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Welcome to Equal Lives

Equal Lives is led by people who face disabling barriers and is dedicated to making your voice heard. We support people to empower themselves to live independent lives. Our aim is to give you the support you need to live your own life and to remove disabling barriers. We are very involved in campaigning on issues that affect you to try and influence policy decisions. We’re also here to provide support and information for the day to day tasks of living. Whether you need to employ a personal assistant, find out what benefits you’re able to receive or you need help or advice for caring for an elderly friend or relative we are here to help. We have lots of information available, so to get you started we’ve put links to some of our most popular areas below. You can also search for a keyword if you know what you’re looking for.


CORONAVIRUS – IMPORTANT GUIDELINES (source Gov.UK)

The advice for anyone in any setting is to follow these main guidelines.

  1. If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected areaidentified by the Chief Medical Officer as high risk and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111.
  2. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
  3. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
  4. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

At the current time and based on our understanding of what is known of COVID-19 and other similar respiratory viruses, it is likely that older people and those with chronic medical conditions may be vulnerable to severe disease. As more information emerges, recommendations may change.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION RELATING TO OUR IAA SERVICES

Our Information, Advice and Advocacy team will no longer be able to hold any face to face appointments with volunteers at our outreaches for welfare benefit appointments. These will be replaced with telephone appointments and if you are currently booked in with us we will contact you in due course to let you know that your Adviser will ring you instead. We understand that this will be frustrating for clients who need face to face support but we have taken this decision to protect our volunteers, staff and clients and we hope to still be able to offer you a great service remotely. Please send us a message or email info@equallives.org.uk if you would like to speak to a member of staff.


Of Interest To Members Update From Sainsbury’s 

Dear Customer,

I wrote to you last week to tell you about some of the steps we are taking to support increased demand for food and other essential items.

After I wrote to you last week, many of you replied. You wrote to share your concerns about our elderly and vulnerable customers and to ask if we can do more to restrict the number of items each person can buy. I have listened to feedback from you and from Sainsbury’s colleagues across the country and wanted to share some of the extra steps we are taking to make sure everyone has access to the items that they need.

A number of you suggested that we reserve an hour in stores for elderly and vulnerable customers. In response to this request, we will set aside the first hour in every supermarket this Thursday, 19th March, for elderly and vulnerable customers. If you or an elderly family member, friend or neighbour would like to shop during this hour, please check online for your local supermarket opening hours. For all other customers, supermarkets will open one hour after the published opening time. I hope that you can respect this decision and will work with us as we try our best to help those that need it the most.

We will also help elderly and vulnerable customers access food online. From Monday, 23rd March, our online customers who are over 70 years of age or have a disability will have priority access to online delivery slots. We will contact these customers in the coming days with more details.

For any online customer who can travel to our stores, from Monday 23rd March, we will operate an expanded ‘click and collect’ service. We are significantly increasing the number of collection sites across the country over the coming days in preparation for this. Customers can place their order online as usual and pick it up from a collection point in the store car park. Please let us know if you are self-isolating to help us provide this service for you too.

As we work to feed the nation, we are also focusing all of our efforts on getting as much food and other essential items from our suppliers, into our warehouses and onto shelves as we possibly can. We still have enough food for everyone – if we all just buy what we need for us and our families.

To help us get more essential items onto the shelves, from this Thursday, 19th March, we will be closing our cafes and our meat, fish and pizza counters in supermarkets. This means we can free up warehouse and lorry capacity for products that customers really need. It will also free up time for our store colleagues to focus on keeping the shelves as well stocked as possible.

I mentioned last week that we had put limits on a very small number of products. Following feedback from our customers and from our store colleagues, we have decided to put restrictions on a larger number of products. From today, 18th March, customers will be able to buy a maximum of three of any grocery product and a maximum of two on the most popular products including toilet paper, soap and UHT milk. We have enough food coming into the system, but are limiting sales so that it stays on shelves for longer and can be bought by a larger numbers of customers.

Finally, I wanted to end by saying a huge thank you to Sainsbury’s colleagues across the business. Everyone is working flat out in difficult circumstances to do their best to serve our customers. If you’re able to say thank you to them when you see them, I know they would hugely appreciate it.

Best wishes,

Mike