children with SEND regarding Covid-19.
You can see the FAQ document here
Bedford Borough Council
The Council Coronavirus pages can be accessed here
Bedford Borough Council facebook
Bedford Borough Twitter account
Bedford Borough Community Hub find out about the relaunched community hub here
Bedford Borough – Carers Support during COVID-19
Adult Social Care (ASC) published a range of information about service changes and new developments in the first lockdown which is available here
Carers in Bedfordshire
Carers in Bedfordshire is a not-for-profit registered charity providing support for carers of family members and friends throughout Bedfordshire visit their website here
BBC Television showing primary and secondary programming every weekday from Monday 11th of January
CBBC will include three hours of primary school programming every weekday starting at 9am.
BBC2 will screen at least two hours for secondary pupils on BBC Two.
Carch up will be avialable on the www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer
Sydney Aquarium Tank TV Penguin Live Stream https://tlbh.uk/3pHys2w
Dublin Zoo African Savannah Web Cam https://tlbh.uk/357NUNw
Dublin Zoo Elephant Web Cam https://tlbh.uk/34ZjUlN
Chester Zoo Live Tour Catch Up https://tlbh.uk/2UtmsFc
Longleat Safari Park Virtual Tour https://youtu.be/pUmHClrRPxc
Ranger Stu’s Virtual Zoo https://tlbh.uk/3aOfKiO
New England Aquarium https://tlbh.uk/2wmgjl6
National Marine Aquarium https://tlbh.uk/39KkN2C
Tropical Reef Live https://tlbh.uk/2Ur14A1
Live Meerkat Cam (Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens) https://tlbh.uk/3aaNB4z
Live Penguin Cam (Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens) https://tlbh.uk/2V8d7mw
National Marine Institute Shark Feeding https://tlbh.uk/2Zt8jJp
Chester Zoo Asian Elephants Virtual Day https://tlbh.uk/31BBSuT
Natural History Museum - Try at Home https://tlbh.uk/2Vj2Bcr
Natural History Museum - Dippy on Tour Lessons https://tlbh.uk/3ajBP7U
Natural History Museum - T-Rex Origami https://tlbh.uk/3bkcA6O
Natural History Museum - Am I A Dinosaur Quiz https://tlbh.uk/2KkvzC5
Natural History Museum - Draw a T-Rex https://tlbh.uk/2x7BRSJ
Natural History Museum - Make a hatching Dinosaur https://tlbh.uk/2S89gE7
Natural History Museum - How are fossils formed? https://tlbh.uk/3q2cV59
Natural History Museum - Dippy the Dinosaur 3D Skull https://tlbh.uk/3pPjjwq
Natural History Museum - Make your own Dippy Skull https://tlbh.uk/38Z74GJ
Free Printable's from Activity Village https://tlbh.uk/2ShVSgS
National Trusts 50 things to do before 11 3/4 https://tlbh.uk/3bM7HU5
Maddie and Greg Let’s Go Live https://tlbh.uk/2UFY0PW
Kew Gardens Virtual Tours https://tlbh.uk/2VI7Sce
Natural History Museum Nature Live Sessions https://tlbh.uk/3biWM4h
US National Park Tour https://tlbh.uk/2JniTtR
Sunrise Safari Live https://tlbh.uk/2x48lgM
Steve Backshall Q&As https://tlbh.uk/34hR2oG
WildLife Trusts - Things to do at home https://tlbh.uk/2KKKRAm
How to identify Bees https://tlbh.uk/3bJU7km
Make a bird feeder https://tlbh.uk/3bJU7km
How to make a birds nest https://tlbh.uk/3bJU7km
Make a Glow Worm https://tlbh.uk/3bJU7km
Make a Hedgehog Home https://tlbh.uk/3bJU7km
Make a rain stick https://tlbh.uk/3bJU7km
Make an edible pond https://tlbh.uk/3bJU7km
How to identify Butterflies and Moths https://tlbh.uk/3bJU7km
National Trust 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 https://tlbh.uk/3bM7HU5
Chester Zoo Endangered Species Game https://tlbh.uk/2MCU6Hj
5 Week free course on Ancient Rome https://tlbh.uk/2xYr8uw
6 Week free course on the Tudors https://tlbh.uk/2ShBtbB
Women in History with English Heritage https://tlbh.uk/2XcCjbI
Horrible Histories Hard as Nails game https://tlbh.uk/2VBNJWA
Horrible Histories https://tlbh.uk/2MorvoL
