Emergency support available for individuals and groups in Suffolk

Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors and supporters we have so far raised a record £270,000 for this year’s Surviving Winter Appeal. As the temperature continues to plummet and with the need to stay safely locked down at home, supporting a individual’s mental and psychical wellbeing is more important that ever. Already this winter, we have helped heat almost 500 homes, and provide additional advice to help people stay warm stay well and connected. However, it is so important that we reach many more vulnerable people in need as quickly as possible.

Those who are eligible for support will receive a contribution towards their gas/electric or oil heating costs. The process to access support is simple and quick, with eligibility based on the household or individuals circumstances, including:
• Income and savings
• Debt or arrears on an energy bill
• Disabilities and long-term health conditions
Those families who are eligible for free school meals are also likely to meet the criteria.

This programme is administered centrally for Suffolk by Ipswich’s Citizens Advice Bureau who should be contacted directly on 01473 219770. In addition to support with home heating, almost a third of applicants this year are also receiving additional support from Citizens Advice as result of their call.

Find out more about the Surviving Winter Appeal

Reviving Our Communities Fund

£500K available now to Suffolk charities, community groups and social enterprises. Grants available are between £1k and £5K.

In addition to our established voluntary sector partners, many new groups and local initiatives have sprung up in response to local need. Whilst we have already funded many, we know that there are still more that may not know that they are able to access financial help right now.

In partnership with The National Lottery, grants are available from the Reviving Our Communities Fund to support local charities and groups with an annual income of £250K or less, addressing needs throughout Suffolk.

Find out more or apply for a grant

Library News – January 2021

All libraries in Suffolk will be closed until further notice. The mobile library, home library and reservation services will also be suspended until further notice.

All loans and charges will be suspended until 1 March 2021. At the moment there is no planned date for libraries to reopen but any updates will be shared on their website and via social media. The decision to close libraries has been approved by Suffolk County Council.

The only exception to the closure is Stradbroke Library as it hosts a post office which is classed as an essential service and will stay open.

Items can still be returned to Woodbridge Library via the book drop box. You can also email the library at woodbridge.library@suffolklibraries.co.uk as a member of staff will be monitoring the email inbox remotely.

You can still download and stream free eBooks, eAudio, magazines, newspapers, films, documentaries and music. Suffolk Libraries is also running events online to enjoy from home at https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/whats-on and via Suffolk Libraries YouTube channel.

Customer service for Suffolk Libraries is available Mon-Fri 9-5pm, closed bank holidays. Leave a message out of these hours.

01473 351249


Up to date information can be seen at https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/

Launch of new local Covid-19 website

A brand new website has been launched which aims to offer local people a single, comprehensive and accurate source of information about Covid-19 and vaccinations: https://sneevaccine.org.uk/

Created by health care experts at the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, this site will contain lots of useful information to inform and reassure you during this time, enabling you to protect your own and your families physical and mental wellbeing.

What are we missing? Community event to discuss issues around Covid-19 – 21st January 2021 – 6pm

The local health and care system is hosting an event for local people to find out about issues relating to the COVID-19 vaccination.

We want to hear your questions about the vaccination and any issues you may wish to raise relating to matters such as ingredients, side effects and how to obtain the vaccines. Further information and how to join can be found on the SNEE website

Contact details for Citizen’s Advice during the Christmas Holiday Period

Citizens Advice – Leiston, Saxmundham & District  

The office is now closed for advice and support and reopens

on 4th January 2021.

Over the holiday period, the following helplines will be open for anything urgent:

Help to Claim: 0800 144 8 444

  • 24, 25, 28 December – Closed
  • 29, 30, 31 – 8am to 6pm
  • 1 Jan 2020 – Closed

Adviceline: 03444 111 444

  • 24 December – 9am to 1pm
  • 25, 28 December – Closed
  • 29, 30 December – 9am to 5pm
  • 31 December – 9am to 1pm
  • 1 Jan – Closed
  • Anyone in urgent need of a food parcel, can telephone Adviceline and ask them to contact the Sax Food Bank which is run by The Trussell Trust or they can approach one of the local Foodbank’s in their communities.

