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Council Tax Help

Council tax help for residents in the Chichester District

Chichester District Council is making people aware of all of the support that is available to help them pay their bills during this challenging time.

The council offers a number of discounts for council tax payers, including Council Tax Reduction, which is a means tested benefit and does not take account of outgoings. For people that are already claiming Council Tax Reduction, the Government has announced a Hardship Fund to support residents who are struggling financially.

Residents who are eligible for the support will have their award automatically credited to their council tax bill. Residents do not need to contact the council to receive this payment because they hold all of the relevant details to apply this discount automatically. Payments are estimated to be processed from mid to late April and will be done as quickly as possible. People who are eligible will receive a revised council tax bill, which will reflect the hardship fund that has been applied.

“The coronavirus outbreak has affected everyone, and we want to support people as much as we possibly can by making sure that they can access all the financial help available to them,” says Councillor Peter Wilding, Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate Services and Revenues and Benefits at Chichester District Council.

“What’s important to remember, is that if you are struggling to pay your bills, there is a range of ways in which we can help you. We would encourage anyone who is concerned about paying council tax due to the impact of the coronavirus, to please let us know as soon as possible.

“It may be that you have applied for Council Tax Reduction, but are still concerned about making payments. If so, we’d urge you to get in touch to discuss the other help that is available. Options could include paying in instalments over twelve months, or spreading instalments between June 2020 to March 2021, which may alleviate hardship for people that are struggling to make payments at the moment.

“The best way to do this is by emailing: taxation@chichester.gov.uk. If you do not have online access, please call us on 01243 785166. Please note that due to high call volumes we recommend using our online services in the first instance wherever possible. This will keep essential lines free for those without access to the internet.

“Where possible, we are also asking customers to sign up for online letters and bills. To do this, simply go to www.chichester.gov.uk/myaccount and select the service that you need.

“Our ‘My Account’ service is available 27/7 and allows you to: manage payments, including setting up a direct debit; access council tax or business rates records; advise us of a change of address; view account details and recent bills; claim housing benefit or council tax reduction; report a change in your circumstances for housing benefit or council tax reduction, and; update personal details. Simply visit www.chichester.gov.uk/myaccount and select the service you need.”

The council has created a range of new pages on its website with answers to frequently asked questions. This includes information about council tax help, benefit support, and business grants and rate discounts. For details of the support that is available, visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/taxandbenefitsfaq

 

Council Tax Help2020-04-06T19:23:25+01:00

Bonfires

A message from Chichester District Council

We are urging residents not to light bonfires during the coronavirus crisis to protect the health of others. Smoke and smells from bonfires can aggravate respiratory problems which people with virus symptoms may be experiencing. People are also likely to want to enjoy their gardens during the virus lockdown. Please be mindful of your neighbours and fellow community members and do not burn any waste under any circumstances.

Read more at: socsi.in/latestnews_OWt5D

Bonfires2020-04-06T19:08:08+01:00

West Sussex County Council – Launch of Online Community Hub in Response to Coronavirus

Online Community Hub launches in response to coronavirus

West Sussex County Council has been working closely with the district and borough councils in the county, the NHS and Public Health England to set-up community hubs to help support the most vulnerable residents in West Sussex.

Across West Sussex, hubs have been set up in response to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will allow individuals to get in contact if they, or someone they know, need help, or if they want to volunteer their services in these difficult times.

Those who already have support networks in place – such as friends, family and neighbours – should continue using the support they have. This means that the community hubs can focus their efforts on those most in need.

West Sussex has a county-wide community hub which is available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980.

You can also find more information about support in your local community on your district or borough council website.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said: “These are difficult times and helping the most vulnerable and those without a support network in our community to get food, medicine and help is our top priority.

“Not only have we already seen people come through to us needing our help, we have also had lots of interest from residents and businesses across the county who are keen to volunteer their services in these tough times. Our hubs are an essential way for our communities to link together to receive the support they need.

“The reaction we have had illustrates the real human spirit that runs through our county and makes us proud to be residents.”

The NHS has written to residents it has identified as at risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus and those extremely vulnerable to coronavirus should register for support via the government’s website.

If you need support, wish to volunteer or would like to find out more about community hubs visit: www.westsussex.gov.uk/covid19communityhub.

