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In these times of isolation and worry

In these times of isolation and worry, here’s something fun to keep us all busy –
Stroud Valleys Project’s new interactive wildlife spotting website www.wildclassrooms.org
A recent Dutch study found that primary aged school children have difficulty identifying common native animals, with on average the children in the sample identifying only 35% of the species correctly! It is so important to be able to recognise the animals and plants around us because, to quote the acclaimed nature author, Robert Macfarlane, ‘We find it hard to love what we cannot give a name to. And what we do not love we will not save.” So to help plug this gap in the knowledge of species or ‘Species Literacy’, Stroud Valleys Project has developed www.wildclassrooms.org . It is based around the challenge to see if participants can spot 60 different plants and animals in a year.
When individuals or groups register, they are given a virtual tree with bare branches. Each month they will be given five species to spot and when they are recorded on the site, a leaf will appear on their own tree. The more things they spot, the more leaves on their tree! They can also upload photos, drawings and poems of the plants and animals they have spotted to the public gallery. It is suitable for anyone of any age and it aims to celebrate the everyday wildlife that can be seen in our gardens and other local nearby green spaces. It will hopefully encourage us all to really notice the wildlife that we usually take for granted, from the primrose in a forgotten corner of the garden to the snail hiding under the flowerpots. In our current isolated times, it is more relevant than ever, as it is something we can do at home while also helping us feel part of the wider community and in the longer term kindle an interest for biodiversity, the environment and sustainability. www.wildclassrooms.org has been kindly funded by a grant from the Summerfield Trust.

Fw: Gloucestershire Community Foundation – Grant Offer

We have been offered a grant of £600 by Gloucestershire Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund for use in our community.

We will keep them updated, where appropriate, with stories of the people we have been able to support so that they can feedback to all those who have so generously supported the Gloucestershire Coronavirus Emergency Appeal.

GDASS Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

Here is our latest newsletter – please share with anyone who might benefit from it,

Best wishes


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Supporting Employees & Colleagues

It is important to remember that it’s not only service users who might be experiencing higher levels of DA during this time, but your staff and colleagues also.

The advice doesn’t differ hugely than the advice around supporting service users. However, there are some specific things to consider.

How can you support your employees and colleagues?

Can you arrange to check-in with them more regularly than you would do usually?
You might not see your colleagues in person – but you can check-in with them remotely. Make sure they are alone before you speak to them, and make sure you are not on loud speaker.
Can you adapt the way in which you communicate with them? Maybe instant messaging on a work laptop is safer than video calling, for example?
Agree on a code word to use – they can use this to communicate that they are unsafe and/or in need of help
Do they need a referral into GDASS and could you make that referral for them? (with their consent)
Be aware that their productivity may be effected – they will not be able to work effectively if their partner is abusing them. This might show in their work: their ability to attend online meetings; the way in which they communicate with you; maybe the quality of their work or their ability to support service users in the way they would do usually.
It’s important to be empathetic – if someone is struggling with their work, ask them why. Don’t presume you know the reason, they may not have disclosed DA to anybody before.
ASK THEM: Yes/No questions – Are you OK? Are you safe? Is your partner hurting you? Is your partner scaring you? Do you need help? Are the children OK?
Record your concerns and conversations, confidentially.

Safe Lives have developed this document for more in-depth advice around policies and procedures, outside of the Covid-19 crisis.

It is vital that every workplace has a DA Policy, this might help in developing one if you don’t already have one.

We can also advise on developing policies, please get in touch and we will do what we can to help.




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Dear Parents and Friends

Dear Partners and friends

Essential Information during Covid19

In order to respond to enquiries we receive from older people across Gloucestershire, AUKG have been collating an Essential Information resource. This pulls together in one place current information about key services and support available during Covid-19 outbreak. The information ranges from national resources and countywide provision through to what some neighbourhood shops are able to offer. It is updated daily, and enables our staff team to provide the most up to date information to older people.
The resource is ordered by Gloucestershire district and by common issues to aid access to useful information.
We have been receiving lots of requests to share this resource from other organisations in Gloucestershire. We are happy to share the information we have collated to avoid duplication of effort and ensure that as a county we are all able to provide the best response to people who contact us for support.
The value of this resource increases:
1) The more people who have access to the resource to use in supporting local people
2) With the more up to date information that we hold
As such we have an offer and a request for you.
Our Offer: If you would like to have access to the resource pack, we will be pleased to email you a copy – we plan to update and reissue at least weekly. To receive the pack all you need to do is reply to this email with the message YES PLEASE and we will add you to the distribution list.
Our Request: Please could you send details of any useful information through to us at EssentialInfo@ageukgloucestershire.org.uk. This might be info about a service you provide, or something that you hear or know about locally. We will collate all the information received and continually update the resource pack.
You don’t have to submit any ‘essential info’ to receive the resource pack. Neither do you have to ask to receive the pack if you provide us details of some Essential Info.

