Covid-19 Alert – 1 July 2022

The number of Covid-19 infected people in Bucks continues to increase quickly, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released today (1 July 2022). Infection levels started to increase 3 weeks ago, and are still increasing very rapidly. The third wave of Covid-19 this year is growing far faster than predicted, and looks at this stage as if it could be as bad as or worse than the previous two waves.

It is important to remember that Covid-19 is NOT mild – it is not the flu, or a cold. While most vaccinated people will not need to go into hospital, Covid-19 can still make vaccinated people very ill at home. Also, of course, if you catch Covid-19, you run a risk of developing serious post-Covid conditions, or permanent damage to your organs and brain.

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June Update – Reach4Work

Our Reach4Work Digital Team are continuing to make more and more progress with the Reach4Work and BucksWorkability websites, they are making improvements on the development sites, these then get approved by the board of Trustees and they pushed to the live site when ready and authorised. We are also working with the App Building Team to create an Events App for BuDS, which is an exciting project that we are looking for more volunteers for.

In June, we are still looking to get more referrals onboarded with the team are looking for bright new young disabled people to come and volunteer with us and hopefully find paid work once they have built their confidence and skills set during their time with us.

The Reach4Work Team are there to help support these volunteers, whether that is by doing our 6-weekly Independent Development Plan with them, or through CV Workshops, or Interview Techniques workshops.

If you would like further information or to refer yourself or someone you know, please email info@reach4work.org.uk

June Update – IAG Enquiries

So far this month, our small team have helped with 11 queries that have come in. Some are still on going due to the complexity of the issue.

The queries vary from accessibility issues that the public have raised to us, help with disability case law and assistance in dealing with work issues that fall under the Equality Act 2010.

If we can’t  answer ourselves we will always signpost you to a local or national service we know will be able to help you.

We are in need of volunteers to support this service, if you have knowledge of disability laws, housing, accessibility or benefits, we could use your support. Please email volunteering@buds.org.uk

June Update – IAG BuDDies

We are looking for BuDDies!  We currently have a waiting list of disabled members looking for a BuDDy, if you think you would be suitable for this volunteering role, please get in touch using the details below. 

We are still looking forward to the year ahead and are making sure we think about how we can expand to support more people within Buckinghamshire when we are able to. The BuDDies team works hard to make sure that we maintain an accessible service, offering sessions in a variety of different ways, such as video calls, phone calls and BSL.

If you are interested in becoming a BuDDy please email volunteering@buds.org.uk, or if you are looking to become a member to be matched with a BuDDy please email buddies@buds.org.uk

Covid-19 Risk Assessment: Week Ending 27 June 2022

The THIRD wave of 2022 continues to impact Bucks. Although cases have remained roughly the same, the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has SOARED, and the risk level remains EXTREMELY HIGH. You need to continue or start being Covid-Careful.

The new variants of the Covid virus making up this third wave have evolved to avoid any immunity you may have from vaccination or having caught Covid-19 before. Even if you are fully vaccinated, or have had Covid-19 before, you are still vulnerable to catching it again. Every time you catch Covid-19 increases your chances of being very ill or developing Long Covid, so it is IMPORTANT to protect yourself now, even if you haven’t been Covid-Careful up until now.  

Our advice is to wear a FFP2 or N95 filter mask in public places, breathe clean air, avoid crowds and busy places, work from home if you can, and protect your older and vulnerable relatives and friends. These simple precautions may save you and your family from serious illness or possibly long-term disability.

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DPO Conference 2022

On Friday 24 June 2022, BuDS addressed the inaugural DPO (Disabled People’s Organisations) Annual Conference about the Covid-19 pandemic and its implications for DPOs. The conference was online, open to all, free of charge, and accessible for all disabled people, with subtitling, BSL interpretation, and other access features.

You will need to read the speaking notes alongside the PowerPoint presentation slides. We are working on producing an integrated presentation, which will be easier to use. If you need material in another format, or support accessing it, please contact us.

Covid-19 Risk Assessment: Week Ending 20 June 2022

WORRYING news, as Bucks sees a massive 44% increase in Covid-19 infections in only a week. The next wave of Covid-19 is arriving much quicker than expected, and BuDS has raised the risk level back up to EXTREMELY HIGH. 1 in every 39 people in Bucks had Covid-19 as of 11 June, and the risk is almost certainly even higher today.

Even if you have had Covid-19 recently, you can still catch it again. Having had Covid-19 before is only weak protection against the new variants making up this wave. Even vaccination will not prevent you from being seriously ill at home if you catch one of these new variants. Unless you want to take the gamble of being infected or reinfected with Covid-19, you need to start being Covid-Cautious.

Our advice is to wear a FFP2 or N95 filter mask in public places, breathe clean air, avoid crowds and busy places, work from home if you can, and protect your older and vulnerable relatives and friends. These simple precautions may save you and your family from serious illness or possibly long-term disability.

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Covid-19 Risk Assessment: Week Ending 13 June 2022

Last week, we reported the end of Omicron BA.2 wave that has caused so much illness and death in the UK in May. This week, we are sadly reporting the START of the NEXT WAVE, made up of new Omicron variants including BA.5.

The number of infected people is now going up all over the UK. Here in Bucks, we now have 1 in every 61 people infected with Covid-19. This means the risk of catching Covid when out and about in Bucks continues to be VERY HIGH.

With cases on the upturn, BuDS urges everyone to be Covid-Cautious and keep taking sensible precautions against catching Covid-19. To repeat: the chances of coming across a person with Covid in your everyday life is VERY HIGH. Wear a FFP2 or N95 filter mask in public places, breathe clean air, avoid crowds and busy places, work from home if you can, and protect your older and vulnerable relatives and friends. BuDS will continue to update you every week.

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Covid-19 Risk Assessment: Week Ending 6 June 2022

This week, we are not able to give you any update about the Covid-19 pandemic in Bucks. The Office for National Statistics (ONS), who provide the data we use, have decided not to publish any regional data for the last week, and instead to publish a fortnightly update on Friday 10 June.

Nationally, the number of people infected with Covid-19 is continuing to slowly decline. Bucks is usually slightly worse than the national average, so we are predicting either a standstill or a slight decline in infection rates in Bucks. However, even with a small decline, the risk of catching Covid when out and about in Bucks is still VERY HIGH.

BuDS still urges everyone to be Covid-Cautious and keep taking sensible precautions against catching Covid-19. To repeat: the chances of coming across a person with Covid in your everyday life is still VERY HIGH. Wear a FFP2 or N95 filter mask in public places, breathe clean air, avoid crowds and busy places, work from home if you can, and protect your older and vulnerable relatives and friends.

BuDS will let continue to keep you up to date every week.

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Jubilee Covid-19 Warning

The Platinum Jubilee weekend is a time for celebrations and parties for many. But Covid-19 infection levels are still very high across the UK, and in Buckinghamshire. One in 57 people in Bucks are infected with Covid-19, so the risk of an infected person being near you at a Jubilee event is very high. While enjoying yourself this weekend, please remember to be Covid-Cautious, and keep taking sensible precautions against Covid-19. Wear an FFP2 or N95 filter mask indoors and in crowded places if you can.