Beware – Contact Tracing Scammers

Residents in Bath and North East Somerset are being warned to be on their guard against scammers pretending to be from the government’s Test and Trace Service.

The Test and Trace Service has been set up to alert people who have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus symptoms.

Since the service was launched last week, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards Officers have received a number of complaints about scammers trying to exploit the system and con people out of money via bogus text messages, emails or calls.

Residents are being reminded that the genuine Test and Trace Service will never:

  • ask for bank account details
  • ask for any passwords or PIN numbers or ask you to set up any passwords or PIN numbers
  • ask for a payment
  • ask you to purchase a product
  • ask for social media identities or login details
  • ask you to download any software onto your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to call a premium rate number to speak to the NHS (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
  • provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If residents are asked these types of questions they should report the incident to Action Fraud by visiting:  https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime

Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services, said: “Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous people who are trying to take advantage of the COVID-19 situation.  Residents need to be on their guard. You may be contacted by the Test and Trace Service by text, email or phone, but the official tracers will never ask you to make any payment or for your bank details.”

The government’s Test and Trace Service will only ask you for information found on the contact tracing website: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/help/privacy-notice  or on the government’s website:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works.  This will include your full name, date of birth and details of any symptoms you may have.

If you have tested positive for coronavirus:  you will either receive a call, text or email from NHS Test and Trace with instructions on how to share details of the people you have been in close contact with.

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you will be contacted in the same ways and asked about symptoms.

You will only ever be called from the number 0300 013 5000 or receive a text from NHS.

However, if you do not feel comfortable talking on the phone or suspect the call to be a scam, you can ask for an email or a text that will invite you to use the Test and Trace website instead. From this email you should only ever be directed to contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk. You can check this by looking in the address bar at the top of your web browser to see if it is the address shown, it should also have a small padlock symbol next to, indicating that the website connection is secure.

Check the address carefully, if you see a different address it is likely to be a scam and you should close the window immediately.

If you are in any doubt always submit information via the Test and Trace website.

Don’t delay seeking medical help because of coronavirus

People living in Bath and North East Somerset are being advised not to let worries about coronavirus stop them asking for medical help for themselves or their children if they become ill, have a serious accident or have a concern about their health. 

They are also being warned that not seeking medical help for symptoms that could be the early warning signs of serious conditions such as cancer could be putting lives at risk.

The warning comes as new data shows a considerable drop in the number of people coming forward to ask their GP for help and advice during the coronavirus outbreak.

Recent statistics show that, in Bath alone, the total number of weekly referrals from GPs to the Royal United Hospital have fallen from around 2,000 at the beginning of March to 300 at the end of April.

Dr Ruth Grabham, Medical Director at BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG, said the statistics made for worrying reading because the drop in numbers  “is not because people are not experiencing symptoms.”

“While it may seem that coronavirus has put a stop to most aspects of everyday life, the one thing it hasn’t stopped is what’s going on inside our bodies,” she says. “Now more than ever, we need to pay attention to anything that isn’t normal and seek help early on.

“For example, if you notice blood when going to the toilet, or if you’ve found a lump that wasn’t there previously, or if you’ve just noticed something odd that is causing you to worry, you need to speak to your GP.

“Should the symptom be the early warning sign of something serious like cancer, that delay in seeking help could have serious implications for how successful possible treatments may be.”

Although GP practices across the region have adopted new ways of working, such as establishing isolated clinics for potential coronavirus patients, the practices themselves are still open to offer care, treatment, advice and peace-of-mind.

The same also goes for emergency departments at the three hospitals in Bath, Swindon and Salisbury, all of which continue to be open 24 hours a day for people with a genuine and life-threatening health concern.

Additionally, all healthcare facilities in the region, as well as those elsewhere in the country, have put in place stringent infection control measures to ensure that the risk of contracting coronavirus while visiting a hospital or GP surgery remains low.

Playpark Questionnaire

Thank you to all those who completed the questionnaire.
We are now in the process of analysing the results and will keep you
updated as we work on this project.

Whitchurch in Lights

A big thank you to all residents, who have decorated their homes, making the village look so festive again this year. 

Enormous thanks to the residents of The Witheys who have collectively put on a fantastic display of lights.  

