Covid-19 Updates



Updates on Barnet Mencap's services and activities in relation to Covid-19

This is where we will provide updates on our services during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

We will follow the new national restrictions from 5th November 2020, and this is the page where we will post information about changes to our services.

Lots of Barnet Mencap's events and activities are suspended until further notice. We are offering a limited number of appointments at our office, as well as some social and leisure activities, but with small groups and in a reduced capacity. We are offering virtual parenting programmes and virtual Autism Social sessions. 

We have been offering telephone support and some one-to-one support throughout. If you require either of these services please contact Project Support on the details below.  Many of our staff are working from home and will check their emails and phones as usual.

Our Autism Service is unable to offer the usual screenings, in-person social activities, and workshops and awareness sessions. Our Autism Advisors can still be contacted on the details below.

For the people in our shared houses and who are supported through our Equality Housing Outreach project, we will continue to provide support where possible.

Sherrick House and Take a Break are continuing to offer a daytime service for those families who want to use it, and extra steps are taken to ensure the safety of everyone.

Barnet Mencap is a Hate Crime Reporting Centre, and people can still report hate crimes via or via 020 8349 3842 and our Hate Crime Reporting Coordinator will get in touch as soon as possible.

We will provide updates when we receive advice that will change what we are able to offer.

The Barnet Mencap answerphone will remain open for telephone calls, and can be contacted on 020 8349 3842. The answerphone will be checked daily and when staff are able to answer calls at the office they will do that. You can also email should you have any questions about what we can offer.

Barnet Council are operating a service for people who need urgent, non-medical help. You can find details of this service here. 

Other organisations in the borough are offering different or reduced services, take a look at this Community Directory for more information.

Staying Active

We post details of our online activities on the Activities at Home page! Already there and coming up over the next few weeks are exercise workouts, cookery, dance, jokes and Makaton sessions.

The Curtains Up and Showdown dance and drama groups are continuing via Zoom at the moment. Head to their website now for more info and to sign up!

Missing our Martial Arts sessions? Our martial arts instructor is putting up regular workout videos to his YouTube channel.

Our Yoga instructor, Janette Brazil, is offering free yoga sessions for carers through Zoom. These will take place on the last Sunday of every month, 11-11:50 - to sign up, email Janette on 

Spending more time in the garden? Here's an activity pack from Mencap that the whole family can enjoy.

Community Focus are also offering some online content at the moment. For crafty things you can do around the house and music sessions, head to their Arts at Home page.

Visiting our Office

We are doing all we can to make sure our staff, volunteers and clients will be safe when returning to our office.

With this in mind, we have a Visitors' Information Guide, which we recommend everybody takes a look at before visiting Barnet Mencap's office.

We have also carried out a workplace risk assessment, which you can view here.. This will be updated regularly as government guidelines change.

If you are visiting our office, we would encourage you to download the NHS Covid-19 App before you do, so you can check in with the QR code on reception. For EasyRead information on the app from Mencap, click here.

Please also see our Covid Secure Certificate dated 16th July 2020.

People with Down's Syndrome have been added to the 'Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Conditions' list. This means they are at the highest risk of a more serious outcome if they catch Covid-19, so should take extra care compared to other people. For EasyRead information on this, please click here. 

The National Autistic Society has provided excellent resources and tips for autistic people during this current situation, which you can see here. 

NAS has also produced 'Left Stranded: The Impact of Coronavirus on Autistic People and their Families in the UK'

Autistica has also produced a range of Covid-19 resources for people with autism, and even have webinars with experts answering your questions.

Learning Disability England have a great resource of EasyRead information from around the internet, including information on how to stay safe and what to do if you don't feel well.

The advice below also comes from Mencap.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new type of illness and it is spread easily.

People who are ill with the virus may:

  • have a cough
  • have a high temperature
  • find it harder to breathe

Most people who have the virus feel unwell but do not need to go to hospital. People who have Coronavirus are usually better after 14 days.

What to do if you think you have Coronavirus

Do not go to your doctors if you think you have Coronavirus.

Do contact NHS 111 straight away. This will tell you what you need to do next.

You can do this online by visiting the NHS 111 online service.

They may tell you to stay at home and not go near other people for several days. This is called self-isolating.

Support for vulnerable people

If you live in England and have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus you can register to get extra help with things like food deliveries.

Even if you're not sure if your medical condition makes you vulnerable, if you are one of our clients you can register anyway.

How to help stop Coronavirus spreading

It is important that we all do our best to stop the virus spreading.

It is really important that you wash your hands carefully and regularly. You should do this after coughing or sneezing and before eating any food.

You should always wash your hands when you get home or arrive at a new place.

The Government have been updating their guidelines regularly.

As of 1st June, they have said:

  • you should still stay at home as much as possible
  • if you, or somebody you live with, have symptoms of Coronavirus, you should still self-isolate.
  • you should still wash your hands frequently throughout the day
  • you can now go outside to exercise as much as you want
  • you can meet up in groups of upto 6 people outside, but you should always remain at least 2 metres apart

If you have symptoms and need to take a home test, this guide helps to show how that process works.

Masks have to be worn on public transport and in shops unless you are exempt. For exemption card templates, please click here.

Guidelines on having visitors depend on whether you live alone or with other people, and on if you have a garden or not.

If you live alone, please take a look at this EasyRead information from Mencap on social bubbles and visiting people.

For people living in supported living, take a look at this EasyRead guidance on having visitors.

For EasyRead advice on protecting those most vulnerable and shielding, please click here.

It’s true that during coronavirus most people must stay home to stay safe. But home is not a safe place for some people so,
if you are a victim of domestic or other abuse, to stay safe you must get help which may mean breaking the rules on lockdown. Take a look at this guide from Beyond Words on what to do if you are a victim of domestic or other abuse at home.

Mind in Barnet have set up a bereavement service for people who have suffered a loss during the Covid-19 situation - for more details click here.

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