This page is here to give our residents a source of up to date information and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Bicester Town Council
Bicester Town Council staff are working from home in line with the Government’s strategy on coronavirus. To contact us for any assistance, please email (email@example.com) or call 01869 252915 (this number is monitored during our standard office hours).
Covid-19 grant – Bicester Town Council has allocated £20,000 to help local organisations support the local community in the battle against the coronavirus and help the residents of Bicester (up to a maximum of £500 per application). Apply on this page.
Council Committee Meetings – coronavirus precautions have forced Bicester Town Council to make cancellations to the committee meetings until further notice.
Cemetery – following further government advice, the cemetery has been RE-OPENED other than on Fridays, when access will be closed during working hours (7am – 3,30pm) to enable our staff to undertake maintenance safely. You are reminded to comply with government advice on social distancing in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Bicester Market – the weekly Friday market has re-opened. For the latest updates and to check which stallholders are present please visit here https://www.facebook.com/BicesterMarketTraders/
Play Areas – all play areas are now closed and will not be checked/inspected until further notice. Please do not use the play areas. We request the public’s co-operation and help to follow the government’s advice to deal with the spread of COVID-19.
The Garth Park – has been re-opened, with the play area remaining closed. The skate park has also opened, but advice from Skateboard England recommends a maximum of eight people using the facility at any one time. In order to keep people safe opening hours of the park have been changed. It will open at 10.30am Monday to Thursdays, and from 7.30am Friday to Sunday, closing by 9pm each day. Please note that there are no toilet facilities available and the cafe and car park remain closed.
Parks & Open Spaces – these will remain open to allow for daily outside exercise, however please always adhere to the Government’s guidance on gatherings (no more than two people, except with members of your household) keeping 2m away from others at all times.
Allotments – latest information here https://www.bicester.gov.uk/allotments/
Bicester Town Council Events latest information here https://www.bicester.gov.uk/calendar/
Useful links for other services
Cherwell District Council latest information here (including advice on council tax) www.cherwell.gov.uk/news/article/692/coronavirus-service-updates-and-information
Oxfordshire County Council for advice on staffing, schools, social care, libraries, parking, registrations of births, deaths and ceremonies, household waste and recycling, fire and rescue service, roads and transport and advice for businesses. Latest information here https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus-information-from-the-government/
Registering births, deaths and ceremonies – all registration offices are closed. Oxfordshire County Council are currently registering deaths and still-births by telephone appointment only. You can book an appointment online or call 0345 2412489.
Gov.uk latest information here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
NHS England latest information here https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/primary-care/
Oxford Health latest information here https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/
Oxford Universities Hospital Trust (OUHT) latest information here https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/
Useful links for families here
Support and volunteer
If you can or are already offering support in your local area, please add your details to the Oxfordshire All In Response Map by completing this online form This helps other residents know what support is nearby.
If you are able and would like to help local residents near you, there are a number of volunteering opportunities across the county. Find an initiative near you via Oxfordshire All In, Information here: https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/volunteering-in-oxfordshire–you-can-do-your-bit/
Carers: Oxfordshire County Council is continuing to support Carers during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by offering a Carers ID. The Carer ID scheme is for paid and independent Carers who are providing care and support to youngsters and adults known to OCC Social Care. The Carer ID is a simple letter of authority which can be presented whilst out and about, should the Carer be challenged. Contact: CarerID@oxfordshire.gov.uk for further information.
Community Connect (Citizens advice) 0300 004 04 01 www.canosn.org.uk Support and guidance on how to keep well at home, what support is available and how to manage anxiety, debt and money advice.
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) Emergency Fund, this Fund is to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available, for information and to apply: https://www.cafonline.org/charities/grantmaking/caf-coronavirus-emergency-fund
Cherwell’s Activity and Wellbeing Hub, your action packed guide to staying inside is a one-stop-shop for ideas on how to boost your physical and mental health without needing to leave your home. It offers a range of resources for people of all ages and abilities, from exercise videos and helpline numbers, to learning opportunities and tips to stay connected with loved ones, helping residents stay well during COVID-19 and beyond. https://www.cherwell.gov.uk/Activity-and-wellbeing-hub
Delivery of medication For those shielding patients and most vulnerable an innovative new service, connecting running and cycling clubs with local pharmacies, is helping to deliver much needed medication to self-isolating residents in Cherwell. Cherwell District Council 01295 227001 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This service is run with the kind support of local running and cycling groups across Cherwell area/Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington and to day over 1000 miles have been covered with over 400 deliveries (in Banbury and Bicester).
