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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.

Any section in BOLD is a update this week, so you can easily see what is new when reviewing the page 


Bedford Borough Council

Bedford Borough Council

Coronavirus information can be accessed here 

Bedford Borough Community Hub: If you can help, or need help, find out about the community hub here 

Bedford Borough – Carers Support during COVID-19

Adult Social Care (ASC) have published a range of information about service changes and new developments which is accessible here.

Bedford Borough Council facebook

Bedford Borough Twitter account

Bedfordshire Police Coronavirus FAQ

As the country goes into further lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus and instructions have been issued by the Government about what people should be doing, we have put some Q&As together members of the public have been asking our frontline officers and staff here

Bedford Borough Children's Services guides 

A Parent's Guide to Returning to School 

Return to School Guide: Part 1 Key Transition Principles and Psychological Theories

Return to School Guide: Part 2 Pratical Guide for Schools

Return to School Guide: Part 3 Table of Provision


Wellbeing Workshops
PoetsIN are offering free workshops to key workers and the community in Bedfordshire. The sessions are a taste of our 6-week workshops, focusing on wellbeing, with tools to manage stress, anxiety, worry and depression; and are interactive, fun and a safe space within which to purge and share for an hour.
Further details

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.
view guide

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

Bedford Borough Psychology team have produced the look after yourself, and look after children document full of advise and ideas for both physical and mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak here

Bedford Borough Educational Psychology team are offering 30 minute drop ins on the phone to offer advice and guidance to parents on their child / young person’s wellbeing. To access a 30 minute phone slot, parents can email detailing their name, telephone number, and brief description of query / advice needed. We will email back with forthcoming available slots for parents to book.

Bedford Wellbeing service 

Coronavirus and your wellbeing, by Mind UK:

5 ways to wellbeing, by Mindkit:

Mental health support for children and teenagers

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

Note: as the situation and sources of information are developing, the above tips and links may be updated.

Kooth the online counselling and emotional well-being service for children and young people aged 11 -19 is still available further details here

Mental HealthTop time to be well during lockdown

Mental Health organisations helplines 

A list of mental health organisations are available here

A24hr urgent mental health assessment hub have been opened by the Trust in Bedford at:

Florence Ball, Bedford Health Village, 3 Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2NX
Tele: 01234 315691

The service is part of a crisis response pathway to help divert people away from A&E who don’t require treatment for a physical medical condition.

NHS 111 mental health crisis support is now available weekdays 5-11pm and weekends 7am-11pm. Anyone in need of urgent mental health crisis care should dial 111 during those hours or call the hub on the number above outside of those times.

The hub will also support by providing walk-in help and support for anyone who would otherwise attend A&E.

Psychiatric Liaison Service (PLS) teams will assess any patients requiring mental health support arriving at Bedford and Luton & Dunstable A&E departments – and divert to the hub if appropriate.

Hospital teams will continue to contact PLS as normal for patients receiving treatment for physical medical conditions who also require mental health support.

Crisis teams are operating as normal and continue to accept self-referrals.

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:


    Latest Service updates

    Week beginning 8th of June 

    Bedford Borough Children Services Documents 

    A Parent's Guide to Returning to School 

    Return to School Guide: Part 1 Key Transition Principles and Psychological Theories

    Return to School Guide: Part 2 Pratical Guide for Schools

    Return to School Guide: Part 3 Table of Provision

    Week  beginning 1st of June 

    Click here to read Minister Vicky Ford Open Letter to children and young people with SEND and their families dated the 30th of May regarding wider opening of schools and other educational settings.

    Week beginning 25th of May 

    Podcast explaining Bedford CAMHS service update during lockdown

    CAMHS have recorded a podcast about the COVID pandemic and the changes to the CAMHS service.  This includes the self referral process and the new 24 hour Crisis line that is now available for anyone, those that are already under the care of the service and for those that feel they may need CAMHS support. The podcast can be listened to here Episode 11 – Bedford CAMHS service update during lockdown

    Zoom Online Exercise Session for Young People - replacing young minds yoga at John Bunyan Sports and Fitness Coronavirus update.  

