Uckfield Coronavirus updates – Tuesday, March 31

See how Uckfield area businesses and organisations are responding during the Coronavirus pandemic. This story will be updated during the day.

Appeal for Personal Protective Equipment

Update at 2.30pm: Margaret Dode Angel from Sussex Support Service is continuing an emergency appeal for Personal Protective Equipment for carers in the area.

Margaret says she is getting calls from carers and personal assistants to the elderly who are not able to get hold of basic PPE or who are being charged crazy prices for items including gloves, aprons and hand gel.

Dire emergency

“Therefore I am trying to coordinate some PPE for those in dire emergency and have so far managed to support a few carers with stock I already had.”

Margaret adds: “I have managed to get hold of some, not lots, of basic PPE, gloves aprons and hand gel to do refills. They should be with me on Friday and I will carry on trying to get required items.”


Any carers who require urgent PPE are invited to contact Margaret via email at victoriapavilion@gmail.com or by telephone on 01825 760176. She will add names to her data base of what is needed and will distribute from the pavilion.

Margaret says she is also available to offer telephone support for independent paid carers and personal assistants if that would be helpful.

Margaret Dode Angel of Sussex Support Service who is trying to source Personal Protective Equipment for independent carers and personal assistants to the elderly.

Fuller and Scott

Fuller & Scott funeral directors remain open and able to assist when needed.

Funeral director Emma Naylor said that thanks to the help of doctors, registrars and crematoriums all relevant paperwork can be scanned through when needed.

She said: “Through a very difficult time we are still here for our families providing the care and support the best we can.”

Mansell McTaggart supports NHS

Mansell McTaggart estate agents have dedicated new window displays to the NHS with notices saying Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, and Save Lives.

SG Home Interiors

Update at 11am: The team at SG Home Interiors in Bell Farm Lane, Uckfield, is still working behind the scenes and even though the showroom is closed the company is open for business.

Kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and home offices are being designed remotely.

So Debbie Reed, from SG Home Interiors says: “Don’t despair – discover your new luxury kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or home office, from the comfort of your own home.”


Free brochures can be delivered direct to your door.  Please email your address to sg@sghomeinteriors.co.uk and give an idea of the products you are interested in.

Alternatively look online at www.crown-imperial.co.uk or www.sghomeinteriors.co.uk.

Also SG Home Interiors is taking orders via phone (01273 813332) or email at sg@sghomeinteriors.co.uk if anyone would like something from the showroom.

Garden furniture

Debbie says they have a large selection of teak garden furniture if anyone is looking to purchase something for the garden, tables, chairs, benches etc, with free local delivery. Please check out the furniture website and get in touch www.sussexgrangefurniture.co.uk

She adds: “We hope you all stay safe and healthy.”

Bluebell Railway

Update at 10am: The Bluebell Railway is publishing a special newsletter inspired by the actions of soldiers in World War One.

The new regular publication is designed to maintain morale among its staff and volunteers during the railway’s current closure.

And it is making the issues available to everyone who is looking for something to read or do during the shutdown.


The newsletter is called The Bluebell Times and is based on The Wipers Times which was a newspaper produced by soldiers in the trenches in World War One after they found an abandoned printing press. The paper helped to maintain morale during the fighting around Ypres in Belgium.

A Bluebell Railway spokesman said: “We hope The Bluebell Times helps to keep up spirits in the same way. It is designed to fill the gap for anyone missing their steam train rides or visits to the Bluebell Railway. Although the railway is currently closed, the lines of communication are still open.

“It’s a publication for all – railway staff at home, volunteers in all departments, members, supporters, visitors, friends, train enthusiasts, families and general readers. It’s perfect for train-mad youngsters or anyone who wants a bit of light relief.”

Train driver

Among the contents in issue one are a feature article on life as a train driver, an in-depth look at one of the railway’s locomotives, an update on the emergency appeal for funds, a word search puzzle, a guess the year quiz based on filming at the Bluebell Railway and a special children’s section.

The Bluebell Times has been edited by Tom James who is a volunteer in the locomotive department and there are contributions from people across the railway.

The first issue of The Bluebell Times is available now and can be downloaded from https://www.bluebell-railway.com/bluebell-times/

Future issues will also be on the same web page.

The Bluebell Railway which is publishing a newsletter while closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Peter Edwards.

Coronavirus scams

Uckfield Town Council is sharing information from Sussex Police about scams operating in other parts of the country relating to the COVID-19 coronavirus issue.

The council says only one report has so far been made to Sussex Police, of a suspicious phone call that went no further thanks to the alertness of the resident

It adds: “The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived. Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud.

“There have also been over 200 reports of coronavirus-themed ‘phishing’ emails. These attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details.

“You can protect yourself by:

  • not clicking on the links or attachments in suspicious emails
  • carrying out some research first, and asking a friend or family member for advice before completing an online purchase if you’re buying from a company or person you don’t know and trust.
  • always installing the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats

The National Cyber Security Centre offers advice on looking after your devices. Sussex Police’s Operation Signature offers further information on how to keep yourself safe from unwanted callers and other approaches.

Loan sharks

The town council also says that the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) recognises that this period may be one of increased financial pressure for some people. The Team is fully committed to ensuring that illegal money lenders (loan sharks) do not take advantage and profit from other people’s hardship.

The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service (0300 555 2222) remains open and fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. Victims, friends, family members, and the wider community are encouraged to come forward if they suspect someone is suffering at the hands of loan sharks.

Horsted Green Park

Wealden Council has announced the closure of its car parks at Horsted Green Park, at Little Horsted, and Walshes Park, in Crowborough until further notice.

The action follows updated Government guidance on social distancing.

The council is asking that all residents stay local and use open spaces near to home.

It says: “Please do not travel unnecessarily by car or public transport to access open spaces.”

A birds eye view of paths when they were being set out at Horsted Green Park.

Government advice

Government advice on taking exercise once a day is:

  • stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily
  • you should only go outside alone or with members of your own household
  • keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
  • gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this
  • if you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors

Boots Pharmacy

Boots Pharmacy, which was closed on Thursday for a period initially thought to be of a minimum two weeks, has reopened.

The company had asked Kamson’s Pharmacy to step in to help during the closure which was because of staff issues. Doctors surgeries had also been notified to ensure Boots patients could have new prescriptions dispensed.

It is understood the new opening hours for the pharmacy are 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.

Buxted Pharmacy

Buxted Pharmacy says it will be closed between 8 and 9am, 1 and 1.30pm, and 5.30-6.30pm, following advice received from NHS England.

The pharmacy says this is to allow quiet times, without interruption, to process prescriptions and also “to support all staff with their mental health with such an increase in workload”.

Tesco Pharmacy, Uckfield

Tesco Pharmacy, Uckfield, is open every day from 9am to 6pm except on Sundays when it is open from 10am to 4pm.


Wealden Police have given an assurance that they will continue to respond to all crime types during the pandemic and will continue to arrest people.

They say that over the weekend officers across the district arrested seven people for a number of offences, including assault, criminal damage, wanted on warrant, and public order offences.

They add that each contact to the police for help will be risk assessed, with priority given to maintaining public order, situations of violence, or where life is in danger, or where a very vulnerable person is involved.

“We are asking the public to please be patient as we may take more time to follow up report relating to lower-level crimes.”

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