Historic Monuments with English Heritage https://tlbh.uk/31WxsyQ
Medieval castles with English Heritage https://tlbh.uk/3hVLp5D
Kids Jedi Workout https://tlbh.uk/35zeWwg
Captain America Kids Workout https://tlbh.uk/35azYBa
Cosmic Kids Yoga https://tlbh.uk/3bsIm1a
Joe Wicks PE for Kids https://tlbh.uk/3aliGDw
Oti Mabuse Dance Lesson https://tlbh.uk/2Uio7NV
Trolls themed Yoga https://youtu.be/U9Q6FKF12Qs
Next Book Finder https://tlbh.uk/31WgBfb
DK Online Video Library https://tlbh.uk/3gYka91
Learning Resources UK Worksheets https://tlbh.uk/3b9twzG
BBC Bitesize Primary https://tlbh.uk/392Qmq0
BBC Bitesize Secondary https://tlbh.uk/2MqFF8S
TED Ed Videos https://tlbh.uk/355zdLJ
STEM Resources https://tlbh.uk/2Z6Yd1r
STEM Primary Maths https://tlbh.uk/3lOWyr5
STEM Primary Science https://tlbh.uk/357kfoC
STEM Primary Computing https://tlbh.uk/3jXpCev
Maddie Moate Let's Go Live! https://tlbh.uk/2UFY0PW
Homeschool with Konnie Huq https://tlbh.uk/34kR2UM
Dyson Science and Engineering Challenges https://tlbh.uk/3e5n1gc
Orchard Toys activity sheets https://tlbh.uk/2UXCBDf
Makaton Music Videos https://tlbh.uk/2RZsifT
Google Arts and Culture Tours https://tlbh.uk/33TwO4i
Harry Potter (A History of Magic tour) https://tlbh.uk/2JqIORy
The Maths Factor https://tlbh.uk/2yaZPwD
Tiny Happy People (BBC) https://tlbh.uk/2KqZQzh
The Shed School KS1 https://tlbh.uk/2ybb20m
English with Holly https://tlbh.uk/389RSHC
The Dad Lab science experiments https://tlbh.uk/2VYq2rz
Make a plant Maze https://tlbh.uk/3ivkkXE
National Geographic https://tlbh.uk/355NWqa
Solutions and Density https://tlbh.uk/3giRBU0
Make a volcano https://tlbh.uk/2VzJx9K
Make instant Ice Cream https://tlbh.uk/3aO9Hu1
BBC Bitesize Primary age games https://tlbh.uk/35d9BL7
Cards Against Humanity Family Edition https://tlbh.uk/2JDB9PQ
Online Egyptian Escape Room https://tlbh.uk/2JH4HMq
NASA - Galaxy of Horrors https://tlbh.uk/3d2vtf3
See a Satellite https://tlbh.uk/3aWeXMS
Stories Read by Astronauts in Space https://tlbh.uk/3baO87P
Live feed from the International Space Station https://tlbh.uk/2V67sME
Star Gazing tips https://tlbh.uk/2Y8EmPJ
Guitar Lessons with James Bay https://tlbh.uk/2W4nx5W
Royal Opera House Create and Learn https://tlbh.uk/2xFNoc7
Makaton CarPark Karaoke https://tlbh.uk/2KWubGq
ARTS AND CRAFTS
Make a basking shark from a bottle https://tlbh.uk/3bJU7km
Learn about Salvador Dali https://tlbh.uk/2QPTFb9
Make a sunset box with TATE Kids https://tlbh.uk/32UwQJb
Things to make with TATE Kids https://tlbh.uk/2F46Cvk
Scouts The Great Indoors Challenges https://tlbh.uk/2W4q8Ne
Go On A Colour Walk https://tlbh.uk/2ZmClQ3
Drawing with Rob https://tlbh.uk/3ajnWr0
shopDisney Arts and Crafts https://tlbh.uk/3506Cpr
Aardman Animations Aards and Craft series https://tlbh.uk/3cvF0uu
Learn about Pop Art https://tlbh.uk/3hWrLqb
Wallace and Gromit downloads and activities https://tlbh.uk/34Nk9jV
Boden Mini Missions https://tlbh.uk/39YglNA
Drawing with Wendy Mac https://tlbh.uk/3aY1T8P
Lego Lifeforms Event with Natural History Museum https://tlbh.uk/3c7rQnQ
Latest Covid news
19th January 2021
Covid Vaccine easy read leaflet -
Pulse oximetry to detect early deterioration of patients with COVID-19 in primary and community care settings new easy read guide now available called Using a pulse oximeter to check you are ok:
National lockdown: stay at home easy read
14th January 2021
Goverment guidance published special schools, specialist post-16 providers, and alternative schools (including hospital schools) during the national lockdown period. It should be read alongside the main guidance document: Restricting attendance during the national lockdown: schools and the Further education guidance for restricting attendance during the national lockdown, which covers the main operational issues.