Find us on Twitter and Facebook

Mail Attachment

West Sussex County Council – Launch of Online Community Hub in Response to Coronavirus2020-04-03T07:33:29+01:00

Chichester District Council – Latest Update

Thursday 2 April 2020

Issued by Public Relations Team – publicrelations@chichester.gov.uk

www.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus

www.twitter.com/ChichesterDC

www.facebook.com/ChichesterDistrictCouncil

This briefing is to keep you updated on the evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) and the actions being taken in the district.

 Who does it affect?

  • Residents and businesses within the district
  • Chichester District Council staff and councillors
  • Parish councils
  • Community groups and charitable organisations

In this briefing

  • Latest update
  • Service changes
  • Community hub is open
  • Coast to Capital small business grants
  • Support for businesses
  • Accommodation, food and support for rough sleepers
  • Advice on waste disposal
  • Hardship fund
  • Council tax help
  • Customer Services
  • Local Plan
  • Sports England funding
  • Arts Council England funding
  • Please do not visit the district

Latest update

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma MP, last night spoke about the support that was available for local businesses.  He also provided more information about increases in testing.

Professor Yvonne Doyle also said that there had been a rise in motor vehicle traffic that was ‘concerning’ and again urged people to stay at home.

The emphasis continues to be on the need to stay at home and maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. These actions slow the opportunities for the virus to be passed from person to person and this saves lives.

Everyone should:

  • stay at home
  • only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home

Anyone can spread the virus. The advice is to stay home and save lives.

Service changes

Please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/councilservicestatus for the latest information.

Community hub is open

As a council, we are working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, which has developed a Community Hub to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities. You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help, or if you want to volunteer your services in these difficult times. This will be available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. The team will be contacting the most vulnerable to tell them how to get help. The best way to contact the hub is online; if you have access go towww.westsussex.gov.uk/covid19communityhub. A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980. We are trying to keep the resources available through the hub for those who are most vulnerable, so if you do have support in place already, such as from family or friends, then please continue to use their support.

Community guide to be launched next week

We have produced a community guide, which offers advice to community groups and residents. We hope that this will be available next week.

Coast to Capital small business grants

Coast to Capital has set up a Backing Business Grants Fund of £2 million to help small businesses and social enterprises in the region. If you have a business in the district with a workforce of between five and 50 and have been trading for more than two years with a turnover of under £10 million you may be eligible for a grant of between £5,000 to £25,000. More information on how to apply can be found here https://www.coast2capital.org.uk/backing-business-grants

Support for businesses

Our Economic Development Team has spoken to over 350 businesses offering support and guidance. We’ve also been sending details out about the business rate relief and grant schemes, as well as directing people to all of the other Government business support that is available. Our Revenue and Benefits team has also sent communications out to all of those who are eligible for business rate relief.

Accommodation, food and support for rough sleepers

We want to assure you that we are also doing everything we can to help rough sleepers during the current crisis. We are especially conscious that rough sleepers face particular health risks and so we have offered accommodation to all known rough sleepers.  The majority have taken up the council’s offer and are now in accommodation. However, there are a small number of long term rough sleepers who continue to refuse all help. In these cases we provide advice and guidance around the need for self-isolation and signpost to the support that is available. We will continue to support rough sleepers once they are in accommodation by ensuring that they have a phone, food supplies and are in regular contact with a key worker. Support will also be available through Stonepillow day centres in Chichester and Bognor, which are providing food and access to other services. It is worth noting that in order to meet social distancing guidance; the centres are limited to a certain number of people at any one time. We are supporting this work by providing staff to assist Stonepillow at the Chichester Hub. Sainsburys has kindly donated food to Stonepillow, Four Streets and Heart, all of whom are continuing to provide fantastic support to those who need it the most at this difficult time.

This week, our staff have been helping Stonepillow to make up food parcels and deliver these to rough sleepers in our district. In one day, they collected 500 loaves of bread and a ton of cheese! Thank you to our colleagues Sarah, Ralph, and Trudie, and to the whole team at Stonepillow. Great work!

Advice on waste disposal

The government has published advice on waste disposal for people with possible or confirmed coronavirus. Personal waste, such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags.  These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.  Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

We are doing all we can to continue to collect your waste and recycling as usual, but there may be times where this may be affected. If this is the case, please place your bin out on your next fortnightly collection day. At the moment, our priority is to collect household rubbish and household recycling. Please also keep a close look at our websitewww.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus or follow our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on all of our services.