    The young minds yoga has now transferred online to Zoom, the session includes a 20 minute social chat with is managed by a by two staff members offering a safe space for an informal chat about current pressures and ways of coping with lockdown.  Further information

    Week beginning 11th of May

    We are delighted to launch 'SEND Matters' the newsletter for all things SEND in Bedford Borough. This edition includes Covid-19 FAQ's, an update from health services and much more! Click here 

    Week beginning the 27th of April 

    Kempston Youth Club 

    Is now online on a Tuesday from 5pm to 7pm, to join drop us an email at

    24hr urgent mental health assessment hub

    Has been opened by the Trust in Bedford at:

    Florence Ball, Bedford Health Village, 3 Kimbolton Road, Bedford, MK40 2NX
    Tele: 01234 315691

    The service is part of a crisis response pathway to help divert people away from A&E who don’t require treatment for a physical medical condition.

    NHS 111 mental health crisis support is now available weekdays 5-11pm and weekends 7am-11pm. Anyone in need of urgent mental health crisis care should dial 111 during those hours or call the hub on the number above outside of those times.

    The hub will also support by providing walk-in help and support for anyone who would otherwise attend A&E.

    Psychiatric Liaison Service (PLS) teams will assess any patients requiring mental health support arriving at Bedford and Luton & Dunstable A&E departments – and divert to the hub if appropriate.

    Hospital teams will continue to contact PLS as normal for patients receiving treatment for physical medical conditions who also require mental health support.

    Crisis teams are operating as normal and continue to accept self-referrals.

    Music for Bedford Borough

    To continue its support of the creative curriculum for Bedford Borough primary schools and its pupils, the Music Service is pleased to announce the launch of its new bespoke website, ‘Keeping the Beat!’ which contains a wide range of activities and resources, and can be accessed FREE of charge. It is designed for use by primary-aged individuals at school or home and we ask that you publicise it to your staff and parents.

    The link is (A secondary schools’ version is being designed). If you have any queries about the website or Schools’ Brochure for 2020-21 please contact

    Autism Spectrum Advisory Team

    “The Early Years Support Team remains operational during the Covid-19 pandemic, although we are unable to offer face to face contact with families and settings. We continue to receive referrals from health and education professionals and have limited ability to complete comprehensive Initial and Statutory Assessments at this time. However, we are endeavouring to provide families and settings with early advice and support through telephone and email contact. We are also maintaining our monthly ‘Drop-In’ session (by appointment over the phone), so that early years settings can seek specialist advice as appropriate. This is usually held on the first Wednesday of the month (term time permitting).

    For further information, or to arrange a telephone appointment for our Drop-In, call 01234 718123 

    Carers in Bedfordshire

    Are hosting a weekly Zoom Coffee and Chat morning, starting this Thursday at 11am. We hope this will be a great opportunity to catch up and connect with each other during lockdown.

    If you would like to join us, please give us a call on 0300 111 1919 to register and then you will be sent the details for joining us.

    We would love to see you. Please do get in contact if you would like to join us.

    Week beginning the 20th of April 


    Join us in our interactive activities via zoom call starting today!! Here’s what we have on offer! To view their Zoom timetable click here

    Bedford Hospital Blood Tests 

    Children/Young People 

    The paediatirc phlebotomy service is currently operating a limited service for urgent blood tests only. The drop in service is no longer in operation. Should your child require an urgent blood sample please call the following number for advice on whether your test can be carried out: 01234 355122 Ex: 6376


    All Adult Outpatients Blood Tests at Caudwell Centre (South Wing) have been moved to Gilbert Hitchcock House (North Wing). Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm. Please call 01234 355122, extension 3402 for any enquiries.

    Wellbring COVID-19 Direct Response Service

    Wellbeing are offering a Direct Response Service to try and help you get the things you need.