There were so many excellent displays to choose from, after careful consideration this year’s winners are:-

Best House – Stephen & Sarah Pidgeon, 90 Bristol Road

Best Business – Lucy Knight, Hair by Knight, Bristol Road

Highly commended, 28 Staunton Fields and 20 Orchard Park 

 

 

 

Whitchurch Village Council Christmas Lights Switch On 2019

Friday 6th December 2019 saw the Village Lights Switch On, and despite the earlier rain, a fantastic crowd of about 200 gathered around the centre of the Village.

The evening started with Father Christmas arriving from Staunton Fields having completed a village tour. As his sleigh had some technical problems, an army vehicle decked out with brilliant flashing lights was used, with Santa waving enthusiastically from the back of the vehicle. 

Then after several practice countdowns, Santa switched on the lights in the Millennium Garden. One of the two large Christmas trees was kindly donated by Whitchurch Village Fete Committee, to whom we are very grateful. 

 After Santa had crossed the A37, he then led a procession of children, parents and onlookers towards St Nicholas Church, where the children of Whitchurch Primary School sang some lovely ‘Christmassy’ songs from a stage that had been set up in the Church grounds. The children were brilliant as always.

The crowd then sang along to several carols before going into the Church Hall for mulled wine and mince pies. Father Christmas was also very busy handing out sweets to all the children. 

 Our thanks go to all of you who attended this lovely festive event. The support of the public, our villagers, and the wonderful choir and staff from Whitchurch Primary School is really appreciated. 

Our appreciation and acknowledgement of the support we received also goes to:

Tesco Brislington (donation of mince pies and chocolates)

Whitchurch Village Fete Committee (donated one of the trees in Millennium Garden)

Lee Gillam who helped our volunteers to decorate the Christmas trees.

The volunteers who helped with refreshments in the Hall.

St Nicholas Church, for the use of their hall. 

The traffic marshals who helped set up the event and ensured safe passage to people crossing the A37.

Matt on the microphone and John, who arranged and set up the sound equipment

And of course, Father Christmas and his driver, who made a special effort to visit us at a very busy time of the year!!

Thanks to your donations, we collected £220.00 for Bristol MIND charity. 

If you have any ideas on how we can improve the event do please let us know.

Everyone at Village Council would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Whitchurch Village ‘Have a Field Day 2019’

‘Have a Field Day’ was held at the Village Play Park on Saturday 13th July as part of a nationwide celebration of local green spaces.  It was a dry warm day and it was fantastic to see so many people enjoying themselves, on the bouncy castle, playing games, having their faces painted, having picnics, as well as using the play equipment. 

The races, organised by Matt, from Whitchurch Village Council, were as usual a real favourite and lots of fun was had by the participants, young and old. 

.This year, donations collected on the day of £83.00 will be forwarded to Mind, thank you to all those who donated. 

 WVC would also like to thank Caroline, from the Whitchurch United Reformed Church Knit & Natter group, who laid out a lovely display of knitted and crocheted bunting, flowers etc. which helped make the park look colourful. 

This is an annual event organised by Whitchurch Village Council, with all the facilities completely free of charge to the public…….so do look out for details on the website early in 2020.

 

Whitchurch Village Fete will no longer continue

Sadly, after much discussion, it has been decided that, for various reasons, the annual Whitchurch Village Fete will no longer continue.

This was a difficult decision for the Fete Committee to make, having held yet another successful event on the Fete’s 41st birthday in 2018; but with increasing Health & Safety considerations and fewer volunteers (not to mention the fact that those on the Committee are unfortunately not getting any younger!), it was felt that it was time for the Fete, in its traditional format, to come to an end.

Since it started in 1977, when a small event was held to present souvenir plates to village children under sixteen years old to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, it has provided an enjoyable August Bank Holiday community event, attended some years by around 3,000 people and has raised thousands of pounds for local charities and organisations. A variety of stalls were on offer, with entertainment in the arena, popular Dog Shows and Horse Shows and flowers, vegetables, crafts etc. in the marquee, as well as bar, refreshment tent and children’s games and sports. Celebrities gave their time to officially open the Fete – from BBC’s presenter, Alex Lovell to Peter Rabbit and even a Minion! Barn dances and car boot sales were also enjoyed by many over the Bank Holiday weekends.

The Committee would like to thank everyone who has been involved and supported the Fete in one way or another over all the years.

WHITCHURCH—NEW BOOK!!

Whitchurch Local History Society has just published this illustrated 56-page A4 size book which is the 3rd volume of ‘memories of Whitchurch life’ contributed by residents.

It costs £5.00 and copies are available by contacting:-

Keith (01275 541512), Sue (01275 834677) or  Geoff (01275 830869)