HWRC Closures

Following the Prime Minister’s broadcast to the nation yesterday evening (Monday 23 March) and in line with national guidance on coronavirus, all of our Household Waste Recycling Centres will be closed with immediate effect until further notice.

Thank you for your patience and understanding at this time and apologies for any inconvenience caused.


Working Tax Credits Update

As part of a number of measures to support the country during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Working Tax Credits payments will be increased by £1,045 to £3,040 per year from 6 April 2020 until 5 April 2021.

The amount a claimant or household will benefit from will depend on their circumstances, including their level of household income. But the increase could mean up to an extra £20 each week.

If you claim Working Tax Credits, you don’t have to take any action or contact HMRC - the increase in your payments will start from 6 April 2020.


Alzheimer’s Society Update

Staff at the Alzheimer’s Society have advised that in light of the most recent Government issued guidance, they have temporarily suspended all their face to face and group services with immediate effect – they are replacing these with telephone support, increasing this to ensure they support people’s well-being through isolation. While it is very important to stop coronavirus spreading, they are currently looking at how to best stay in touch and support people affected by dementia during this time and continue some of their services.  

They remain there for anyone affected by dementia and will continue to take referrals to offer telephone support.  Their local contact number is 0191 3890400. 

Their Dementia Connect Support Line remains open on 0333 150 3456 every day and they are exploring ways they can extend the hours of availability. Dementia Talking Point their online community, where people affected by dementia can receive valuable support, can be accessed online for free, night or day, through their website,

For up to date information on dementia and Alzheimer’s Society services, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.


Changes to jobcentre appointments (from 19 March 2020)

People receiving benefits do not have to attend jobcentre appointments for at least 3 months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020. People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended.

People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible.

Jobcentres remain open and will continue to support people who are not able to use phones and online, including homeless people.

For further details on Coronavirus support for employees, benefit claimants and businesses, please visit: - online support for young people

Kooth is a web based confidential support service available to young people. Kooth provides a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support designed specifically for young people. 

Kooth offers young people the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor. Counsellors are available from 12noon to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10 pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop-in basis. Young people can access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed. Outside of counselling hours young people can message their team and get support by the next day.

When students register with Kooth they will have support available to them now and in the future. Support can be gained not only through counselling but articles, forums and discussion boards.  All content is age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.

To find out more visit where young people can register, and others can find out more about the service.

You can also view a short video about the service at:       

Kooth have advised that they are currently operating as normal and their counselling hours will remain the same. This will hopefully provide suitable support for any young person who has concerns and who needs help.