    If you are a family requesting support or a professional referring a family  for the following things:

    • Access to food delivery service
    • Prescription collection
    • Delivery of Personal Protective Equipment for your care team (including handwash, alcohol gel, gloves, aprons, surgical masks and eye protection)
    • Scrub style uniforms for care staff

    Please complete the form on the Wellbeing website here

    WellChild COVID-19 Response Team will aim to reply to you as soon as possible during the working week of Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm.

    Autism Bedforshire Adult Services 

    The Adult Services team will be offering an online Parent Support Group for Parents that have adult children on the autistic spectrum. For more information please contact us on

    New Adult Skills Course - Building Self-Esteem and confidence for more information about skills courses currently being run please contact us on 01234214871 or email us on

    Bedford Borough Virtual libaries 

    Don't forget although our libraries are closed you can still access their range of FREE online services, not a member not a problem you and your family can sign up here

    Now is a good time to discover our amazing range of online services giving you access to thousands of e-books, audiobooks, magazines, comics and newspapers - all you need is your library card number and PIN. Don't have a PIN? Request one here

    RB Digital - downloadable e-books, audiobooks and magazines all in one place
    PressReader - Thousands of national and international newspapers and magazines to be read online or downloaded
    Freegal - Millions of tracks to be streamed for up to 5 hours a day or download 5 tracks a day to keep

    Week beginning the 13th of April

    Parent Led CBT - Helping your child with fears and worries

    The programme consists of psychoeducation, identification and challenging of anxious thoughts through graded exposure and problem-solving. Parents are asked to complete various between-session tasks, both independently and with their child. For more information click here

    Speech and Language support,

    To enable our staff to maintain essential services for our patients, we have had to pause or change the way we deliver some of our services in line with national guidance. This means we:

    • have suspended all our training classes for the foreseeable future
    • are offering telephone consultations as much as we can instead of face to face
    • have made it as easy as possible to contact us through a central number for all children’s services
      • Bedfordshire – 0300 555 0606

    Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service 

    Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are adapting daily to ensure we deliver an efficient service for our patients. All of our Team are working from home which is having an impact on our telephone system. The most efficient way to contact us is email, alternatively call 01234 880400. You can still self-referral by clicking here


    Thank you all who joined our first Zoom Quiz Night! We will be holding them on a fortnightly basis! 

    Our parent carer choir is continuing to run virtually too! This happens every Monday from 12:30 - 2:00pm. If you are not yet involved in the parent carer choir and would like to join, then please send Jane an email on  and she will happily add you in. The next choir will take place on Bank Holiday Monday. 

    Spectrum Arts - We have been in talks with the fabulous Jade from Spectrum Community Arts about offering some virtual sessions. Jade is running Zoom workshops on Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's each week at 2:30-3pm. We would like to fund this for our BDCPS families from 20th April, so we will be asking you all next week if you would like to take part so we can book you on with Jade! Jade is also making us some pre-recorded videos for you to use at home in your own times, which will include parent guides too. More information about this and how to book will come out next week!

    ACE and JJ's CREW - We would love to get you all together with your friends again! So we are going to host a Zoom online party with some singing, dancing and the chance to catch up with friends online! So if this is something of interest make sure you have Zoom at the ready! Our first get together will be Saturday 25th April - more information will follow.

    Nathan Sounds has been busy recording some wonderful sound videos on his YouTube channel, for us all to enjoy in our own time. We would also like to do a live sound session with Nathan and we will send you details of this when we can.

    Week beginning the 6th of April 

    Speech and Language support,

    Cathryn Ellingham, is available to support families with early advice and support regarding their child's talking. Telephone drop in slots are available, please email to arrange a telephone call to discuss your child.