Local Foodbanks An increasing amount of people need emergency essentials from the foodbank. Please do not feel embarrassed about asking for help – these are exceptionally difficult times. In order to book a package, you will need to have a voucher code which can be accessed from a variety of different agencies (including citizens advice who are contactable on 0300 3030125). For more information on receiving a code and how to get your package call: 01869 321 806 or email email@example.com
Oxfordshire Mind 01865 247788 www.oxfordshiremind.org.uk If you’re concerned about your mental health, the information line can point you towards support.
Samaritans 116 123 (free from any phone) www.samaritans.org Whatever you’re going through, you can talk to someone at the Samaritans.
Sport England Emergency Fund, which is open now for local club and community organisations to bid for grants between £300 and £10,000. £55 million put aside to support the sector during an ongoing period of restrictions; to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and then, when it is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment. For information and to apply: https://www.sportengland.org Any clubs which need assistance with the Sport England Emergency Fund application please contact: Tom.firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Driving Scheme (Citizens advice) 0300 3030125 www.canosn.org.uk If you (or someone elderly or vulnerable you know) are self-isolating and have no means of getting food, the Volunteer Driving Scheme can deliver an emergency food parcel to you. To request a delivery, call the above number and leave your name and telephone number only. One of the team will call you back. They can also support you to get an assisted food delivery.
The most vulnerable
Local authorities across Oxfordshire have worked with the local Voluntary and Community Sector, to develop a simple point of contact for those who have been told by government that they have been identified as extremely vulnerable, and who have no support network and would otherwise be completely isolated. Learn more here: https://news.oxfordshire.gov.uk/shielding-our-most-vulnerable/
New hotline for diabetes patients during COVID-19
The patient hotline number is 01865 857357, and is available seven days a week from 8.00am until 4.00pm.
Domestic abuse support
Oxfordshire’s domestic abuse services continue to offer support and can help people at risk by finding safe alternative accommodation or by increasing safety measures to enable them to remain at home.
The County Council is working closely with partners to ensure those at risk of domestic abuse are able to access the help they need to be safe.
How and where to get help and support:
- Anyone in immediate danger should phone 999.
- Or if in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999 and then press 55. This will transfer the call to police, who will assist without the caller having to speak.
- Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services offers free advice: 0800 731 0055 (Mon-Fri 10am-7pm). Email email@example.com
- Alternatively, call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247.
- Anybody worried about causing harm to the ones they love can get help by contacting Respect Phoneline – 0808 802 4040. https://respectphoneline.org.uk/
24hr Mental Health Support
The round-the-clock helpline will make it quicker and easier for people in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire to get the right advice they need for their mental health. It will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and temporarily takes pressure off 111 for people who need mental health care when their situation it is not life threatening.
For adults, the number is 01865 904 997
For children and young people, the number is 01865 904 998
Age UK support for elderly people
Ensuring that those elderly people who would normally receive visits, or may be grieving, don’t get lonely – Did you know Age UK have a new support service? Visit: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/oxfordshire/
Call 01865 411 288
Bereavement Information and Support
Work is underway to create a National Bereavement Helpline for families who have lost a loved one as a direct result of COVID-19. In the meantime, the Good Grief Trust is available to help you find the support you need as quickly as possible. They have published a dedicated COVID-19 bereavement advice page for updates and tailored information and guidance. Visit the Good Grief Trust for support and more information. https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org/
Bicester’s virtual High Street
Bicester Chamber has set up a “Virtual High Street” where our local traders are still operating online. With a lot of shops closed in the present climate, it is a great opportunity share information about those businesses that are still trading and to encourage local shopping where it’s available. Find information here: https://www.bicesterchamber.co.uk/bicester-online/
Scams and financial issues
Citizens Advice is urging people not to give cash or bank cards to strangers, who may show goodwill, but are actually leaving people out of pocket. It is important to know that banks will not cover any losses if someone hands over their bank card or gives their PIN number to someone else, even someone they trust. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
Covid-19 Grant Application
Bicester Town Council has allocated £20,000 to help local organisations support the local community in the battle against the coronavirus and help the residents of Bicester (up to a maximum of £500 per application).
