See how Uckfield residents and businesses are responding to the Coronavirus in this update for Friday, March 27. More news will be added during the course of the day.
Nathan Levick Interiors
While the Nathan Levick Interiors showroom in Framfield Road is currently closed to visitors the business is still taking enquiries via the phone or email, and conducting meetings with clients via Skype.
The workshop is running as usual and producing commissions. Nathan Levick says there has been an influx of enquiries for home offices and he is currently working through these.
He says: “I wish fortitude to the small businesses and self employed of our local community on whom we all depend.”
Update at 4.20pm:
Garden waste [brown bin] collections cease
Update at 3.30pm:
Wealden District Counci’ls waste contractor, Biffa, has suspended garden waste collections.
This will begin on Monday, March 30, and continue until at least Friday, Aprilm24.
The council said the move was a result of staff sickness and self-isolation due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement the council said: “The suspension will be kept under review and we will continue to work with our waste contractor to reinstate this service as soon as possible.
“We must do this in order to prioritise our waste and recycling collections.
“We hope you will understand this is unavoidable and in the best interests of public health in the unusual circumstances we all face.
We are also working on how we will catch up with collections and any other implications for customers. Further information on this will follow in due course.”
The council added that Household Waste Recycling Sites, run by East Sussex County Council, are also currently closed.
“Although it is tempting to do gardening following the Government’s advice to stay at home please try to avoid creating unnecessary waste until the service resumes or the tips can reopen.
“Please do not place garden waste in your refuse or recycling bin because it will not be emptied. Where possible, please compost at home,” the council said, adding:
“Don’t be tempted to fly tip. Most residents in Wealden are very responsible, but fly tipping is an offence and offenders will be prosecuted.”
Telephone befriending scheme
Update at 2.15pm: A telephone befriending scheme launched by Manor Park and Hempstead Fields Residents’ Association has been extended to cover the whole of Uckfield.
The scheme is designed for those feeling lonely, who would like a chat with someone to cheer them up or would just like a friendly, sensible conversation.
Association chairman Paul Sparks said: “Angie Smith contacted us to suggest that we extend our local scheme to the whole of Uckfield.
“We thought it was a great idea and thanks to Angie we now have three additional volunteers to take calls from anyone who is fed up with the telly and would like a friendly chat.”
Paul added: “Please remember that this is not a service that people should call if they need food or medicines delivered or need any kind of practical help, those matters are being dealt with by some other excellent organisations in the town.”
Angie Smith said: “It is great working with the residents’ association and I am so pleased that they quickly agreed to include the whole of Uckfield in their service. I think it will be of great benefit to those of us that are sat at home alone and tired of all the depressing news on the telly.”
The number to call is 01825 578017. If the association is unable to take your call then please leave a message a volunteer will get back to you.
Uckfield-area letting agent Lampon Lets says landlords and tenants using its service are continuing to benefit from seamless support from the firm’s lettings and admin teams, who are all temporarily working from home.
Everyone who owns or occupies property looked after by Lampon Lets is covered by its Managed 24/7 service. This includes the reassurance of a round-the-clock telephone helpline to deal with enquiries, everyday management and urgent maintenance issues.
Landlords and tenants can contact the agency any time on 01825 725500 or through its website lamponlets.com. Now too, to assist the wider community, the firm is offering to give informal advice to anyone experiencing lettings-related issues.
Lucy Lowe, Lettings Director, said: “Here at Lampon Lets we’ve maintained a close dialogue with our landlords and tenants so they can be assured we’re here, as always, looking after their best interests.
“However, we’ve also had calls from others who are experiencing difficulties getting advice from their own rental agents. Where we can, we’ve tried to offer assistance. It seems the least we can do in these troubled times.”
Wealden Council seeks volunteers
Update at 11am: Wealden District Council is asking for volunteers to help as work continues to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The council’s cabinet member for community and public health Cllr Philip Lunn said: “We are working with the volunteer organisation 3VA to identify residents who are able to help reach out to self-isolating households either by delivering foodstuffs and medicines or just providing vital social contact through a chat over the telephone.
“We know many people self-isolating are already being well catered for. The villages and towns across Wealden have already begun making additional supporting arrangements. But we need to make sure no-one is forgotten. That is why the Community Shield scheme is so important.
“I am asking three things:
- If you are able to volunteer to support vulnerable people in self-isolation, please complete the Volunteering Form on the Community Support page of Covid-19 section on the Wealden website.
- If you are in the Government’s category for clinically extremely vulnerable people, and you do not have a support network of friends or family, you can register on https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or phone 0800 0288327 for support from the Government. You may have already received a letter about this from the Government.
- If you feel you are vulnerable – or know of someone who is – and need help which friends, family or carers cannot provide, please visit our Covid -19 Community Support page. Complete our online form or telephone Wealden District Council on 01323 443322 and we will put you in contact with groups in the community and voluntary sector who can help.
Bell Walk Dry Cleaners
Update at 10am: Bell Walk Dry Cleaners are closing at 4pm tomorrow (Saturday) due to low footfall and the risk of cross contamination. The business is looking forward to seeing customers again once Coronavirus restrictions are ended.
