The Government announcements this week have seen major closures across the country as people self-isolate or practice social distancing. Theatres, Pubs, Restaurants, Halls and now Schools are all affected. For a list of current closures see below. However, in the face of adversity people always pull together and a new Facebook site has been set up by local people which is proving a popular point of contact for information sharing. Coronavirus Community Help Bridgwater https://www.facebook.com/groups/2877449092348815/ currently has 1,922 members with more joining all the time.
Daniel Ball and Kirstie Sutton, who set up the Facebook Group, say the purpose of this site was to act as a resource for information-sharing during the Covid19 crisis. They have been joined by Foodbank volunteer Simon Bale, who is co-ordinating ‘Self-Isolation Help Forms’ for people to complete and submit if they need help during the self-isolation phase and he was also compiling a database of volunteers. At a meeting today, held at ‘The Hub’ (Angel Place) representatives from Bridgwater, Sedgemoor and Somerset Councils joined the group along with Village Agents and other volunteers. It was agreed to help set up ‘neighbour hood’ groups at the lowest community level streets, blocks etc. Simon would identify volunteers and local co-ordinators from his database. People should continue to contact CCHB via the facebook site or via email [email protected] Lauren Giddins, the Sedgemoor coordinator of the Village Agents also offered their number for referrals as this will be staffed office hours by the triage system – 01823 331222. Simon did not create the self isolation help form it is a blanket form being used by many other groups alike.
Closures in Bridgwater
The McMillan Theatre -Has suspended all shows and events at the venue. They say that where performances do not proceed they will make contact with customers to advise on the next steps and ask customers to refrain from contacting box office unless absolutely necessary.
Bridgwater Operatic Society have postponed their production of Made in Dagenham to May 2021 and ask people to contact them if they need their money back (Sue Pomeroy 01278 662181)
Bridgwater Arts Centre will be closed from Thursday 19th March and events postponed until further notice with many of them to be re-arranged for later in the year. Manager Dave Edney writes “We are already looking at options and will endeavour to reprogram certain events but please be aware that there is no certainty in this. Customers who have bought tickets are welcome to make contact by phone or email for refunds though for those events that are being re-arranged, your current ticket purchase can still be used.”
Bridgwater Town Council has closed the Town Hall and the Blake Museum to the public for the duration of the emergency. The Museum was scheduled to re-open for the Spring period on 7th April but this will now not take place ‘until deemed safe’.
ACTS Theatre Group have cancelled their show ‘Bugsy Malone’ scheduled for 19-21st March at the Town Hall
The Mayor of Bridgwater’s Memory Walk raising funds to fight dementia scheduled for 26th April has now been cancelled as well.
Bridgwater Library – All public libraries in Somerset will be closed from Thursday 19th March until further notice. During this time customers will be unable to borrow or return items but also no overdue charges or additional hire charges will apply. All reservations have been cancelled and will not be available to collect. You can however download ebooks, e-magazines and audio books at Somersetreads.co.uk
Sedgemoor District Council – Has cancelled meetings and restricted access to Bridgwater House. Staff are being asked to work from home where possible. Bridgwater House reception WILL remain open with skeleton staff. Colley Lane depot will remain open with staff mainly working outdoors.
Chairman’s Civic Service and Gala Show -planned for April has been postponed indefinitely
The ‘Great British Spring Clean’ -planned for round about now, has been postponed to 11-27 September. #GBSpringClean
School Closures -The Government has just announced that Schools will be closed from Friday 20th March