Last week I signed a cross-party letter by Caroline Lucas of the Green Party drawing attention to the relationship between the destruction of natural environments and increased pandemic risks. We are asking the Chancellor to take responsibility for ensuring that the protection of nature is at the heart of economic planning going forward. Once this crisis has passed we will need to build our economy back, but we must build it back to a more sustainable model.
Here is the full text of the letter:
MORE PEOPLE NOW ELIGIBLE FOR COVID-19 TESTS
The Government has now widened the criteria for being offered a Covid-19 test to include 25 million people. The following can now go on to the national portal and book tests to see if they currently have the virus:
all essential workers, including NHS and social care workers, with symptoms
anyone over 65 with symptoms
anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home
anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with those identified above
social care workers and residents in care homes (with or without symptoms)
NHS workers and NHS patients without symptoms
Testing is most effective within three days of symptoms developing, so if you think you are eligible please act quickly. Tests are being booked through a central national portal here:
RICHMOND AND KINGSTON HOMESTART DONATIONS
Homestart is a national charity that provides support to struggling families in their homes. As part of the global Giving Tuesday, the Kingston, Richmond and Hounslow groups are inviting you to declutter your home and donate your unwanted books, videos, games and cds in support of their work. Using Ziffit, a free service, you can get your unwanted books, games, DVDs and CDs valued instantly. This value can then be donated directly to our fundraising activity via Virgin Money. It's an easy process. To start, download the Ziffit app or use the website link. Shipping your items is free and done with social distancing measures.
LIFE IN LOCKDOWN: DOORSTEP PORTRAITS FOR KINGSTON HOSPITAL CHARITY
A local professional portrait photographer is offering a free family portrait on the doorstep for Kingston Hospital Charity donors. The Kingston Hospital Charity fundraising appeal supports frontline staff working at Kingston Hospital.
Social distancing rules will be maintained at all times and your photo will be uploaded to a private online gallery for you to download free of charge.
See sample photos here: http://www.sillettphotography.com/doortraits/
If you are able to donate, please so do here: https://www.khc.org.uk/support-us/donate/.
To book your “doortrait” contact Andy Sillett Photography by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 07884 003 221.
TIME TO CHECK YOUR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION?
With so many of us feeling stressed by financial pressure, isolation or health worries it's important to keep an eye on our drinking habits and make sure we are not reaching for a glass more often than we would normally. If you would like to work out how much you are drinking, get information about whether alcohol might be affecting your health, and read some tips to help you cut back, try the Kingston E-Drink Check.
KINGSTON MUSIC SERVICE VIRTUAL OPEN DAY
If you or your child is interested in learning to play a musical instrument but haven't decided which one, Kingston Music Service is having a virtual Open Day on June 6 from 1:00 to 4:00. You will be able to listen to a full range of instruments and speak to their team of tutors. The event will take place on Google Meet, which they also use for their online lessons.
The full schedule will be announced closer to the event, so please sign up to be notified.
BANK HOLIDAY REFUSE AND RECYCLING COLLECTIONS
As this year's May Day bank holiday is this Friday, May 8, instead of today, only residents whose refuse collections are usually scheduled for Fridays will be affected by the holiday. Those residents should put their refuse and recycling out for collection on Saturday 9 May.
HANG YOUR BUNTING FOR VE DAY
The bank holiday this Friday has been timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE day. As public celebrations have been cancelled, the Mayor of Richmond is asking residents to hang bunting on their houses to commemorate it. This is a chance to show your public spirit in your own creative way. The Council has planted a commemorative bedding display in Terrace Gardens along Richmond's riverside, where bedding plants have been planted to spell out ‘VE Day, 75 Years’, along with a red poppy.
PARK IMPROVEMENTS ACROSS THE BOROUGH
Richmond Council has sent me an update on the works that are going on in all of the Borough's parks this spring. There are renewal projects planned or in progress throughout the Borough. If you would like to see what is being done in your area, please have a look at this report: https://www.richmond.gov.uk/media/18922/parks_project_update.pdf