Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Project Eagle - Enhanced Covid-19 testing in parts of Streatham and West Norwood


Following an announcement by the Department of Health and Social Care, yesterday, Lambeth council is asking residents living in specific parts of the south eastern area of the borough (i.e. the area in and around Knight’s Hill ward, but also including  small parts of West Norwood and some streets in Streatham) - outlined in red on the map below, to get a Covid-19 test, whether they have symptoms or not, after the South African strain of the virus was detected in the local area. 

It is important to stress that this is an isolated case – it is not an outbreak.

The case was not linked to travel to South Africa, so the public health team are now working intensively with the Department of Health and Social Care to detect if there are more cases of this variant in the local area, as part of a ‘surge testing’ programme. You may have seen information on the media recently, where similar exercises have been carried out in places in London such as Ealing, Haringey and Merton.

Working in partnership with NHS Test and Trace, every household living in the specific area over the age of 16 will be strongly encouraged to take a PCR Covid-19 test over the next week or two, even if they are not showing symptoms. There will be 2 Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) in the area, which will be deployed to offer PCR testing, with teams working together to deliver thousands of home testing kits to local residents.

There is currently no hard evidence to suggest this variant is more serious than others, or that the existing approved regulated vaccines would not protect against it. In fact, the companies who have developed the three currently approved vaccines are already working to find out how they may need to be adapted to offer very high protection against the emerging variants of Covid-19. Just like the annual flu jab, this would mean tweaks to the vaccine would require an annual injection.

In combination with following the lockdown restrictions and continuing to wash hands, keeping socially distanced from others and wearing face coverings, this local testing of about 10,000 people in the area will help to suppress and control the spread of the virus, while enabling a better understanding of the new variant. 

Anyone living in the area who needs to leave home to attend work, school/childcare or undertake caring responsibilities can still do so in line with the current lockdown rules. This includes attending any healthcare appointments.

Only a very small number of cases of the South African variant have been detected in London. Positive tests will be tracked by Public Health England to identify any further spread of the new variant, enabling a better understanding of the variant itself and identifying if there are any more cases of this particular strand of the virus in the area.

If someone tests positive, they must self-isolate immediately and pass on details of anyone they have been in contact with to NHS Test and Trace when requested.

This is concerning news for all of us– especially if you live in the area, live very nearby or if you have visited recently. The aim of Project Eagle is to urgently detect any cases and help crack down on the new variant.

A map and postcode look up of the affected areas along with further details on this urgent programme of work can be found on the council’s main website, here:

Monday, 8 February 2021

Can you help? Volunteer opportunities in Lambeth


Home Start Lambeth

Do you have parenting or childcare experience and skills? Home-Start Lambeth volunteers provide support, friendship and practical help to families with at least one child under five who are experiencing difficulties. They’re reaching out for volunteers who can give about an hour per week for 6 months minimum (times can be flexible to suit both you and the family you are supporting).

Volunteers will:

  • offer support tailored to the needs of the families over the phone, via Zoom and/or via socially distanced meet ups
  • build a supportive relationship with the family in which the challenges of family life can be discussed, positive strategies encouraged, and also encourage parents’ strengths and emotional well-being so they can best support their children
  • encourage families to widen their network of relationships and to use the support and services available in the community effectively

You’ll need to be able to be reliable, a good listener, and maintain confidentiality while recognising that there may be situations when disclosure is essential to the welfare of a child. Training will be provided online.

Your own experiences and skills can help another family more than you could imagine – Home Start would love to hear from you.

 Age UK – digital neighbours

Age UK Lambeth want you to get involved in their exciting new project 'Digital Neighbours'.  

'Digital Neighbours' help Age UK Lambeth clients to get comfortable online to overcome the digital divide, with all the social and life benefits that brings.  This is a community-based volunteering role in which the volunteer becomes something of a local digital hero in their neighbourhood.

The role is to provide basic digital support and learning to Age UK clients in your neighbourhood, over the phone or on Zoom. This could be anything from helping people get familiar with facetime, savvy with search engines or brave buying things online, all the way through to helping someone solve a scary error message or even to just ‘turn the bleeding thing on’! 

The role is very flexible, so you can fit Digital Neighbour tasks around work and other responsibilities.  Age UK hopes that helping in your local area fits nicely into everyday life – let them know if you’d like to find out more

Copes Pharmacy Streatham – Covid vaccine marshals

Copes Pharmacy, 570-572 Streatham High Road, is a new covid vaccination site, starting this week.

For now, Copes need your help on weekdays, helping to ensure the safe flow of the people being vaccinated from the time they arrive to the time they leave - checking patients are on the appointment list, checking temperatures, reassuring patients and preparing them for the vaccination.

The first shifts they need to cover will be 9am-2pm and 2pm-7pm next week. PPE will be provided. Social distancing will be managed. Please note Copes is at the far southern end of Streatham High Road – can you help?