Our hope, though, is to co-ordinate a jointly created resource pack that all of Gloucestershire can benefit from as we respond to this challenging situation together.
Very Best wishes

Helen Atkinson
Project Development Manager
Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm
01452 420931

Switchboard: 01452 422660
Henley House, Barnett Way, Barnwood, Gloucester, GL4 3RT
www.ageukgloucestershire.org.uk Facebook Twitter

Universal Credit

Quids in! publishes Guide to Universal Credit to support new claimants triggered by coronavirus lockdown
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Quids in! publishes Guide to Universal Credit to support new claimants triggered by coronavirus lockdown

Quids in! has this week published an emergency, digital edition of the Guide to Universal Credit for new claimants affected by the coronavirus lockdown. The publication is available to landlords, authorities and support agencies to distribute in bulk, as well as for individuals via the Quids in! online store.

A million low-paid earners and self-employed people were forced to claim welfare in just two weeks in March. Quids in!, which has already published 10 editions of its Universal Credit Guide, has redesigned the publication to reflect the particular challenges faced by people who are usually in employment. Content has been adapted for people who might never have expected to be forced onto welfare, drawing on its experience catering for people more used to living on the breadline. A lot of what the first UC claimants learned the hard way is included.

Quids in! editor, Jeff Mitchell said: “The government tells us coronavirus is a ‘great leveller’. Well, it has certainly levelled over a million people forced onto benefits as their work dried up when the country locked down. That throw away statistic that many of us are just one pay cheque away from disaster suddenly rings true.”

The publication is the latest response to the financial fall-out caused by coronavirus from Quids in! and its parent organisation Clean Slate Training & Employment CIC. In March, it launched a ‘Corona-Finance’ service with a Frequently Asked Questions section on its website offering clarity and reassurance about support available to people struck down financially. A web link is available for readers to submit questions they have about their own situation. The money email service, run by the Quids In Readers Club, has been upgraded to keep subscribers up-to-date on the latest help on offer during this crisis.

Jeff Mitchell added: “This won’t be over when the lockdown ends. We may all find we need to continue to tighten our belts. There is no silver bullet for dodging debt but there are some golden rules. Quids in! is all about ways to help us all spend less, save more, borrow less and bring in more money.”

Over 300,000 copies of the Quids in! Guide to Universal Credit have already been sold as a 32-page magazine. It focuses on the ‘3 Bs’, drawing on pitfalls experienced by early claimants with the new system, such as not having an appropriate bank account, not being online or not being able to budget for a large, single payment made in arrears. The Corona-Finance edition of the Guide focuses around living on less and accessing help that people who are new to the welfare system may be unaware of.

The new version is available in PDF to send to tenants, residents and service users affected financially by the coronavirus lockdown. An online publishing platform version has been prepared for publication on customers’ websites.

For further information, contact Lisa Woodman at lisa@cleanslateltd.co.uk or on 08456 460 469.

To see the Corona-Finance edition of the Universal Credit Guide, click here.

Click for a copy of the Guide

Local Support On Hand

Our team in Gloucestershire are available for support with money matters. From applying for Universal Credit to guidance on making ends meet during during lockdown, our peer workers are offering support with financial issues affecting people on low incomes.
• Register for support and a call back here
• Phone 01453 796050
• Email glos@cleanslateltd.co.uk
• Online quidsinmagazine.com/coronafinance
Our Corona-Finance web resource features rolling FAQs on financial matters, regularly updated with the latest information. Visitors can also submit their question which we will respond to via email or phone.

As a GDPR compliant company, we try only to contact you with information directly relevant to your work. You can find our full data protection policy here.


At the end of the first period ‘lockdown’ and working together to support people across the Paganhill, with the prospect of a further three weeks more, I have drawn encouragement myself from this stories of hope this week.

Rest well over the weekend and remember the elephant I shared in Week 1……a bite at a time (attached for those who have joined us on the way.)

Stay safe, everyone. Up for a chat if anyone just needs someone to listen.