Updates and useful links

Last updated: 29 April 11.55am: HeadFIT resource added.

Armed forces and veterans health and wellbeing support tool

A new platform called 'HeadFIT for Life' has been launched with online tools to help defence personnel to take a more proactive approach to their mental health and mental fitness.

What is HeadFIT and who is it for?

  • HeadFIT has been developed in partnership with The Royal Foundation's Heads Together campaign, the Ministry of Defence and King's College London
  • HeadFIT is a new online platform, which will provide the military with 24/7 access to self-help tools to help them manage the stresses of everyday life
  • The platform includes tools such as breathing exercises, body posture and relaxation techniques that have been designed for all defence personnel, whether they are new recruits, long-serving personnel, veterans, civilian staff or those in uniform. The techniques are designed so they can be easily integrated into their everyday lives.

Visit the website here for more information.

You can also read more here about the new service being launched by the Duke of Sussex on behalf of the MOD.


Looking out for each other

You must stay at home, but there are safe ways to provide essential support to vulnerable people who are in isolation.

How you can help:

  • phone or keep in touch on social media
  • pick up food for others
  • pick up medicines.
Find out how to help others safely at gov.uk/safehelp



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Dorset and BCP councils have also set up special helplines for people that need help accessing vital food and household items during COVID-19. The helplines are intended for vulnerable people requiring vital items during the lockdown. Contact BCP Council by calling 0300 123 7052. Find more details here. And Dorset Council area by calling 01305 221 000 or email communityresponse@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk. Find out more details here.


Stay home, save lives

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to save lives and protect the NHS. By reducing our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection.

You are being asked to only leave your home for:

  • essential food shopping or medical needs (where this absolutely can’t be done at home)
  • provide care or help to a vulnerable person
  • one form of exercise per day alone or with members of your household
  • travelling to work, if absolutely necessary.

When you do go outside your home, stay two metres away from other people and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Any public gatherings of more than two people are banned. You should only spend time with those in your household, unless going to work is essential.

Everyone must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, have the power to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Read more here.

Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.

Read some tips on staying at home to take care of your mind and body. Click here.

COVID-19 - stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives - leaflet

Changes to our services

From now on, people won’t be able to turn up at a GP surgery, minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre without an appointment.

Weymouth’s Urgent Treatment Centre and our Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) at Bridport, Shaftesbury, Swanage and Wimborne hospitals are still running, but by appointment only. This is to minimise the spread of infection while still ensuring people can access health services when they need them.

People can no longer walk into these services. Anyone with an ailment or injury which requires urgent care should call their local MIU or 01305 762541 and they will be given advice or booked in for a face-to-face appointment at the appropriate site. Read more here.

People who need GP care are also asked to contact their surgery via telephone or online. Emergency departments will remain open as normal.

Read more here.


Sign up for Government alerts on WhatsApp

You can now sign up to a new, free service providing official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) via WhatsApp.

You’ll be able to get answers to the most common questions direct from Government by simply adding 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then sending the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

A set of menu options will be provided and you can then select what information you’d like to be sent from guidance on GOV.UK pages.

This new service is hoping to reduce the burden on NHS services and help combat the spread of coronavirus misinformation in the UK.

Further information

gov.uk/coronavirus

nhs.uk/coronavirus.

You can also sign up for alerts on the Government site so that you know when new guidance has been added or updated.

School closures

From 20 March until further notice, schools will be closed except for children of key workers and vulnerable children. Find out more here. Children may be concerned and worried about a change in their routine. BBC Newsround has some good information about coronavirus you can share including video clips, articles and frequently asked questions. Find out more on Newsroun

Keep well

it’s really important you look after yourself and your community by following government advice. Review the stay at home guidance. It’s also important when staying at home to look after your mental and emotional wellbeing. Here are some tips.

Smoking and COVID-19

Social distancing

The Government has introduced measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and to protect vulnerable people as much as possible. Those who are at an increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus should be strict in following the measures. Read more about social distancing and what this means

Business protection

The Government has announced a range of measures to help to protect businesses including a £330 billion package of loans and guarantees, mortgage payment holidays and relaxing rules so pubs and restaurants can operate as takeaways.

Support for vulnerable people

Together We Can is an initiative led by BCP Council, working in close partnership with many other public, private and voluntary sector organisations as well as community groups and residents who have offered to help and support the vulnerable people in our Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole communities to get through the coronavirus crisis. Find out more on the BCP Council website.

Dorset Council is working with public sector partners and charities to respond to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Communities and volunteering information is available here.

If you don’t have family, friends or a support network that can help you get the things you need, you can call 01305 221000, 8am to 8pm, seven days a week to get specific help and advice. Alternatively, you can email communityresponse@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk.

For free, independent and confidential advice, visit the Dorset Council section of the Help and Kindness website.

For further information, always use trusted sources including gov.uk/coronavirus and nhs.uk/coronavirus.

You can also sign up for alerts on the government site so that you know when new guidance has been added or updated.

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COVID-19 (coronavirus)