The National Lockdown Guidance was updated again today, 13th January: https://bit.ly/GOVl0csthm.
The Government published its vaccine delivery plan on Monday 11th January and has been updated today, 13th January: https://bit.ly/GOVvacpln.
Guidance on shielding and protecting clinically extremely vulnerable people was updated on 11th January and again today, 13th January: https://bit.ly/GOVc19exvln.
Government guidance for children of critical workers and vulnerable children who can access school/college (and other educational settings) was updated on 8th January: https://bit.ly/GOVcwvul.
You can read about the second new variant (identified in South Africa) here:
Information about the (first) new Covid-19 variant was published on 20th December (Public Health England)
Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from Covid-19, (includes guidance for children who were shielding previously)
For the latest NHS advice and guidance regarding the coronavirus pandemic please click here
Getting out for exercise - Parks and open spaces
Bedford Priory Marina
Harrold-Odell Country Park
Mowsbury Park and woods
The Embankment free unlimited parking at Aspects Leisure park at the top of the Embankment
Walk/Bike ride to the Danish Camp which is currently closed from Priory Marina
Free parking at Aspects or Priory Marina
Follow signs from the entrance to the marina turn first left by the recycling facilities and follow that road and you pick up the path as you walk/ride over the bridge.
Support for Adults with Wellbeing
24 hour urgent mental health assessment hub in Bedford
Bedfordshire Recovery College
Bedfordshire and Luton Recovery College is part of the Bedfordshire Mental Health Academy which is a formal partnership with East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) and the University of Bedfordshire.
All of our online courses are FREE of CHARGE
Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service
You can self refer yourself via email: Elt-tr.bedfordIAPT@nhs.net
Or you can use this secure online form
Calm: Movement against suicide. Free, confidential helpline 0800 58 58 58 & webchat, 5pm to midday daily.
MIND - Coronavirus and your wellbeing, by Mind UK:
5 ways to wellbeing, by Mindkit:
Mental Health organisations helplines
A list of mental health organisations are available here
NHS Every Mind Matters website has loads of useful advice and there are helplines if you need someone to talk to
Samaritans: Free helpline is available round the clock on 116 123
Shout 85258: Anxious? Worried? Stressed? Feeling low? Text Shout to 85258 for free 24/7 support in the UK.
Supporting mental wellbeing resources and apps
An information guide has been compiled to bring together resources and phone apps that may be useful to maintain mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 crisis and beyond. To view click here
Support for Children/Young People wellbeing
Mental health support for children and young people
Bedford Borough Early Help
Early help is about taking action early and as soon as possible to tackle problems emerging for children, young people and their families. The Bedford Borough Early Help guide provides information on a wide range of services in Bedford Borough for children, young people and families. This includes sources of support, childcare, children's centres and children's activities.