Thank you to everyone who has been sending their messages of thanks and support to our refuse crews on our social media pages. We’ve received over 120 messages of support so far and they really have put a smile on our refuse workers faces. We’ve been sending your messages of support each day to the screens in their cabs.

Read more about our waste and recycling services herehttps://www.chichester.gov.uk/wasteandrecyclingfaqs .

Hardship fund

The government has announced a Hardship Fund to support those residents who are financially struggling. Residents who are eligible for the support will have their award automatically credited to their Council Tax bill. Residents do not need to contact us to receive this payment because we have all of the relevant details. The benefits team will be processing these payments as quickly as possible and currently estimates that this will be done during April.

Council Tax help 

https://www.chichester.gov.uk/taxandbenefitsfaq

If anyone is concerned about being able to pay council tax bills due to the impact of the coronavirus, please let us know as soon as possible. The best way is to visit www.chichester.gov.uk/counciltax, or contact by emailrevenues@chichester.gov.uk  If you do not have online access, please call us on 01243 785166. Please note that due to high call volumes we recommend using our online services in the first instance wherever possible.

Customer services

Staff are working hard to improve the customer service options available both online and through the council switchboard.

Teams are currently dealing with high call volumes and so we are encouraging people to use our online services or contact us by email in the first instance if they have online access. This will keep essential lines free for those with an urgent need or those without access to the internet. For those who need to contact us by phone, they should call 01243 785166.

Local Plan

Cllr Eileen Lintill, Leader of Chichester District Council and Cllr Susan Taylor, Deputy Leader of Chichester District Council, have written to the Secretary of State to ask for a delay to the Local Plan. It is important that our focus is supporting our local communities right now and we hope that they will take this into consideration. In the meantime, work is continuing.

Sport England funding

Sport England is making up to £195 million of funding available to help the sport and physical activity sector through the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis. The package is made up of:

  • a £20 million Community Emergency Fund, which will be opened immediately for clubs and community organisations to bid into. Grants between £300 and £10,000 are available.
  • a £5 million pot for existing partners to bid into if they’re facing specific financial difficulty
  • an additional £55 million to support our sector during an ongoing period of restrictions, to fund new and innovative ways to keep people active and, when the period of restrictions is over, to help organisations get back to business and adjust to a different environment
  • a £115 million rollover of current funding into 2021/22 to give long term certainty to over 100 well established partners who play a vital role in the delivery of sport and physical activity in England.

Alongside this, due to cash flow concerns in the sector, Sport England have also agreed to consider requests to release six months of the coming year’s funding (50% of awards) to partners, meaning additional funding will be available sooner. Further details can be found at the following link:https://www.sportengland.org/news/195-million-package-help-sport-and-physical-activity-through-coronavirus

Arts Council England funding

Arts Council England will offer individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis, totalling £160m.  They have repurposed all of their investment strands to be able to offer this support.

They will be making £90m available to National Portfolio Organisations to reboot their creative work but also understand it may be required to alleviate financial pressures on these organisations.

£50m will be made available to organisations that are not in receipt of regular funding from the Arts Council. They can apply for up to £35,000 tosupport business resilience as well as enable cultural organisations to develop new public facing activity during the Covid-19 emergency, for example, organisations who have new ideas to harness the power of digital in sharing creativity at the moment.

They are also supporting artists, creative practitioners and freelancers with £20m of financial support available to individuals so they can better sustain themselves and their work in the coming months. Further details can be found at the following link: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19

Please do not visit the district

We have published the below messages on social media to anyone who is thinking of visiting our district this weekend.

“We are used to welcoming people and sharing the beauty of our district with everyone, but now is not the time to visit the Chichester District. We need you to stay at home and keep safe. Social distancing is vital and we all need to play our part in supporting our NHS workers battle this virus. We can’t wait to welcome you back when this crisis is over. Thank you for your understanding.”

 

Chichester District Council – Latest Update2020-04-02T23:21:34+01:00

A message from Eileen Lintill, Leader of Chichester District Council

Last week, it was very touching to see people come out of their homes across the country to clap for our carers. Coming together to support one another in times such as this is what makes our country great. We are particularly lucky in our district that we have such strong communities and networks that are helping to support family, friends and neighbours through this crisis. I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who is playing a role in this.

