As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a variety of information and resources has been produced for families adapting to lockdown, social distancing and other matters at this time. These range from ways to keep children of all ages entertained and engaged while schools are closed, to support and healthcare resources while normal appointments and groups are suspended.
Our team at CVS Falkirk has worked to compile a list of information and resources available, which will be updated regularly. If you would like to help us build this list or make us aware of anything you know, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NHS Forth Valley’s Maternity Unit at Forth Valley Royal Hospital is open (though there are restrictions around visiting), and midwives are still working as normal; they can be contacted for advice and support at any time by phone: 01324 567098.
NHS Forth Valley has updated its maternity page with information regarding COVID-19, including visiting, birthing partners and what to do if you need to visit the Maternity Triage and are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. All antenatal education classes are postponed until further notice, though information on labour and birth can be found on the Ready Steady Baby website.
- #KicksCount and Reduced Movements
NHS Scotland stresses that even when isolating, it is vital that expectant parents report reduced movements immediately; further information is available on the #KicksCount COVID-19 poster, or the #KicksCount website.
- ABM Resources and Free Course
The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) supports parents and families, offers training, and aims to speak for breastfeeding families at a national advocacy level. They provide counselling and training services, as well as a FREE information library with videos, tutorials and articles to support those who plan to breastfeed, or who are already doing so.
Their most recent video, How Lactation Works, is designed to be easy to follow, and provide inspiration and reassurance to expectant parents.
They have also made their “Team Baby: Getting Ready to Breastfeed” course free; this module is aimed at expectant parents, but can also be taken by other family and support network members. The module consists of 5 stages, with a video accompanying each stage.
For further information, visit the ABM website.
- Local Virtual Breastfeeding Support Resources
The Polmont Breastfeeding Group (part of the Breastfeeding Network (BfN)) has moved online during this time, with new Facebook groups:
- Forth Valley Breastfeeding page
- Polmont Area Breastfeeding Group (private group; joining required)
- Clackmannanshire Breastfeeding Support (private group; joining required)
- Stirling Breastfeeding Support (private group; joining required)
The Forth Valley Breastfeeding page runs a virtual support group via Zoom on its page every Thursday at 10:30am; joining details can be found on the page’s events section.
Support is also available through Facebook messaging on any of the groups above, or by email: email@example.com
- National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212
The National Breastfeeding Helpline has increased its capacity for support while face to face groups are closed; the helpline is open 9:30am – 9:30pm every day, and all calls are answered by volunteers (trained and supported by ABM and BfN), who are all parents who have breastfed.
Live online support is also available via the web chat service.
British Sign Language (BSL) users in Scotland can contact the helpline via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, Scotland’s FREE national video relay interpreting service for public bodies and third sector organisations.
- Aberlour’s Perinatal Support Befriending
In line with COVID-19 guidance, Aberlour’s Perinatal Befriending Support service in Forth Valley has adapted the way they support women and families:
- their base in Laurieston is currently closed, and all staff are working from home
- home visit are suspended for the time being; coordinators are offering regular telephone and digital support to those receiving the service
- befriending is still available for matched people, and is also being provided via telephone,Zoom, and Whatapp, based on the person’s preference
- all referrals will be received as usual through the existing email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To reach the team, or for further information, please contact:
- Angie Rennie ( Perinatal Co-ordinator) by phone: 07730621343
- Caroline Allan (Perinatal Co-ordinator) by phone: 07872003782
- Emma Cashmore-Gordon (Service Manager) by phone: 07714 271825
There have been a variety of different activities and resources created or made free while schools are closed and lockdown is in effect, with some listed below:
- Make a Cardboard House – fun and engaging way to make use of any excess cardboard while recycling collections are disrupted.
- The Fun Gang Online Parties – local social enterprise The Fun Gang has moved all their shows and parties online, aiming to help children have fun during self-isolation and social distancing, by bringing their songs, magic shows, puppets and games straight to living rooms. They will be streaming parties live as well as recording parties for future viewing. (Link goes to CVS Falkirk news article.)
- World of David Walliams – free activities and resources, along with videos and readings; David Walliams is also performing regular live reads during the COVID-19 pandemic via his Instagram, which are recording and uploaded to Youtube.
- Live Wildlife Homeschool – every Wednesday at 9:30am, free wildlife learning live sessions and other resources to keep kids entertained from Steve Backshall (naturalist, explorer and TV presenter) on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
- “PE with Joe” – Joe Wicks, “The Body Coach”, hosts a free workout every morning (aimed at kids, but everyone is welcome to join in) live on Youtube.
- The Maths Factor – Carol Vorderman’s learning website is currently completely free to use during the COVID-19 pandemic (usually £2 per week).
- Maddie Moate Youtube – videos on different weekly topics (mostly educational science videos) uploaded daily from TV presenter and “EduTuber” Maddie Moate; aimed at making science fun
- also features other EduTuber channels on her About page (right hand side of screen)
- We Are Writers – ideas and resources for children’s literacy from Scholastic, along with their Kids’ Club and Resource Bank.
- Get Kids Cooking – recipes for kids to cook, as well as family cooking recipes from Jamie Oliver.
- The Stay At Home Festival and other daily videos with celebrities aimed at children, free from the Cosmic Shambles Network
- Home Learning Hub – the specific free COVID-19 hub from educational resource website Twinkl, with a new set of daily activities to get involved in.
