Support for residents struggling with their mental health

Support for residents struggling with their mental health
Residents across Bath and North East Somerset struggling with their mental health are being urged to seek support.

Current research shows that one in four people experience mental health issues each year, and at any one time, one in six working adults are experiencing depression, anxiety, or problems relating to stress.

With the added pressures of lockdown and coronavirus restrictions the Community Wellbeing Hub has seen an increase in the number of calls from residents who are struggling with the pressures of money worries, caring for others, and increased feelings of loneliness and isolation due to social distancing and prolonged working from home.

Councillor Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services, said: “Now, more than ever, is a time to ensure we maintain a positive and supportive culture where people feel able to talk about their mental health and their experiences.  One of our key partners at the Community Wellbeing Hub is the mental health service Bath Mind, who can not only offer support but also signpost callers to support services in their own community.”

Research shows that men find it particularly difficult to talk about their mental health struggles, which is why this month, Men’s Health Awareness month, Bath Mind is particularly encouraging men to reach out for support.

Kate Morton, Chief Executive Officer of Bath Mind, said: “This is a very challenging and uncertain time for many of us, and although we are, on the whole, pretty resilient, we are in unprecedented times.  It is important not to underestimate the impact the pandemic is having on our mental health and wellbeing and it is really important we look after ourselves.

“Never feel ashamed about how you are feeling.  Talking to someone is a vital first step. Bath Mind’s Breathing Space, is a phone support service, open every evening of the week from 5.30pm to 11.30pm.  You can call in confidence on 01225 983130 if you are feeling worried or anxious and want to talk.”

For more information on Bath Mind’s Men’s Health Awareness month campaign visit:

Jo Scammell from Virgin Care BANES said: “The Community Wellbeing Hub can offer a little extra help to people when they need it most.  We have an excellent team of colleagues at Bath Mind who have been helping residents since March and this has often been a lifeline to so many.  The additional evening service they offer is extremely important particularly during the winter months.”

To contact the Community Wellbeing Hub:

Get ready for Bath’s Clean Air Zone

Bath’s clean air zone is set to launch on Monday 15 March 2021 to urgently improve air quality in the city. It means that most higher emission vehicles – except private cars and motorbikes – will be charged to drive in the city centre.

A higher emission vehicle is a Pre Euro 6/VI diesel vehicle (Euro 1 to 5/V or earlier) or Pre Euro 4 petrol vehicle (Euro 1 to 3 or earlier).

You can now check whether your vehicle will be charged using your vehicle registration number at GOV.UK’s Central Clean Air Zone Service:

If charges apply, please refer to Bath & North East Somerset’s website for a list of local exemptions and whether you might be eligible for financial support to upgrade or replace a non-compliant vehicle or fleet of vehicles.

While private cars are not charged in Bath’s zone, the Council is asking everyone to consider whether they need to use their vehicle, especially for short trips where walking, cycling or taking public transport is possible. We all have a part to play in improving air quality.


To find out more, go to


Whitchurch Village Playpark, Norton Lane, Refurbishment News!!

Following on from the consultation events held during 2019 with residents, parents and children at a Have a Field fun day, Whitchurch Primary School & St Nicholas Pre-school, we are delighted to announce that work will commence on Monday 19th October, this will include new play equipment with accessible aspects, a multi-use games area (MUGA) and a table tennis table.

View of an artist impression of the new play park

Funding for this project has been provided through Section 106 funds from developers, held by Bath & North East Somerset Council and required to be spent on play provision within Whitchurch Village.

The play area will be closed from 19th October 2020 for approximately six weeks, we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.


Thank you to all our volunteers, we are still here to help



Whitchurch Village Council members would like to say a massive thank you to all the volunteers who have supported our community during the last few months.  We have a number of volunteers who have been shopping, collecting medication, posting letters/parcels and generally helping to support those who are who are vulnerable, self-isolating and needing some support during these challenging times. We also know many neighbours and friends have been involved in this too, our thanks goes to all of them also.  

Although the need for this support has now become much less we still have a number of volunteers available to support you, if you feel you are:


  • isolated
  • struggling to get your basic food needs
  • have other difficulties, or
  • would just like to chat to someone


Please contact the Clerk if you need further support. 

Tel: 01275 839873 Email: 

or B&NES Council Covid Support Helpline Tel: 0300 0247 0050

Whitchurch Village Playpark

Children will be welcomed back to Whitchurch Village Playpark from Saturday 4th July and parents are being advised about the COVID-19 measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

Following the Government announcement that playgrounds are permitted to open, children will be welcomed back but the onus is on parents and carers to ensure rules are followed around social distancing, hand hygiene and not eating or drinking near play equipment. 

Visitors to the park should practise social distancing at all times and bring their own sanitiser to clean their hands frequently, as well as wash their hands regularly where facilities are available. People are advised to bring their own wipes to clean equipment after their child has used it if possible. 

Eating and drinking within the play areas should be avoided and anyone who develops symptoms of COVID -19 should return home immediately. 

The council previously closed the play park at the end of March in line with Government guidance. 

Click to enlarge leaflet below



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:

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:  or on the government’s website:  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 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.

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