Croxden Parish Council

Coronavirus

Launch of a new easy-to-use ‘Community Health and Wellbeing App Finder’.

Staffs County Council Logo

An announcement from Staffordshire County Council

Launch of a new easy-to-use ‘Community Health and Wellbeing App Finder’

During the current ongoing coronavirus outbreak, we are all adapting to new ways of delivering health and wellbeing guidance and care support to our at-risk residents in our communities.  Health apps is one way to help older residents or those with long-term conditions to manage their health at home, but there are literally thousands to choose from and not all apps can be trusted to offer up to date advice.  

So how can our residents know which ones are good and trustworthy, or can safely be recommended to their family or loved ones?

To help our most vulnerable manage their health with the most trusted health related apps that meet specific needs, Staffordshire County Council is now offering free access to a super easy-to-use Health and Wellbeing App Finder service

The new online health app finder offers an invaluable free resource for parish councils, volunteers, local organisations, community leaders, and carers, as well as the general public to access an easy-to-use library of fully reviewed and handpicked health apps.

The library is safe and secure to use and features hundreds of apps all independently reviewed and rated, and proven to deliver results and help manage specific conditions and more general health and wellbeing, including:

  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Diabetes
  • Weight loss & fitness
  • Dementia
  • Mental Wellbeing
  • Cancer
  • Muscular and Arthritic conditions
  • Stopping Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • And hundreds more

You can access and browse the Staffordshire Health App Finder library now at

www.staffordshire.gov.uk/appfinder

Help to promote the App Finder in your parish

To help Parish Councils and Community organisations to promote and share information locally about the Staffordshire Health App Finder we have created a promotional support kit featuring promotional graphics, posters, pre-written newsletter articles and even social media posts.

You are encouraged to use the resources provided in any way you choose, on your websites and blogs, in newsletters and circulars, on physical notice boards and across your social media, to help share the benefits of Staffordshire health App Finder within your community. 

As well as the attached pack, an online version if also available at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/appfinder/resources

When doing so we ask you to help further amplify our messages about the app finder tool by looking out for and using the shared hashtag #StaffsAppFinder in your own social media.

We thank you for your support in sharing this terrific new resource.


Jonathan Owen, NALC CEO, writes…

Last week we notched up 100 challenging days in lockdown, and I think many of us have felt more anxious and frustrated than usual. It’s been an extremely difficult period in our national story with huge loss of life, separation from loved ones and economic and educational turmoil. It hasn’t been the easiest chapter for our tier of local government either.

With that in mind, I couldn’t be prouder of how we’ve all worked together to step up and play a leading role in supporting our communities, and are turning that page. Local councils have been at the heart of the community response to the pandemic, and I am confident will play a key role in the recovery too. Which is why today’s bulletin departs its usual format, and instead reflects on the last few months and just what has been achieved, and looks to the challenges ahead.

In terms of the impact on the sector, the New Year and new government seems a distant memory. Our offer to the government then was the role of parish and town councils in building strong communities. Conveyed at our timely Lobby Day, which saw county associations at the forefront of building links with MPs, many of them new. Their ask of us, however, more immediate in mobilising our hyper-local networks to help our communities with the developing pandemic. Which is precisely what you did, among the first to react and step up, just some of which is captured in our Coronavirus case studies publication, updated now to include 400 examples which we have shared widely, including with the government.

To support you in these efforts we set up a dedicated coronavirus webpage, a hub for information and a wealth of advice and resources, which has to date received 123,000 hits. Plus a regular newsletter to make sure you receive information as fast as possible. Together, we’ve worked hard to persuade the government to consider the unique needs of local councils as they focussed quite rightly on health and social care. We secured some successes. An extension to audit deadlines plus new rules to allow councils to meet remotely for the first time in history. Then swiftly publishing a range of guidance – including on remote meetings, now downloaded 17,000 times – to help you navigate through this new way of working and ensuring local democracy can function. I’ve been struck by the positive way you have embraced this and really led the way in local government, increasing engagement from residents too. There is widespread support for this flexibility to continue and I am keen to work with the Local Government Association and others to lobby for this.

And we moved quickly ourselves to use remote meetings to bring county and national officers together to ensure regular and effective communications. These have taken place every week since lockdown and there is unanimous support these should also continue. NALC’s meetings and committees have also been held remotely, saving time, money and reducing our carbon footprint.

County associations have been at the frontline of providing advice and support to councils, many of whom given the circumstances offering help irrespective of membership. They have rapidly innovated to make sure councils receive the best possible support, including moving training and events online. We will shortly be announcing our own online events programme for the year ahead, which I’m really excited about. This will bring together national policymakers and other stakeholders, plus those in our sector, to build mutual understanding and engagement.

But we have not always been as influential as we would like, and we will need to continue to press the government to engage more effectively with us. In particular to ensure guidance on moving out of lockdown is more relevant and realistic. Which this week’s advice on playgrounds certainly wasn’t.  And continue to press for financial support for those councils who need it most. We’re working hard on this and seeking clarification on yesterday’s announcement on further funding to ensure compensation for lost income applies beyond principal councils.

Funding was discussed recently with the new local government minister, and some positive outcomes secured. Firstly, the government does not plan to change our revenue-raising ability and extend council tax referendums. Secondly, they remain committed to pressing ahead with legislation on public toilets. Thirdly, a team of officials has now been set up to look at parish finances and the challenges we face. Lastly, if there are local councils unable to meet the costs of Public Works Loan Board debt repayments, they should contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As we move into the next phase, I am confident that well run, ambitious local councils, providing real local leadership, will be crucial to the recovery of our places, and the country. I know many of you are already working on recovery plans with your partners. Further devolution and localism also have a part to play. Along with the theme of building back stronger and more resilient communities, this featured prominently in our meeting with the local government minister, who indicated the role of our councils will be at the heart of the white paper due in the Autumn.

And finally, I wanted to recognise and applaud all our sector’s staff and councillors for keeping the show on the road under real pressure and in difficult circumstances. This dedication and commitment to our communities will, I am sure, help us all get through this, together.