As a council, we are working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, which has developed a Community Hub to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities. You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help, or if you want to volunteer your services in these difficult times. This will be available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. The team will be contacting the most vulnerable to tell them how to get help. The best way to contact the hub is online; if you have access go to www.westsussex.gov.uk/covid19communityhub. A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980. We are trying to keep the resources available through the hub for those who are most vulnerable, so if you do have support in place already, such as from family or friends, then please continue to use their support.

We also want to assure you that we are also doing everything we can to help rough sleepers during the current crisis. We are especially conscious that rough sleepers face particular health risks and so we have offered all known rough sleepers accommodation.  The majority have taken up the council’s offer and are now in accommodation. However, there are a small number of long term rough sleepers who continue to refuse all help. In these cases we provide advice and guidance around the need for self-isolation and signpost to the support that is available. We will continue to support rough sleepers once they are in accommodation by ensuring that they have a phone, food supplies and are in regular contact with a key worker. Support will also be available through Stonepillow day centres in Chichester and Bognor, which are providing food and access to other services. It is worth noting that in order to meet social distancing guidance; the centres are limited to a certain number of people at any one time. We are supporting this work by providing staff to assist Stonepillow at the Chichester Hub. I also want to thank Sainsburys who have donated food to Stonepillow, Four Streets and Heart, all of whom are continuing to provide fantastic support to those who need it the most at this difficult time. Thank you to all of you.

We are also working tirelessly to support those who are most affected by this crisis. This includes assisting those who are at risk of being made homeless, those who are unable to pay their rent, those who are concerned about being able to pay their council tax and of course supporting our local businesses. Our Economic Development Team has spoken to over 200 businesses offering support and guidance. We’ve also been sending details out about the business rate relief and grant schemes, as well as directing people to all of the other Government business support that is available. Our Revenue and Benefits team has also sent communications out to all of those who are eligible for business rate relief.

The government has also announced a Hardship Fund to support those residents who are financially struggling. Residents who are eligible for the support will have their award automatically credited to their Council Tax bill. Residents do not need to contact us to receive this payment because we have all of the relevant details. The benefits team will be processing these payments as quickly as possible and currently estimates that this will be done during April.

What you can be assured of is that we are doing everything we can to support those who need our help during this very difficult time.

We are doing all we can to continue to collect your waste and recycling as usual, but there may be times where this may be affected. If this is the case, please place your bin out on your next fortnightly collection day. At the moment, our priority is to collect household rubbish and household recycling. Please also keep a close look at our website www.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus or follow our social media pages on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates on all of our services.

I also want to let you know that Cllr Susan Taylor, Deputy Leader of Chichester District Council, and I have written to the Secretary of State and have lobbied our MP, to ask for a delay to the Local Plan. It is important that our focus is supporting our local communities right now and we hope that they will take this into consideration. I will update you when we have more information.

I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and support through these unprecedented times. I can assure you that our teams are working tirelessly to support our local communities. To keep up to date with the latest updates from the council, please visit www.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus

Thank you again for playing your part in this crisis, by staying at home and following the Government’s guidance. Together we will get through this.

Best wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council

A message from Eileen Lintill, Leader of Chichester District Council2020-04-02T09:26:12+01:00

West Sussex Registration Service Update

01 April 2020

Important updates on registering a birth or death with the West Sussex Registration Service

In line with the General Register Office’s (GRO) instructions for implementation of Coronavirus (emergency) Act 2020, the Registration Service at West Sussex County Council will not be operating face to face appointments to register a death for the time being.

Registering a death will now take place over the telephone and an appointment can be booked as normal by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/registeradeath.

If you are already in possession of the medical cause of death certificate, this can be dropped in to one of the following registration offices before your telephone appointment:

  • Crawley,
  • Chichester,
  • Haywards Heath,
  • Worthing.
The GRO has also provided further instructions on registering births during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
At present, birth registrations have been postponed for 21 days from last Wednesday 25 March. Parents can now make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered.
During this time, the Registration Service fully understands that parents may not be able to register a new birth within the normal 42 day period.
You can find up-to-date information on these and other services at www.westsussex.gov.uk/coronavirus.
 