Bedford Borough Educational Psychology Team Drop in Slots
The Team are offering 30 minute virtual drop in slots to offer parents/carers of children/young people who attend schools that buy back this service*, advice and guidance on their child/young person’s wellbeing during lockdown. The Drop Ins will commence Monday 11th January from 9am – 11am and will run daily.
To book a 30-minute slot please email email@example.com detailing your name, telephone number, child’s school and brief description of query/advice needed. We will email back with forthcoming available slots for parents to book.
*All schools apart from the 4 below buy back. If you child/young person attends one of the 4 schools please contact your school for support.
Biddenham International School and Sports College
Goldington Green Academy
Putnoe Primary School
Bedford Open Door
Provides young people in Bedford aged 13 to 25, 12 sessions of FREE, confidential telephone or online counselling with one of our friendly, experienced counsellors.
ChildLine provides a confidential helpline for any child with a problem. It comforts, advises and protects.
FREE Online Exercise Session for Young People - replacing young minds yoga at John Bunyan Sports and Fitness Coronavirus
Goverment guidance on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing published 29 March 2020 and last updated on the 16th October 2020
MIND Supporting your teen's wellbeing during coronavirus
Information for parents and carers of young people aged 11-18 who are worried about their child's wellbeing, and want to know how to support them click here
North Bedford Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
Young people or parents/carers who live in Bedford Borough can now self-refer to the North Bedfordshire CAMHS service by completeing the CAMHS Self Referral form
Parentline Bedfordshire - service from Bedfordshire Community Health Services
Parentline is a secure and confidential text service for parents and carers of those aged 0-19. It offers advice and support on a range of issues such as sleep and emotional health or how to make an appointment with our team. This is also a great mechanism to find out how to access other local services.
Simply text 07507 331456 with your question to start the conversation – our team will be there to answer your queries from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays)
Place 2 Be: (for young ages) Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity with over 25 years’ experience working with pupils, families and staff in UK schools.
Rise Above is a digital resource developed to address health challenges, including COVID-19, in a way that resonates with young people. It offers a digital hub providing young people with a safe and inspiring space where they can learn how to deal with the issues that matter to them and build their resilience and confidence.
Royal Society of Psychiatry, resources for young people and parents
Samaritans: Free helpline is available round the clock on 116 123.
Student Space: One-to-one support for whatever challenge you’re facing, designed for students. Whether it’s your mental health, your studies, money, housing or relationships, we’re here to support you.
Support for pupils and students
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has produced a practical guide to supporting pupils and students during periods of disruption, which looks at how to support children and young people’s mental health with a focus on anxiety.
The Mix provides a free confidential helpline and online service that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem.
- call 0808 808 4994 for free – lines are open from 11am to 11pm every day
- access the online community
- email The Mix
YMCA Mental Health Top time to be well during lockdown
This guide was written for the first lockdown however still lots of tips and ideas
Provides advice about mental health and behaviour problems in children and young people up to the age of 25. You can call the Parents’ and Carers’ Helpline on 0808 802 5544. Please be aware Young Minds do not provide any direct psychological services and cannot make referrals to the NHS or Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS).
Support for people with Learning Disabilities
Wellbeing Videos for people with Learning Disabilities
Anxiety and the body:
Five things to do when feeling anxious:
Five seconds breathing exercise:
Balloon breathing exercise:
Breathing exercise using your imagination:
Explaining mindfulness and the 5 things exercise:
My relaxing place exercise:
Advise for people with learning disabilities
A really good Learning Disability guide on staying safe. It builds on the initial introduction we have all seen already in other guides and explains more about how things are now and has suggestions for activities, wellbeing and even what to do if you are out and get stopped by the police
Mencap Coronavirus: Help to stay safe and well
Information about how to keep safe and well during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including guidance around social distancing and face coverings.
