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.

15th April 2021 Update: We are following updates on the South African variant of Covid-19 found in the N3 area. We will await guidance on this, but are recommending nobody travel to our office at the moment.

We are keeping up with the changing restrictions, and this is the page where we will post information about changes to our services.

It is important that we limit our contact with people from other households as much as possible to help fight the spread of Coronavirus. Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.

Lots of Barnet Mencap's events and activities are suspended until further notice. We aren't offering appointments at our office. We are offering virtual parenting programmes and virtual Autism Social sessions, and we are offering limited face-to-face activities through our COPs programme, complying with restrictions.

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.

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 are happy to be able to offer some face-to-face activities again.

We are excited that the Mill Hill Project Rugby sessions are back from Tuesday 6th April and running every Tuesday. We are also excited that Joe Healy from Mill Hill will be donating his time to put on extra Rugby sessions for our COPs members from 10th May!

We post details of our online activities on the Activities at Home page! we've got exercise workouts, cookery, dance, jokes, Makaton sessions and more!

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.

The Ability not Disability YouTube channel has loads of fitness sessions you can follow along!

It's normal to find things tough, especially when things keep changing. Mencap and Mind have produced an EasyRead guide with some top tips on how to deal with things!

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

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

It is important that everybody with a learning disability has the vaccine. Mencap have produced an excellent EasyRead guide on speaking to your doctor about the Coronavirus vaccine, which you can read here.

If you live in Barnet, don't have any symptoms but have to travel to work, school or to volunteer, you qualify for a free rapid test from one of 3 sites in the borough - more details here.

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.

Heads Together have put together a collection of links around mental health and wellbeing for children and young people which you can read here.

To stop the spread of Coronavirus, the government and NHS want to make sure as many people as possible have the vaccine. For more information about the vaccine, check out this page on the National Autistic Society's website.

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. During this lockdown you should try to stat at home as much as possible.

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.

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.

Mencap have also produced resources around bereavement which can be found here. They also offer a one-to-one online Grief Chat service.

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