How to drop off a medical cause of death certificate at the following locations:
  • Crawley: Crawley Library, Southgate Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6HG – drop it off in the Library Drop Box.
  • Chichester: West Sussex Record Office, 3 Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD – drop it off at reception.
  • Haywards Heath: Haywards Heath Library, 34 Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1BN – drop it off in the Library Drop box.
  • Worthing: Portland House, Richmond Road, Worthing, BN11 1HS – drop it off at reception.
West Sussex Registration Service Update2020-04-01T18:30:43+01:00

St Marys Church information

In line with Government guidance local churches are now closed for worship but they are keeping connected to their congregations through online presence.
The Parish Magazine was also unable to be delivered but has been put online and the next edition will also now be online.
If you want to see what’s happening in St Mary’s Church Easebourne, click on the link below to the priory parishes website.

http://www.thepriorychurches.co.uk/

St Marys Church information2020-04-01T14:00:53+01:00

Update from West Sussex Mind – for better mental health

You can get mental health support with us on the phone and via video call sessions
Evening sessions are also now available
We are still here to help you with your mental health

Due to the Government advice regarding Coranavirus, we have adapted how we are supporting people with their mental health and are now offering phone and online video call sessions. We’ve also expanded to offer support in the evenings.

We are now providing the following support.

Anyone struggling with their mental health:

  • can email the addresses listed below to let us know you would like to talk. Please include your phone number in your email and we can call you back. We want you to email us rather than phone but if you really cannot email, you can still call us on the numbers below.
  • When we speak, you can tell us what is happening and we will listen. We can also offer advice and information and direct you to other sources of support. If we agree you could benefit from some regular support from us, we can develop a well-being/support plan with you. This could include one-to-one video sessions with a mental health worker online on Zoom. (It is straightforward to use but there will be links to videos about how to use Zoom from our website shortly).

People we are already in contact with and supporting:

  • can email us for advice and information. Again, we much prefer you to email rather than phone. Email addresses and numbers remain the same and are below
  • will be offered booked phone support appointments to review well-being/support plan and discuss any issues
  • group sessions via online video calls on Zoom are being rolled out. We will contact you to let you know more about these.
  • where people are more at risk or isolated, particularly people who are self-isolating and live alone, we will keep in touch with you by phone and email to make sure you are safe and have what you need.

If you do phone us – please note

We now have most of our staff working from home which means we may have only one duty person answering the phone. You may not hear the phone ringing at our end because it is on divert but please be reassured the call will go through. If you ring us, we will need to have a quick conversation to take your details. Then the duty member of staff will get someone who has time to talk to you to ring you back as soon as they can.

Our new evening support

We have mental health recovery workers available to speak with people who need support between 5pm and 10pm, seven evenings a week. Please email sww@westsussexmind.org, including your phone number in your email, and we will call you back. Or, if you really need to phone, call 01903 268107.

We’re also offering some regular evening Zoom video sessions from April 6. If you’d like to take part, please email sww@westsussexmind.org to book your place.

  • Monday, 7.30-8.30pm, mindful breathing
  • Tuesday, 7.30-8.30pm, team quiz
  • Wednesday, 7.30-8.30pm, mindful movement session
  • Thursday, 7.30-8.30pm, mood and food
  • Friday, 7.30-8.30pm, guided meditation
  • Sunday, 7.30-8.30pm, music and mood.

Our service contact details

Bognor and Chichester (older people):  07495 077341, email: cim@westsussexmind.org

Chanctonbury: 07495 077298, email: pathfinder.chanctonbury@westsussexmind.org

Littlehampton: 01903 721893, email: pathfinder.littlehampton@westsussexmind.org

Midhurst: 07474 871899, email: pathfinder.midhurst@westsussexmind.org

Worthing: 01903 268107, email: pathfinder.worthing@westsussexmind.org

Southwick (the Corner House): 01273 871575, pathfinder.adur@westsussexmind.org

Youth services

Worthing
01903 268107
ypsworthing@westsussexmind.org

Adur
01903 268107
ypsworthing@westsussexmind.org

Chanctonbury (Steyning, Storrington, Pulborough and surrounding areas)
07732 026030
ypschanctonbury@westsussexmind.org

Littlehampton and Bognor
01903 721893
ypsarun@westsussexmind.org

Midhurst and Chichester
07496 988212 / 07949 963757
ypschichester@westsussexmind.org

Families in Mind parental mental health support for parents of children of nought to five:

Worthing and Adur (Shoreham, Southwick, Lancing): 01903 268107

Bognor and Littlehampton: 01903: 721893

Do remember, there are some useful tips and advice online to help you cope if you are feeling anxious about Corona virus and also to help you with staying at home.