Mansell McTaggart estate agents continue to support present and future clients and are still able to value your home. This can be done via Facetime, Skpe or Zoom. You could even send a video of your home.
All you have to do is call 01825 760770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and make arrangements.
Lettings and Sales teams at Rowland Gorringe in Uckfield are still working and available to help.
For landlords and tenants, Stephanie and Ainsley are on hand to take calls on 01825 762132 (option 2) or by email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For vendors, purchasers, and those still on the hunt for a house, Mike and Jack are set up in home offices and can be reached on 01825 762132 (option1) or by email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clapping for NHS staff and Carers
The sound of clapping filled the air in Uckfield and surrounding villages last night as residents thanked NHS staff and care workers for all they are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
People said afterwards they were moved to hear the clapping surrounding them and they would like to take part again, with more gusto, next Thursday at 8pm.
In Buxted High Street people were particularly pleased to direct their applause towards an ambulance which coincidentally passed at the crucial time. They were rewarded with a flashing of lights.
As a spin off from the community clapping Louise Beard owner of Josefina in Uckfield High Street who has been making up and selling treat-filled and gift-wrapped Love Boxes online has four she would like to send to NHS workers nominated on the shop’s Facebook page.
She said after the clapping: “Well that was emotional – I want to show my appreciation for our amazing NHS.”
By this morning there were 142 comments on the post. Louise said she would select four names at random and contact the people nominating for delivery details.
South Brockwells Farm Shop
South Brockwells Farm Shop, at Little Horsted, would also like to say a huge thank you to hard working and brave NHS and Emergency Services staff for their part in the battle with COVID-19.
The business is offering 10% off all purchases from the farm shop for all NHS and Emergency Service employees.
The farm shop is also selling food parcels, see price and content options below. These can be delivered locally for the vulnerable or those in self-isolation. The shops price list for Spring 2020 can also be seen below.
Ridgewood Post Office and Stores
Ridgewood Post Office and Stores continues to receive daily deliveries of milk, bread, pies, fruit and veg.
It has also had deliveries of cheese, ham, and bacon and eggs.
Sue Gothard who runs the Post Office with her husband Jon says they are visiting cash and carry daily to restock shelves but unfortunately there is still a lack of tins, pasta and flour.
The couple have been working 15 hour days and all our staff that have been working need a break, we have therefore decided to close at 3pm on Saturdays until further notice. All other opening and closing times remain the same, for the present time.
Only one person at a time is being allowed in the shop – unless you are with someone you live with. This is because it would otherwise be difficult for people to keep two metres apart.
Ridgewood Post Office and Stores opening hours are:
Monday to Friday 6.30am to 6pm
Saturday 6.30am to 3pm
Sunday 7.30am to 12 mid day
Sue says: “Thank you all for your understanding.”
Foodbox outreach service extends to Buxted
A foodbox outreach service launched by volunteers in Uckfield to help the over 70s, vulnerable and NHS workers, has been extended to Buxted.
The aim is to provide a stop gap if they can’t get to the shops during these difficult times.
The boxes of basic food supplies include bread, milk, eggs, mixed fruit and veg, meat, fresh fruit juice – depending on what is available.
This is a non-profit service and the volunteers just need to cover the costs. The charge is £9 thanks to a generous donation from the Uckfield Lions.
Volunteers deliver the boxes and also deliver food parcels from the Foodbank if people need them to.
Anybody needing this service in Buxted is asked to contact Lucy Cratchley, who lives in the village, on 07751 210449.
She stresses this is an outreach box service, and the group has limited resources for people who really need them. It is not a bespoke shopping service for all.
Chrissy’s Usborne books
Chrissy Noble who sells Usborne books in Uckfield is happy to respond to specific requests for titles, which you can can collect from her, in Uckfield, from her own stock, at half the recommended price.
Take a look at her website (not all the titles in stock!) and let her know what you are interested in by calling 01825 769515 or by emailing her on email@example.com.
Chrissy says: “If I have it, you can have it. If not, I can recommend something similar which I have here. Otherwise, you can order from me, 20% off, and it will be delivered directly to you from the warehouse.
“So, browse, message me with your queries and let me know what you want. (All offers apply to titles ordered directly from me, not those ordered by you, through my website). org.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/chrissy
Small Business Grant
Wealden Council has published a form to be completed by small businesses applying for a Government grant designed to help those hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Local authorities are responsible for delivering the funding to eligible businesses.
Under the Small Business Grant Fund all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief, and Rural Rates Relief in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000 in line with the eligibility criteria.
There is also a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant.
More information can be found in this document on the Government website: Small Business Grant Fund and Retail Guidance.
Wealden Council has published COVID-19 Business Support Grant form on its website.
Buxted play areas
Buxted Parish Council has closed its play areas across the parish. This is because surfaces in the play areas and on gym equipment present a “significant risk” to the spread of the Coronavirus.
Uckfield Town Council and Framfield Parish Council have also closed their play areas.