All applications will be considered on their individual merits, but there are a number of guiding principles:
- How well the grant meets the needs of the community in combatting the effects of coronavirus;
- How many residents of Bicester shall benefit and whether the size of grant is commensurate with those benefitting.
Who can apply?
We will consider applications from:
- Groups, clubs, committees or charities based in or directly serving the Bicester Town Council area (details of the area covered by the Bicester Town Council can be found on the council website here).
- You will need to show that you are organised (by having a constitution or rules) and have your own bank account.
We will not consider applications from:
- Businesses or organisations with a profit-making remit;
When & How can I apply?
You can apply at any time, but the funds are limited to £20,000 and will be restricted to ensure geographical spread across the town in the fairness to all.
Conditions of a Grant
- The applicant, if successful, must spend the grant per the application form unless otherwise agreed by the Council, or the funds may need to be repaid;
- The grant shall be paid electronically to the organisation making the application referred to in the application;
- The application form (with all personal data redacted) may be made public on the Council’s website;
- It is expected that the Town Council shall be acknowledged for their support in any publicity material related to the project (an electronic copy of the Town Crest is available for this use); to download the logo click here. Ensure to email an image of its usage to firstname.lastname@example.org
- All grant applications shall be monitored to ensure that the money was spent on the purpose intended. Monitoring Forms shall be sent out for completion within 3 months of the grant being paid over or within 3 months of the activity being completed. Receipts should be retained for this purpose.
- Multiple applications may be made, however monitoring for the previous grant must be provided prior to payment of a subsequent grant.
Application forms are available either in hard format from your local Councillor, or electronically on this page.
You will receive a response within 7 days of submission and funds transferred as soon as possible thereafter. Please ensure to download BOTH documents below – the application form and the privacy notice need to be completed and returned to Bicester Town Council to process your application.
Please return your application form and privacy notice by email to email@example.com
COVID-19 GRANTS AWARDED
Bicester Town Council are pleased to have awarded the following the local organisations, who are set to benefit from COVID-19 Emergency Fund:
3rd Bicester (Glory Farm) Beaver Scouts – £150 for Badger’s Challenge with Community Activity Badge, Digital Citizen badge, Book Reader Activity badge, Colloectors Activity badge and tallest sunflower challenge to keep the 17 Beavers engaged during isolation;
Age UK Oxfordshire – £500 to provide enhance critical helpline support to 25 older people;
Bicester Foodbank – £500 to cover the purchase of additional food to meet demand and increased diesel costs for their van.
Bicester Foodbank – a further £500 for food and diesel for their van
Bicester Good Neighbour Scheme – £500 to cover an identified shortfall in income normally generated through coffee mornings and prize draws to enable them to continue their service to vulnerable older people;
Bubbles Pre-school – £150 – Home learning packs for children;
Citizens Advice North Oxfordshire & South Northants – £450 to cover 1,000 miles by volunteer drivers delivering essential supplies & medicines to those in need in Bicester;
Citizen’s Advice North Oxfordshire & South Northants – £500 to fund telephone costs of volunteers maintaining their service remotely
Elmore Community Services – £500 – Roll out of virtual face to face mental health support. Provision of 5 smartphones to clients with severe and entrenched mental health needs in Bicester ;
Glory Farm School PTA – £500 – Supply Books to children that do not have access to on-line libraries or have books available to them home;
Journey Communities in association with Langford Village and Graven Hill Good Neighbour Scheme – £500 to provide a helpline number and household packages for those suffering from COVID-19 or self-isolating.
Nai’s House – £165 for self-care packages for 20 vulnerable young people
Oxfordshire Association for the Blind – £220 – Supporting 135 clients in Bicester with regular calls;
Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC) – £300 – Transition telephone lines from static to cloud based system, training and equipment costs;
Rainbow Bicester – £500 to cover 50 bi-weekly learning resource packs through the summer term to support families with pre-school children in order to prepare them for school;
Salvation Army Bicester Bridges Drop In – £500 – Purchase of perishable food, mobile phone & sim cards, ID for benefit applications, support for administration & travel for homeless & addicts.