- Twinkl stresses that families should find their own approach, and not try to recreate school at home; the Hub is there to offer support, ideas to keep children and families engaged, and help add some routine to the day.
- they also offer a School Closure Support page.
- GSC At Home – daily sessions from the Glasgow Science Centre at 10am each day.
- Eco-Schools at Home – resources from Keep Scotland Beautiful on learning at home, with topics including climate change, home gardens, and the Young Reporters Scotland project.
- The Royal Shakespeare Company – resources to celebrate and learn about Shakespeare and his plays in entertaining and creative ways, including At Home With Shakespeare and the Culture in Quarantine project, and #ShareYourShakespeare.
- The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – a virtual Museum from Home, with links to Home Learning packs, Shakespeare Shorts, and a range of other activities and resources.
- Various museums have created virtual tours specifically aimed at children and families, including:
- the Louvre in Paris, France (page in English)
- the British Museum in London, England
- New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, with its #MetKids and 360 Project tours
- the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (page in English)
- the Roald Dalh Museum and Story Centre in Buckinghamshire, England
- the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, USA
- Google’s Arts and Culture page has also worked with a number of museums from around the world to create virtual tours (including the Van Gogh Museum tour linked above).
Child Protection Committees Scotland (CPC Scotland) is urging everyone to look out for vulnerable children and young people at risk from neglect or abuse during COVID-19, especially while the schools are closed. They have launched a new #KeepingKidsSafeC-19 campaign to help promote how to report any worries people have locally.
In Falkirk, anyone who is worried about a child’s safety is encouraged to contact social work services by phone:
- Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm: 01324 506070
- Monday – Friday from 5pm, and at weekends: 01786 470500
If you are concerned a child is at immediate risk of harm contact Police Scotland as soon as possible by phone: 999.
- NCSC “Stay Safe Online” Training Package
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has produced a new e-learning training package on cyber security: “Stay Safe Online”.
The training package is completely free and takes less than 30 minutes to complete. It was designed to be easy to use, with a non-technical audience (who may have little or no knowledge of cyber security) in mind. The training introduces why cyber security is important and how attacks happen.
For further information, please view the full web article.
- Thinkuknow Resources for Parents and Carers
Thinkuknow, the online safety education programme from the UK National Crime Agency, has released information for parents and carers around cyber security and safety online for children and young people.
While particularly relevant during the current lockdown and school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, these resources can be used at any time. Home activity packs are also available for children and young people as young as 4 years old to over 14 years old.
For further information, please view the full web article.
COVID-19 has sadly meant that some carers are having to face the loss of the person they cared for, perhaps under very difficult circumstances.
Writing for the Your Later Life website, Helen Walker (CEO of Carers UK) has compiled suggestions help deal with the impact of losing someone you cared for, whatever their age, health status or relationship to you. “Carers will experience a whole range of emotions, especially if this signifies the end of their caring role.”
Ms Walker’s blog details the kind of practical details that often follow losing someone, from registering the death to organising the funeral, and suggests that it may help to break these tasks down, listing them in order of priority and ticking them off once completed. There are then ideas on how else to celebrate the person’s life, and available national resources.
For further information, please visit the Your Later Life website.
Alternatively, unpaid carers in the Falkirk and Clackmannanshire areas who are dealing with loss can contact the Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Carers Centre:
- by phone: Falkirk – 01324 611510; Clackmannanshire: 01259 226839
- by email: email@example.com
- via Twitter or Facebook
A number of Facebook groups have been created to support people during this time, including:
- Temporary Home Education Families (private group) which aims to support temporary breaks in school attendance like the current school closures
- Scotland registered childminders for Covid-19 school closures, open to registered childminders and key worker parents looking for childcare
- The Virtual Village (private group) created to allow people to socialise online, with a range of activities: Kids’ Club (including downloadable schoolwork, activities), Virtual Tavern (pub quizzes, online game nights), Fitness Centre, Business Hub (tips to take your self-employed business online if you’re worried about money), Beauty Salon (tips to do nails and hair, etc, at home), and more
These groups often feature a variety of activities and boredom-busting ideas for children and families, as well as a number of resources and community space for parents and caregivers, and support for those unsure about how best to home educate their children during this time.
According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human-to-human transmission, and, to date, there is no evidence that animals can spread the disease.
- British Veterinary Association FAQ Page
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has produced a COVID-19 FAQ page, including a section for “Animal Owners and Breeders”.
They note that “government advice states that all non-essential vet visits should be avoided and you must phone your vet to arrange the best approach to meet your pets’ needs.
Veterinary practices are remaining open to focus on providing services that are needed to maintain the food supply chain, or which are essential for animal health and welfare or public health, including to relieve pain and suffering. (There may be variations across the UK administrations regarding what constitutes “essential” travel.)
If you are concerned or have any questions about your animal’s health and welfare, you should phone your veterinary practice directly. Your vet will risk assess each case and exercise their clinical and professional judgement to decide whether face-to-face treatment or care is essential at this time, or whether services could be provided remotely.”
The page also provides information on dog walking and other pet care while socially distancing or self-isolating.
- Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Statement
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has published a statement with a FAQ, advice and guidance for animal owners to help promote understanding of the way vet practices have had to alter their services.
The full statement is available on the RCVS website.
- Canine & Feline Sector Group Guidance
The Canine & Feline Sector Group (CFSG) has issued a range of guidance around COVID-19 for pet businesses, pet owners and general pet welfare, including some infographs: