Do what matters to you


Family ... and fulfilling your valued goals

Communicating with children/teenagers

Your children may understandably be concerned or worried by what they see, read or hear in the news or online regarding coronavirus. As a parent or carer, it’s good to talk to them honestly and calmly about what is happening. You don't have to have all the answers, but a gentle conversation can reassure them.

We've gathered some resources to help support you and your children with these conversations.

Resources especially for young children and their parents/carers

  • Coronavirus story book produced by Safer Schools - a colourful pdf you can use online or print off to help facilitate a conversation with your child.
  • Coronavirus activity sheet (Safer Schools) to print off and work through with your child.
  • COVIBOOK is an interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged 7 and under and help them explain and draw the emotions they may be experiencing during the pandemic - available in a number of languages,.
  • Place2Be provides helpful information to answer questions from children, including a link to a comic!

And something for teenagers/university students

  • FACE COVID is a brief animation in which Dr Russ Harris, author of the the international best-seller The Happiness Trap, illustrates how to use ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to deal with the Corona crisis and the fear, anxiety and worry that goes with it.
  • Student Minds is a website especially for those in the university community.
  • YoungMinds also offers mental health help and support to teenagers coping with the frustrations of self-isolating or social distancing.

If you're caring for someone with learning disabilities or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

  • The Trust's Learning Disabilities Dorset website has a number of links to some excellent easy read and video resources to help people communicate Coronavirus information to people with learning disabilities and people with autism,

This may be an especially stressful time if you're caring for a child with learning disabilities or ASD and in addition to some of the resources above, we hope the following may help you look after yourself as well as your children.


Support for home learning

Food a fact of life classroom (FFL, part of the British Nutrition Foundation) has over 157 activities and ideas made available to support home learning, from early years through to second pupils.

Between 30 March - 1 September 2020 the FFL will be adding activity ideas and resources every fortnight to support remote learning at home.

New for July - Wave 8 : Learning about food life skills from home, eg healthy eating, modifying recipes, food choice, food labels, food origins, cooking, food hygiene and safety and more!

YOUR goals for the future

Goals motivate us and can turn our values and dreams into reality. It's important that our goals shuld be challenging enough to excite us, but also achievalble so that we avoid unnecessary stress.

Find out what makes a good goal and how you can look forward with optimism - but be a realistic optimist!

Manage daily tasks and responsibilities

Working from home?

Take a look at the suggestions here to help you adjust to working at home, feel more productive and take care of your mental health in these unprecedented:

Our Steps2Wellbeing team have also produced this excellent guide with loads of tips on how we can best maintain our mental and physical wellbeing during this time.

Find out more about the equipment you need to work effectively from home, what you need to do and the IT support available to you.

On our Vocational Services web page you'll find more information about the pros and cons and points to consider when working remotely/from home

Are you sitting comfortably?

In this unprecedented situation many more of us are working from home and have had to set up work stations in our homes. In order to try to avoid any potential health issues such as eye strain or musculoskeletal problems it's important to check that your work station has been set up correctly for good posture, particularly if you are using a laptop.

Address your financial and money worries

Employment and benefits rights

You may be worried abuot work and money while you have to stay at home - these issues can have a big effect on your mental health,

Find out about your employment and benefits rights.

Bus pass restrictions lifted (updated 24/03/20)

In line with other authorities, Dorset Council has arranged with the bus companies that ENCTS pass holders can travel before 09:30 on registered local bus services. This came into effect on Monday 23 March and is in place until further notice.

Dorset Council suspends charges in their car parks to support key workers and residents (updated 31/03/20)

Dorset Council has suspended parking charges in its car parks across the county during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Following calls from the general public and Dorset’s elected members, the council will no longer require payment for the use of any of its car parks that remain open at this time while public health measures are in place.

However, on-street parking charges and restrictions will remain in place in order to keep roads clear and traffic moving.

Acceptance of tickets on Yellow Buses and Morebus (updated 31/03/20)

Key workers in Bournemouth and Poole and the surrounding area can now use their bus tickets for either Morebus or Yellow Buses - regardless of which operator issued them - to travel across any of the operators’ buses in the region. Read more...

Support networks (added 31/03/20)

Many of us have a network of family, friends, neighbours or community groups to help us access food and essential household items. But for those without a support network, help is out there...

These dedicated helplines are operated, with support from volunteers, from 8am until 8pm, 7 days a week.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole: 0300 123 705 288

Dorset Council area: 01305 221022

Other support is available:

BCP Area:

Age UK-Bournemouth, Poole and East Dorset 01202 530530


Citizens Advice-BCP 01202 290967


Food Banks - see the Faithworks Wessex webpage for additional information

Dorset Council Area:

Age UK-North, South and West Dorset 01305 269444


Citizens Advice-Dorset Advice line 0344 411 1444

or email local branch - details from the Dorset Council website

Foodbanks-see details of local Foodbank from Dorset Council website www dorsetcouncil

More information is available on the local authority websites.

For BCP Council: www bcpcouncil

For Dorset Council: www dorsetcouncil

Council tax

If you live in the Dorset Council area and your financial circumstances have changed, meaning you may have difficulty paying your council tax, contact the council tax team who will discuss your particular circumstances with you and find the best solution for you.