    Youth Minds 

    Tips, advice and guidance on where you can get support for your mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic here

    Bedford Open Door

    We are now open to new registrations for young people aged 13 to 25 - so if you know of a young person who would like up to 12 sessions of free, confidential telephone or online counselling click here

    Carers in Bedfordshire 

    Carers Grant 

    Carers in Beds are accepting Carers Grant applications – for items or activities that promote carer wellbeing for further information click here

    Discount card 

    Carers in Beds are still accepting Carers discount card applications details here

    Bedford Community Health Services 

    In order to deliver the best possible patient care during the Coronavirus outbreak, we will be reorganising aspects of children's services that are provided and delivered by CCS NHS Trust. Please see the details on our public website

    for which services will be continuing, what changes will be made, and what will be suspended until further notice. Please also check back to this page in future for further updates.

    Week beginning the 30th March

    National Autistic Society 

    For information of the range of resources and and tips click here

    Childline Counsellor chat 

    For changes about the service, click here

    Bedford Borough Early Help service

    The Early Help Service remains operational during the Covid-19 pandemic, albeit with restricted capacity and provision.  We are continuing to work creatively during this period to ensure families most in need are able to access a range of support through various mediums such as online, telephone and video call.  For further information call 01234 718700

    Please continue to submit Early Help assessments which you can download from the documents section of the local offer and TAF paperwork to

    Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum FAQ

    Please find the answers to the most common frequently asked questions regarding the impact of Coronavirus from Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum here


    The chathealth service is still available and throughout the Easter holidays apart from bank holidays, where 11 to 19 years olds, can text the  school nurses on 07507 331450 to ask any health related questions you might have including mental health, drugs, relationships, healthy eating and much more. Click here to view the chathealth local offer page, 


    The parentline service is still available.   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 weaning, 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.  Click here to view the parentline local offer page, 

    Access Bedford  

    Coronavirus update here 


    The CHUMS service during the Coronavirus pandemic, can be viewed here 

    Bedford Borough Parent Carer Forum 

    Update from Bedford parent carer forum here

    Week beginning the 23rd of March 

    Autism Beds 

    Autism Bedfordshire COVID-19 Support Services can be viewed here

    Bedford libraries and online virtual services 

    Coronavirus Response from Bedford Borough Libraries and how to access a wide range of FREE online services click here

    Bedfordshire Community Health Service 

    How Coronavirus is affecting our service click here 


    CAMHS have implemented  their temporary Covid 19 plan details here

    Nurse led clinics for children with additional needs 

    Extended telephone drop in hours details here

    Minister Vicky Ford sent an Open Letter to children and young people with SEND and their families

    Local Offer Social Media

    Local Offer Facebook page The local offer facebook page can be accessed here  where you find lots of FREE ideas and resources on how to educate the children/young people  such as daily PE lessons with the body coach at 9am, through to  range of Stage shows, musicals and opera you can watch online now for free

    Local Offer Instagram page 

    You can follow us on Instagram here 

    Local Offer Twitter Account 

    Our twitter handle is @Bedfordlocalof1 

    Local vulnerable supermarkets shopping times

    I managed to get through to M&S and they said bring a letter or something that proves your child/young people is in the vulnerable category e.g. email from social worker, and your ID. I tried to get hold of the others however i expect it will be the same criteria.  Carers in Bedforshire have reported that their discount card is being accepted as some shops.  

    8-9am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday reserved for NHS and social care workers alongside elderly and vulnerable customers

    Prioritised a one-hour slot for elderly and vulnerable every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9am in all stores except smaller Express shops.

    Protected shopping period for the elderly and vulnerable at every store which will take place during the first opening hour so in Bedford that will be 7:30 to 8:30am

    • Anyone who identifies themselves as part of these categories is welcome but Waitrose asks that each individual exercises discretion about whether they really need to access the shop at this time
    • No 'proof' is required from those identifying as vulnerable, but given the government guidelines around social distancing, the number of people accessing the store at any one time is limited, and it is the store managers discretion as to who is given priority.

    Waitrose have launched essential packages for the vulnerable delivered next day

    For anyone who is unable to leave their house. You can order basic essentials and fruit/ vegetables but no chilled items. Orders and payment are taken over the phone. Your shopping will then be delivered to you the next day. If anyone would like to place an order or request more information please call 01234 273682

    First hour of trading – Priority hours for elderly and vulnerable people
    Check your local store opening hours here

    M&S Food Hall
    First hour of trading Monday and Thursday for vulnerable people from 8am to 9am


    All our stores have a dedicated shopping hour for our vulnerable customers, those that care for them and NHS workers.

