This won't be a normal festive period for many of us - below find out information on the current coronavirus rules, what support is available for anyone who is struggling, as well as practical information on council services in the coming weeks.
Recycling and rubbish collection dates
- Collection days will be altered from week beginning 21st December to the 18th January
- Christmas tree recycling
Staying safe over Christmas
The government has announced that Merton, along with every the rest of London, is now in Tier 4: Stay at Home - the highest level of coronavirus restriction. People living in Tier 4 cannot meet anyone outside their household indoors (unless you are in a support bubble). You can meet with one person from another household outdoors. These rules will not be relaxed for Christmas. Full details of the restrictions are available on the government website.
This has been a difficult year for many in our community. There is support available for households who are struggling:
- COVID-19 Winter Grant scheme. There is financial support available for children who are eligible for free school meals, pre-school children who would be eligible for free-school meals, young carers and care leavers. Families with pre-school children need to complete a short form online to claim. Details of eligibility and how to claim are available on the council website.
- Claim tax relief for working from home. If you have been required to work from home for one day (or more) since April 2020 you could claim tax relief for the year to cover the additional cost of home working - details of how to claim are available here.
- Financial assistance available for Merton residents. If you are struggling financially then Wimbledon Guild may be able to help with a small grant. These grants provide financial assistance to help with items such as food, warm clothing, utility bills, essential furniture and household appliances for Merton residents. You can find out more, and apply, on the Wimbledon Guild website.
- Cheap & Easy cooking. In a campaign to support those struggling to make ends meet, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has produced recipes for five Indian curries which can be prepared from as little as 9p per serving. There is a recipe booklet, as well as instructional videos for each recipe available here. Curry starter packs are being distributed to local foodbanks.
Mental Health support
Christmas can be a difficult time of year, and coronavirus restrictions will be increasing the pressure for many. If you are concerned about your mental health please do reach out for help:
- Samaritans have a 24 hour, free helpline which you can call if you'd like to speak to someone: 116 123. They also have a self help app, and support available via email - more information here.
- Age UK advice line is open 365 days a year, including Christmas. Providing support and reassurance to older people. If you, or someone you know, needs support call 0800 678 1602, for free between 8am to 7pm.
- The Mix provide mental health support for under 25s. They can be reached on their helpline 0808 808 4994 between 3pm and midnight every day. They also have webchat and email support available - more information here.
- Shout provide free 24/7 mental health support. Text `shout' to 85258 to access support. Resources are also available on their website.
Virtual Christmas events in Merton
- Virtual Santa dash in aid of St Raphael's hospice, complete any time before 1st January
- Merton Heritage Service online festive services, including online displays, archive film, music, puzzles, quizzes, reminiscence material, recipes and children’s crafts
- Council services over Christmas: click here.
- School terms and holidays: click here.
- Find a nearby pharmacy: click here.