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak

If you have any questions or queries you can email info@westsussexmind.org

Update from West Sussex Mind – for better mental health2020-04-01T07:41:02+01:00

Libraries Update – Resources Available During Current Closures

West SUssex Library Service Newsletter header image.

Libraries Update 31 March 2020

Dividing line image.

Your library is coming to YOU!

Laptop image 2Our buildings may be closed, but we have been working at home to bring together all our online services. eBooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers are just some of our services that you can access from home.

We have also been looking out for what authors, publishers, museums and trusted sources are offering, so that we can share this all with you. For example, did you know that the National Theatre are live streaming some of their plays on a Thursday evening?

We will be continually adding to these pages so keep checking back for new resources and services you can access from home, or look out for these regular newsletters from us where we’ll be highlighting the latest updates. If you are part of any local Facebook, email or WhatsApp groups, please do spread the word about our current offer.


What’s new in our eLibrary?

eLibrary imageWe have been working really hard over the last week to increase the range of titles available across the eLibrary. We have broadened our eBooks collection to include classic novels, romances, adventure, autobiographies and self-help tomes. Plus, we’ve massively expanded our eComics range; we now have Avengers, X-Men, Star Trek and a veritable galaxy of new titles!

We also have recommended titles for our Reading Groups, which we will regularly update.

If you haven’t done so already, why not download the RBDigital app? You can get it from your app store. Don’t forget to keep checking the West Sussex/RBDigital website to see what we have for you!


Baby Rhyme and Storytime Online

Baby Rhyme PosterDo you have a favourite song or rhyme from your local library’s Rhyme Time? Do you like to sing along at home?

There are over 100,000 visits each year to rhyme times and storytimes in West Sussex and while we can’t welcome you into the library we have put together some songs and stories to share with you.

Library staff across the county know how much everyone enjoys Rhyme Time, so we have made a start in recording some of our favourite songs and rhymes, sharing them on our website for you to watch and sing along. Have a look to see if your favourite is there and keep checking back – we’re adding more all the time.

You could even share one of our special upcoming storytimes if you keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Check out our resources pages as well, with lots of book ideas and suggestions for children.


Time to do some family history research?

Family History treeHere is some more good news! We can now temporarily offer all library members free access to FindMyPast from home! Please contact the library Enquiries Team for more details. If you’re not already a library member it’s easy to join online.

We have a great range of free family and local history resources to help with your research.


How about a Virtual Reading Group?

Books and tabletsIf you are a member of one of our 300+ reading groups or someone who would enjoy connecting with others over books and reading, we have set up a Virtual Reading Group via our Facebook page.

Everyone is welcome to join and we hope to have lots of great conversations with you about books over the coming weeks.


Thank you to our volunteers!

Volunteer HandsWest Sussex County Council is focused on making sure we can continue to support the most vulnerable people in our community and we are working with the NHS, Public Health England and other partners to make sure we can give individuals the help and the support they need.

We have joined forces with local community groups to help and support vulnerable people during the Coronavirus outbreak and have set up a new Community Hub (COVID-19) to help coordinate our response. Via the Community Hub website you can now register to volunteer your services to help, in response to the COVID-19 virus. Please let us know your skills and availability via the online form and we’ll get in touch to let you know how you can help.

You can also request support via the Community Hub website if you are vulnerable and in need of urgent help, because of COVID-19 or if you are worried about someone else.

The community response during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has already been amazing, with many individuals, groups and organisations offering their skills to help and support vulnerable people, so please visit the Community Hub (COVID -19) website if you would like to get involved.


It’s all about Being Well

Wellbeing StonesWhile we live with the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is more important than ever to look after our wellbeing. There are many organisations offering helpful support and advice – the following are just a selection.

Have a look at Mind if you are feeling anxious or worried about Coronavirus; NHS Every Mind Matters has tips to help you keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while staying at home. You will find further help from the Mental Health Foundation. In addition, Young Minds has helpful advice for young people.

If you or someone you know is vulnerable and needs help, contact West Sussex County Council’s Community Hub (COVID-19).


Follow us on Social Media

Social MediaAs well as these newsletters we’ll also be sending information via social media.

Make sure to follow us on

Twitter = @WSCCLibraries and

Facebook = WestSussexLibraries.


Protect the NHS Save Lives

Libraries Update – Resources Available During Current Closures2020-03-31T21:51:05+01:00