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Your Kingston. Latest news from your borough.

18 December 2020

The impact of COVID-19: Losing a loved one 

The family and friends of Reverend Peter Holmes, of St Peter's Church in Norbiton, share their memories of him and urge everyone to keep their loved ones safe.

Budget Planning Report 2021-22 launches

This week we have published our report to highlight the services and support we've provided in the last year. It also explains how this has affected our budget and what we're doing to overcome recent challenges, as well as our current priorities and future ambitions.

We're inviting residents to share their feedback on the report, and help us to make the right decisions about our services and Kingston's future. 

Read the report.

Kingston Council’s Director of Public Health urges residents to think carefully this Christmas

Cases of COVID-19 are rising dramatically across the borough. Director of Public Health Iona Lidington says we must act now to reduce the risk to relatives and friends we may see over the festive period - and consider whether it is safe to meet up at all.

Read more on our website.

Kingston's response to COVID-19

Thank you to businesses, charities, staff, residents, volunteers and other local partner organisations for all your hard work this year, helping our most vulnerable residents, supporting local businesses, and providing essential services throughout. Stay safe this holiday season and continue following guidelines so that we can #KeepKingstonSafe. 

Our new website is live

We're happy to announce the launch of a brand new version of kingston.gov.uk. Some of the many improvements the new site offers include:
  • new search tool to make it easier and faster to find what you need
  • improved accessibility for those with visual impairments
  • improved online services so you can get in touch 24/7
Thank you to all residents that have been involved in the development and testing of the new website. We have more improvements coming in 2021 and encourage everyone to try the new website and share your thoughts.

Festive opening times and waste collection

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable Christmas. You can find our opening times, emergency contact details and other helpful information on our websiteYou can also find Christmas waste and recycling collection dates on our website. If you’re having your online Christmas shopping delivered, recycle the cardboard boxes in your blue-lidded wheelie bin.
It is vital that households who are self-isolating because of a confirmed or a suspected case of COVID-19 follow the government’s advice, which states:
  • Store personal waste, such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, in disposable rubbish bags.
  • Place these bags into a second bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste.
  • These bags should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external general waste bin.

Thank you to Kingston schools

Since March, our schools have worked tirelessly to support our young people and their families. Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children's Services including Education, says thank you to all our teachers and staff who have made sure that learning in a safe way is possible.

A big thank you to Aya for sharing this beautiful photo of Canbury Gardens with us. The perfect spot to take a few moments to relax and unwind.

Where do you go in Kingston for your daily dose of nature? Tag us on Twitter or Instagram and include #KingstonNature.

Virtual Job Club

The Virtual Job Club offers support and advice on employability related topics, including CV top tips, interview techniques, local job opportunities, advice on how to apply for Universal Credit, local training and education courses, as well as business start up support. You can sign up to as many sessions as you like, Tuesdays 11am-12noon, through Kingston Libraries Eventbrite page

Kingston Support Magazine

Kingston Support is a magazine signposting residents to information, services, activities and support. 

In it you can find information from local and national organisations, as well as opportunities for residents to get involved with their local communities. 

Read the latest edition.

Gain new skills for free with Microsoft

Continuing the spotlight on learning resources available via the Microsoft digital skills initiative, this week we are focusing on the Project Manager learning path, free until 31 March. Over 8 modules you’ll learn the fundamentals of good project management, the tools to assist you and more. Once you’ve completed all modules you will earn your badge of completion and will be equipped with the skills you need to feel more confident in your existing role or in your pursuit for a new job!

The Career Transition Programme, launched by Kingston Work Match and Richmond and Hillcroft Adults Community College, aims to ensure residents are in the strongest possible position with the right skills, mindset and confidence to apply for a new role when suitable. Email careertransitionprogramme@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk for more. 
Room for Work is designed for skilled workers 40+. The course includes workshops to help you master new skills or develop skills you already possess as well as learn techniques that will improve your employability chances. To read more and reserve your place please visit the Kingston Work Match website and click the apply button on the course description. 
Head2Work is an employability programme that combines the opportunity to take part in social action work experience and volunteering with support to use these experiences to give you an edge when applying for jobs. To find out more contact Sharon Pratt on 07826 533 884 or sharon.pratt@achievingforchildren.org.uk.
Positive Directions is a careers programme designed for young people aged 16 to 24 who are not in education, employment or training in South London. You will be able to access online resources to help you prepare for your next step, virtual mentoring and guidance, and online maths & English support. Email sharon.pratt@achievingforchildren.org.uk for more. 

Practical Ideas for Happier Living

This free mental wellbeing 6-week online course, designed with the charity Action for Happiness, gives practical ideas and tips based on the latest scientific research to increase resilience, improve wellbeing and manage stress and anxiety levels better.

  • Tuesdays, 5 Jan~9 Feb at 9.30am-12noon
  • Wednesdays, 6 Jan~10 Feb at 6.45pm-9.15pm 
  • Fridays, 8 Jan~12 Feb at 10am-12.30pm 

To enrol on any of these courses, please complete the application form. Enrolments for this course will close on 18 December. 

Christmas Lights and Fire Safety

Fires in the home rise by up to 50% during the festive season, with the majority caused by poor quality or old mains powered Christmas lights. We strongly urge you to replace old or poor quality lights with new and much safer LED lights this year. Always unplug your lights when before you go to bed or go out, and consider putting your fairy lights on a timer. View London Fire Brigade’s tips on hazards and how to avoid fires in your home this Christmas.

Kingston Libraries in Tier 3

From 16 December we will be running our Ready Reads offer from Hook, New Malden, Surbiton, Kingston and Tudor Drive libraries. This is an appointment only service, which will operate from 10am to 2pm on the following days:
  • Surbiton and New Malden - Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri
  • Hook - Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri
  • Tudor Drive - Mon, Tues
  • Kingston - Thurs, Fri
All libraries will be closed from the 23 until the 30 December.

Parent Carer Forum supporting children and young people with SEND

Kingston Parent Carer Forum (KPCF) is part of a national network of forums aiming to give a voice to all families who have members with a special educational need or disability (SEND). The forum is made up of local parents who are passionate about improving the local facilities and activities for all our children. Find out more and support on the Kingston SEND PCF Facebook Site.

Thank you to community library volunteers

Since August 2020 Kingston’s Community Library Service (CLS) delivered boxes of books to approximately 66 individuals and one residential home supporting people with mental ill health. The service has doubled over the last four months and we now have 24 rounds delivering to individuals and some care homes. New referrals have come from family members who may have seen our library van out around Kingston or do not live nearby and carers who work in resident’s homes. 
The CLS has also recruited volunteers this year and we have a wonderful mix of people who have retired, work part-time, were seeking work and are waiting for new jobs / training to start. They drive, cycle, walk and are welcomed by the residents. Three of the volunteers have started new jobs since joining the CLS. One of those is still delivering books on her day off. People who are working from home are helping in their lunch hours. The volunteers have been delighted to be useful and out and about as well as working at home which can be isolating.

Katie Erskine, Community Library Services Officer, said: "Thank you to all the Community Library volunteers who have helped organise books, CD's, shelves, covered books in sticky back plastic, delivered to schools, health visitors, the Guildhall, and residents who couldn't get to the library and chatted to them on the doorstep. Thanks to those of you who also helped out with delivering tablets to those who were given one by the Good things foundation grant and to those helping the Food Co-op too."
Plan your Christmas in Kingston! 

Christmas is going to look a little different this year, but there's still plenty of fun to be had in Kingston, both in person and online. See what's on and find local support on our Connected Kingston Christmas page

Where to find the latest information and guidance

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