Coronavirus updates: How people are making a difference

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Live Reporting

By Kate Darlington, Kate Marshall, Harriet Agerholm, James Law and Jennifer Meierhans

All times stated are UK

  1. Bakery offers free drinks to NHS workers

    Free hot drinks are
    being offered to NHS workers in Dorset by a 110-year-old family bakery.

    Oxford’s Bakery, which
    is based in Alweston but has stores in Sherborne, Bournemouth and Sturminster
    Newton, is giving free tea and coffee to all NHS workers “no matter what
    department you work in”, owner Steve Oxford said.

    He added it was
    “our way of saying thanks”.

    Its shops remain open
    but the cafe areas have closed.

    Oxford bakery

    Copyright: BBC

    The firm is now focusing on delivery boxes of “essential items” – including bread, milk and cheese – to vulnerable people living in the towns and villages but is looking for “local heroes” to volunteer to help deliver the goods.

    It has also opened a “drive-through” bakery, with hatch service, at its base in Alweston.

    “We just want to help as many people as we possibly can,” Mr Oxford, who is homeschooling two children at the same time as baking, said.

  2. Who should self-isolate and for how long?

    Everyone who shows coronavirus symptoms – a fever of above 37.8C, a persistent cough or breathing problem – and everyone who lives with them should self isolate.

    Here’s a chart to explain and there’s more information here.

    Guide to self isolating

    Copyright: BBC

  3. Schoolchildren get fit with Joe Wicks

    Simone Stewart

    BBC News Online

    Children around England have been getting fit with fitness coach Joe Wicks.

    He taught a PE lesson online for children at home after schools were closed last week in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

    The video streamed on YouTube has been viewed more than two million times.

    Video content

    Video caption: Children off school do online PE session
  4. Nurse exam success marked by ‘distant’ neighbours

    Chequers Lane in Pitstone, Buckinghamshire

    Copyright: Elke Hegarty

    A group of neighbours celebrated an exam success “together but apart” by bringing chairs out on the street.

    The friends, who live in Chequers Lane, Pitstone, Buckinghamshire, wanted to celebrate Helen Wood passing her prescribing nurse exam.

    They could not get together in their usual way due to social distancing advice, so sat in their front gardens.

    One of them, Elke Hegarty, said: “We weren’t going to let that blinking old virus stop us.”

  5. Free parking spaces offered to NHS workers

    A company that manages parking spaces online has offered NHS staff free spots across the country.

    YourParkingSpace said there were 943 car parks available to
    book free of charge,
    with many located near health facilities.

    parking space

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Harrison Woods, the company’s CEO, said: “With reduced public
    transport in many places and increased movement of health workers, we’re
    pleased to be working alongside supermarkets, shopping centres and hotels to
    assist key workers in this small way.”

  6. A thank you from Beverley Knight

    Singer and actress Beverley Knight has thanked the NHS for all their hard work especially New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton for looking after her mum recently.

  7. A virtual game of chess

    BBC WM listener Chris Phillips from Wolverhampton sent in this picture of his seven-year-old son Ruben playing his grandad at chess over a video call.

    Ruben’s grandad has Parkinson’s Disease and is self-isolating.

    Ruben playing his grandad at chess

    Copyright: Chris

  8. ‘It’s all very humbling’

    Catherine Burns

    Health correspondent

    I went to bed feeling rubbish
    on Saturday 14 March. I’ve not gone beyond my garden
    since then.

    A few days after I started to feel unwell, my husband
    started coughing. He’s got a fever, aches and pains and shortness of breath. We timed the start of our 14-day isolation from
    then, just to be on the safe side.

    I can’t pretend it’s been the
    easiest time. Trying to look after him – at a distance – as well as
    keeping our two children fed and entertained, in addition to working from home.

    But every day, friends and
    neighbours have dropped off treats and supplies. One got up at 06:00 GMT and went to two supermarkets to make sure we had enough food.

    A little girl who lives on our road
    delivered a pile of her old toys for my children. There’s even been a very
    welcome chilled bottle of wine on the doorstep. It’s all very humbling and it
    means the world to us.

    neighbours and family have made this so much easier. When
    we come out, we’ll be ready to re-pay the favour if they need it.

  9. Paper girl’s sweet treat to self-isolating widow

    A paper girl posted a note with a chocolate bar through the letterbox of a self-isolating widow.

    Sophie, 14, from Darlington, saw a sign on the 84-year-old’s door saying she could not see anyone.

    Although they had never met, Sophie popped a Dairy Milk and a note saying “hope you are ok” through her door.

    Dairy Milk and note

    Copyright: Elizabeth Outhwaite

  10. ‘Blood donors should carry on as normal’

    Simone Stewart

    BBC News Online

    People who are fit and healthy must keep donating blood during the coronavirus outbreak, the NHS Blood and Transplant service says.

    “We’ve put extra safety measures in place and safety is always our number one priority,” a spokesperson said.