Explore innovative ways to continue your leisure and social activities

Bored with Zoom quizzes? Try a virtual escape room to play online with friends!

One of our Health and Wellbeing Champions has flagged up this link from the Independent newspaper, which lists a number of virtual escape rooms.

Some have a cost attached to them, but here are a few freebies you may like to try:

  • Hogwarts Digital Escape Room - explore the school of witchcraft and wizardry with team-building exercises, trivia questions to answer and puzzles to solve that you can do as an individual player, or in a team with your friends.
  • The Crimson Room - this Japanese game is retro in style.  Basically you wake up in a red room with a headache and can't remember a thing or even where you are and you need to get out before the timer is up - good one to play on your own if you want to kill some time.
  • Mr X - users are tasked with finding the identity of a mysterious Mr X, a dangerous agent dropping clues in your path, and is easy to involve a team or play on your own,

LiveWell Dorset's Five Ways Challenge

Taking care of our own health and wellbeing can be the first thing to slide when we're focused on taking care of patients, friends, family and loved ones

Keep Learning

Challenge your mind or learn a new skill. Join the Five Ways Challenge today to receive tips, ideas and inspiration to broaden your horizons.

Other suggestions to try ...

  • Join an online reading group - discover your next great read, get free books to read and review before anyone else, enter competitions to meet authors and take part in great giveaways! Click on the link to find your local group.
  • Learn a new language using the FREE Duolingo app

Lockdown gems

We've pulled together a bumper list of links to all sorts of resources. The spreadsheet has tabs for:

  • For children - Saturday morning cooking classes, craft ideas, bedtime stories
  • Be active - run a virtual marathon, get into yoga
  • Keep learning - improve your hairdressing skills, get into gardening, join in a virtual pub quiz
  • Tech guides - learn how to use FaceTime, Zoom and Houseparty
  • Events - attend concerts and lots of other performances online
  • Virtual tours - take a look around the Louvre Museum in Paris, and other places across the globe

We're updating the spreadsheet on a weekly basis. Download this week's Lockdown gems spreadsheet.

New online creative wellbeing meet-up

BCP Council have launched a new online FREE creative wellbeing meet-up for people struggling with anxiety or low mood.

Based on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, the sessions will be held every Tuesday at 3.00pm. No previous art experience or specialist materials needed.

To find out more and receive an invitation, email:


Get inspired with Gardeners' World!

With us spending more time at home and the summer months ahead of us, if you're fortunate enough to have a garden there's never been a better time to lavish a little TLC on it.

If you're new to gardening and are not not quite sure where to start, Gardeners' World's 10 tips will painlessly guide you through the process of this rewarding hobby, from designing your garden and knowing what will grow best in it to composting and being kind to wildlife.

Enhance wellbeing through effective use of social networking

LiveWell Dorset's Five Ways Challenge

Taking care of our own health and wellbeing can be the first thing to slide when we're focused on taking care of patients, friends, family and loved ones.


Relationships are the cornerstones of our lives and enhance our sense of belonging and life satisfaction. Join the Five Ways Challenge today to receive tips, ideas and inspiration to connect with others.

Why not try a virtual coffee break with a friend?

You could even arrange a set time each day to have an online hangout with a friend or loved one - see this BBC guide for information on how to video call.

How about hosting a quiz night?

A great way to bring your friends together and to keep up morale is to host a virtual pub quiz, and it's easier than you think with this step-by-step guide!

Social media - keeping a balance

Of course, you may find you're spending more time than usual scrolling on social media - have you every thought how this could be affecting your mental health?

You may want to consider unfollowing or muting accounts that make you feel anxious, upset or angry.

Find positive accounts that boost your mood and share your interests, and use social media to make meaningful connections with those you love.

Give what you can and take what you need

Digital champions ready to help (added 31/03/20)

If you’re feeling a bit lost in this digital-only world, help is on hand from the Dorset Digital Hotline.

The new helpline is available on 01305 221048 from 10am to midday each weekday – with no question too small. A team member will take outline details of the help you need and then direct your call to the best advisor available.

Do you need help to use eConsult to reach your doctor’s surgery, or wonder whether video conferencing, like Skype, could keep you in touch with your grandchildren? Are you working out how to use online computer resources to help your children learn?

Dorset Council’s digital champions – a group of volunteers mostly made up of retired IT professionals – are ready to take your call and help. They’re being supported by some of Dorset Council’s staff too.

LiveWell Dorset's Five Ways Challenge

Taking care of our own health and wellbeing can be the first thing to slide when we're focused on taking care of patients, friends, family and loved ones.


Giving activates our feel-good pathways and gives us a sense of connection with our communities. Join the Five Ways Challenge today to receive tips, ideas and inspiration on ways to share with others and do a good deed!

Wondering how you can help with the current crisis when you're stuck at home or self-isolating?

Contribute to current national research into COVID-19 by self-reporting symptoms and checking in daily with the COVID-19 app (developed by healthcare professionals and researchers at King's College, London) even if you're well,.

Learn_more_about_COVID_19button.png Build_a_healthy_lifetstyle_button.png Enhance_your_emotional_wellbeing_button.png Mental health and wellbeing advice