    This takes place from 8am to 9am Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 11am on Sundays in all our stores.

    Useful Links

    Stepping Stones Triple P Guide 

    Parenting Children with Disability during COVID-19

    Social Story I am going back to school

    Social Story I am going back to school resource

    Guidance on returning to school in June 

    The government published Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June: guidance for parents and carer. Updated 20 May 2020, the guidance can be viewed 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.

    FREE tool to measure Children/Young People feet

    For new shoes click here


    CDC have been asked to pull together resources and to respond to
    frequently asked questions, the link is here:

    Frequently asked questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found

    There are a number of frequently asked questions for different educational settings and for local authorities at this link:

    Talking to children about Coronavirus

    I have a question about coronavirus, illustrated picture story 

    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:

    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

    Coronavirus: Guidance to help you stay safe and well 

    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.

    Easy read guide from Mencap explaining what may happen if you have to go to hospital:

    What may happen if I have to go to hospital because of coronavirus (COVID-19)

    What may happen if someone I know has to go to hospital because of coronavirus (COVID-19) 

    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 



    Behaviour management



    Support groups and forums

    Mental health support for children and teenagers

    Education resources

    Support to SEND children to continue education

    Resources including SEND

    an article with tips for games and activities to do with children with special educational needs, that are not screen based - many of them indoors.

    Twinkl has lots of wonderful resources and ideas to stimulate and entertain children of primary school age. And the Twinkl SEND resources are well worth checking out for fun stuff to do at homeaccess to parents in the event of school closures.

    Singing Hands on YouTube has videos of songs signed in Makaton. They will be doing live sessions on You Tube at 10.30am.

    Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children's books alongside creative illustrations. 

    If your children are into animals and the natural world, National Geographic Kids on You Tube has lots of fantastic, interactive videos.

    Coronavirus (COVID 19): list of online education resources for home education 

    The government have brought together an initial list of FREE online educational resources to help children to learn at home.  The list includes subject-specific resources Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), Wellbeing, English, Maths,Science, PE

    BBC Bitesize

    Beginning Monday 20 April, BBC Bitesize will publish daily online lessons for all ages. We'll also have a new dedicated TV channel full of learning content, podcasts on BBC Sounds and loads of educational video on iPlayer.

    Khan Academy
    Especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it's mostly common material.

    Free to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account).

    For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.

    Free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it. Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.

    Learn computer programming skills - fun and free.

    Creative computer programming

    Ted Ed
    All sorts of engaging educational videos

    Maths blogger doing tutorials online

    National Geographic Kids
    Activities and quizzes for younger kids.

    Learn languages for free. Web or app.

    Mystery Science
    Free science lessons

    The Kids Should See This
    Wide range of cool educational videos

    Crash Course
    You Tube videos on many subjects

    Crash Course Kids
    As above for a younger audience

    Crest Awards
    Science awards you can complete from home.

    Home science activities 

    iDEA Awards
    Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.

    Paw Print Badges
    Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.

    All kinds of making.

    Prodigy Maths
    Is in U.S. grades, but good for UK Primary age.

    Cbeebies Radio
    Listening activities for the younger ones.

    Nature Detectives
    A lot of these can be done in a garden, or if you can get to a remote forest location!

    British Council
    Resources for English language learning

    Oxford Owl for Home
    Lots of free resources for Primary age

    Big History Project
    Aimed at Secondary age. Multi disciplinary activities.

    Geography Games
    Geography gaming!

    Blue Peter Badges
    If you have a stamp and a nearby post box.

    The Artful Parent
    Good, free art activities

    Red Ted Art
    Easy arts and crafts for little ones

    The Imagination Tree
    Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.

    Toy Theater
    Educational online games

    DK Find Out
    Activities and quizzes