Easy read guide from Mencap explaining what may happen if you have to go to hospital:
Here are the web pages Learning Disability England (LDE) are developing to share information and resources about the virus and what you can to do to stay safe and well, and how people are staying connected and finding solutions
Easy read version of the Government's coronavirus leaflet, click here Easy Read Online
Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings
Updated from 2nd December 2020 - Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19
Minister Ford open letter to the SEND Sector dated the 9th of November
The letter can be read here
Department of Education helpline
The Department for Education has a Coronavirus helpline for education and children's social care related queries, which is available to anyone working in the sector, as well as parents.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm Monday-Friday, and 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
CDC have been asked to pull together resources and to respond to
frequently asked questions, the link is here:
Talking to children about Coronavirus
I have a question about coronavirus, illustrated picture story: http://www.jkp.com/jkpblog/2020/03/i-have-a-question-about-coronavirus/
A free information book explaining the coronavirus to children, illustrated by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler was released on Monday the 6th of April, you can view it here
Advice on talking to children about Coronavirus, by British Psychological Society:
How to talk to your child about coronavirus, by Unicef:
Child-friendly explanation of Coronavirus for Primary age students:
Information video on Coronavirus for Primary age children (KS2), by Brainpop:
Information video on Coronavirus for older children/adults, by WHO:
A website to prepare families for admission to hospital of their loved ones.
It is really important to be organised and we hope that the information below will help you. https://includemetoo.org.uk/covid19/
- What is the coronavirus? The Autism Educator: https://littlepuddins.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/The-Corona-Virus-Free-Printable-Updated-2-The-Autism-Educator-.pdf
- National Autistic Society, coronavirus resources: https://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/coronavirus/resources.aspx
- Resources for autistic people of all ages https://www.autism.org.uk/services/helplines/coronavirus/resources/helpful-resources.aspx
- Autism Bedfordshire, COVID-19 support: https://www.autismbedfordshire.net/support-for-children/autism-bedfordshire-covid-19-support-services/
- UK Adult ADHD network, https://www.ukaan.org/advice-on-covid-19
- Explaining autism, National Austistic Society: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbwRrVw-CRo
- Research Autism, an introduction to autism issues: http://www.researchautism.net/autism-issues/autism-issues-introduction
- Top tips for behaviour, National Autistic Society: https://www.autism.org.uk/about/behaviour/guidelines.aspx
- Challenging Behaviour Foundation: https://www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk/understanding-behaviour/finding-the-reasons.html
- Anxiety UK, information about autism and anxiety: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/get-help/anxiety-information/autism-and-anxiety/
- Autism Network, reducing anxiety in children and young people: https://network.autism.org.uk/good-practice/evidence-base/reducing-anxiety-autistic-children-and-young-people
- Young Minds, a Parent’s Guide to Support Anxiety: https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-guide-to-support-a-z/parents-guide-to-support-anxiety/
- Teen sleep guide https://books.apple.com/gb/book/how-to-sleep-well-and-stay-healthy-a-guide-for-teenagers/id1397176909
Support groups and forums
- Outside in support groups http://www.outsidein-solutions.co.uk/support/support-groups/
- The Avenue ASD support for families https://theavenuesupport.co.uk/
- Carers in Bedfordshire https://carersinbeds.org.uk/young-carers/being-a-young-carer
- Parent Carer Forum, Bedford Borough https://www.bbpcf.co.uk/
- ADDISS ( National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service) national support service available http://www.addiss.co.uk support service via internet or telephone 020 8952 2800
- Faces Bedford support group (ASD/ADHD), firstname.lastname@example.org, 01234 270601http://www.facesbedford.org/contact
- UK ADHD support groups, https://www.ukadhd.com/support-groups.htm
Mental health support for children and teenagers
- Kooth, support via online chat https://www.kooth.com
- Childline https://www.childline.org.uk
- Young Minds https://youngminds.org.uk
- Royal Society of Psychiatry, resources for young people and parents https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/parents-and-young-people
- The Mix, essential support for under 25s, http://www.themix.org.uk
FREE tool to measure Children/Young People feet
For new shoes click here
Local Offer Social Media
FREE Online Exercise offered by Bedford Borough
No Limits Sports Zone - FREE ONLINE Saturdays Dance class 10am to 11am
No Limits Sports Zone - FREE ONLINE Movement to Music Thursday 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Bedford Borough Sports Developement Team has arranged a range of FREE online classes including Tai-Chi, Yoga and gentle exercise