    “We’re now doing extra cleaning and this week we’ve started triaging everyone who arrives so only people with no risk factors can enter the donation area.”

    Giving blood

    Copyright: Give blood

    Image caption: Peter Csonngedi of Edgware donating blood at Edgware donor centre

    Donation centres are still open and sessions are still going ahead.

    “Blood donation is a reason to do something amazing. Blood donation saves lives. We thank all our donors doing something good today,” the spokesperson added.

  11. How do I know if I have coronavirus?

    Video content

    Video caption: How do I know if I have coronavirus?

    People who are showing particular symptoms are being told to self-isolate in order to stop the coronavirus from spreading further.

    In the UK, if you have a fever or a persistent cough, you should stay at home for seven days.

    The people you live with should stay at home for 14 days, and have food and medicine delivered.

    But how do you know if you’re just ill, feeling a bit ropey or if you have the symptoms of coronavirus?

    What do the symptoms of coronavirus feel like?
    BBC News’ Health and Science Reporter, Laura Foster, takes a look.

  12. Accordion player cheers up neighbours

    If you live in the Cornish villiage of Wendron and you listen really carefully, you might be able to hear Miriam Wearne’s accordion.

    To cheer up her neighbours, she dressed up in a Cornish Maid’s outfit and started playing and singing an old hymn called Jesus Bids Us Shine.

    It was filmed by her daughter and fellow musician, saxophonist Sarah Wearne McDonagh, who posted it on Facebook with the simple title “Meanwhile in Cornwall…”

    Video content

    Video caption: Miriam Wearne playing the accordion
  13. Free packed lunches delivered to children at home

    Jennifer Meierhans

    BBC News Online

    Teams at Telford & Wrekin Council have been working to get free packed lunches out to children at home.

  14. ‘Activity fridge’ filled with books, DVDs and games

    A woman has filled an old fridge freezer with books, DVDs and games to keep children occupied during the coronavirus pandemic.

    activity fridge

    Copyright: Jeni Atkinson

    Jeni Atkinson has set up the “activity fridge” outside her home in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, which also contains books for adults.

    “I had seen posts on social media about people putting box libraries outside their houses and it gave me the idea of extending this to other things like the games, activities and DVDs,” she said.

    “So, I cleaned up the old fridge freezer from my garage and filled it up.”

  15. Mother’s Day messages from self-isolation

    Care home residents have found their own ways of contacting their friends and families on Mother’s Day.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Mother’s Day messages from self-isolation
  16. Bringing cheer with flowers

    A four-year-old girl has received notes of thanks after helping to hand out flowers around a Coventry neighbourhood.

    Paula Merrett, from All Seasons Floral Supplies, said granddaughter Ella had helped drop the surplus stock, with a note, on doorsteps in the Allesley Park area.


    Copyright: Paula Merrett

    “She dropped the flowers and then stepped back before wishing them well,” she said.

    “She’s received some cards of thank you from people in the neighbourhood, she’s feeling very proud of herself.”


    Copyright: Paula Merrett

  17. Hotel to turn porch into honesty box

    A hotel in the Isles of Scilly will be turning its porch into an honesty box for those struggling to buy essential goods amid the coronavirus outbreak.

    St Mary’s Hall has said in a Facebook post it will start running the service on Wednesday between 9:00 and 15:00.

    Honesty box

    Copyright: St Mary’s Hall Hotel

    Hotel manager Roger Page told the BBC: “We are completely closed at the moment as are all other hotels on the island.”

    Only one person at a time will be allowed in the porch to respect the government’s social distancing guidelines.

  18. Footballers turn to online tournaments

    With no actual football on, some clubs have selected players to represent them in an online tournament.

    But not everyone can win…

    Oldham Athletic defender Tom Hamer unfortunately lost his game 6-1 and was forced to upload a video apology to the club’s fans.

  19. Villagers make and deliver flowers for Mother’s Day

    Poppy Littlewood

    Copyright: BBC

    Yesterday in the village of Chew Stoke near Bristol, people got together to create bunches of flowers for others to collect from St Andrew’s Church on Mothering Sunday.

    Villagers also delivered these little bouquets to older residents or those with underlying health issues that meant they were self-isolating.

    Among them was 11-year-old Poppy.

    Those helping were told to wash their hands after touching the flowers and also to wipe them down for recipients.

    Hand-tied bouquets

    Copyright: BBC

  20. Asda staff hand out flowers to NHS workers

    A nurse has taken to social media to thank staff at her local branch of Asda, who were handing out free flowers to NHS workers “as a thank you”.

    Becci Sian, a psychiatric nurse, who shops at the branch in Arnold, near Nottingham, said it was “lovely to have some good community spirit being shown at this difficult time”.

    The supermarket chain is one of several to have dedicated shopping hours for NHS staff and vulnerable groups, such as older people.

    Flowers given to Becci

    Copyright: Becci Sian

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