Scams Action: 0808 250 5050 and Consumer Service: 0808 223 1133

  • 24 December – 9am to 1pm
  • 25, 28 December – Closed
  • 29, 30 December – 9am to 5pm
  • 31 December – 9am to 1pm
  • 1 January – Closed

Citizens Advice – Leiston, Saxmundham and District Link:   http://www.leistoncab.org/


Santa visiting Melton – 15th December

Santa is visiting Melton on Tuesday evening on his Rotary sleigh. The sleigh will start at approximately 5.45pm and finish at around 8pm.

Tuesday 15th December: Hall Farm Road and Close, Manthorp Close, Churchman Close, houses on Woods Lane backing on Hall Farm Road, St. Andrews’s Place and Close.

The Rotary club will be collecting donations but not calling on houses. They have also set up a dedicated website for on-line donations and for letters to Santa.
Check out: www.debenrotary.org.uk

Woodbridge Library

All Suffolk Libraries will be closed on Friday 1st January 2021.  

Woodbridge Library is open from 10am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday and 10am-1pm on Sunday for essential computer usage, reservation collections, Select & Collect and return of items. (Woodbridge Library has a book drop facility so you can drop items off without having to come in.) Please contact the library to book an appointment to use the computers.

We also have a wide range of withdrawn and donated stock for sale.

It is hoped that we will be open from browsing in January but for up to date information about opening hours, services available, etc for Woodbridge Library please:

Telephone: 01394 330855

Email: woodbridge.library@suffolklibraries.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/woodbridgelibrarysuffolk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/woodbridgelib

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/woodbridgelibsuff/

You can still download and stream free eBooks, eAudio, magazines, newspapers, films, documentaries and music. Suffolk Libraries is also running events online to enjoy from home at https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/whats-on and via Suffolk Libraries YouTube channel.

Customer service for Suffolk Libraries is available Mon-Fri 9-5pm, closed bank holidays. Leave a message out of these hours.

Up to date information can be seen at https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/


Volunteers needed for Covid-19 Vaccination Programme

As the NHS is gearing up to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme volunteers are wanted to help with the roll-out.

We are seeking volunteers to act as stewards at the local vaccination centres across Suffolk which will be open seven days a week 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

People of all ages 18+ are encouraged to apply and we’ll provide all the necessary training and PPE to keep you safe. The hours available are flexible and you don’t need to have had any previous experience of working in health care.

This is a genuine opportunity to play a part in protecting the health of the local community.

Additionally, there are a number of paid-for positions which could suit those who have some health care experience – you can read more at the NHS website

Anyone interested should email epunft.recruitment.covid-19@nhs.net

Governor vacancy at Melton Primary School

Suffolk County Council are looking for an individual to join the governing body at Melton Primary School.

Governors have 3 key priorities:

  • To set the strategic direction of the school
  • To hold senior leaders to account
  • To be accountable for the finance of the school

The role of a school governor is a voluntary position. Some experience of finance, HR or strategic planning is desirable, however we’ll happily consider any applications. No specific qualifications are needed, but an ability to interpret data and ask challenging questions is advantageous. Training opportunities would be available on appointment.

A governor can make a really important contribution to a child’s life, whilst developing personal and professional skills at the same time.

If you, or someone you know, would like to learn more about the role and how to apply, please visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/governsuffolk. Alternatively, you can call: 01473 263972 or email: governance@suffolk.gov.uk.

East Suffolk Council encourages businesses to apply for funding

East Suffolk Council is now processing the payment of grants for local businesses provided by the Government in a response to new national Covid-19 restrictions.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) is available to businesses that have been required to close in line with new national restrictions which came into force on 5 November. These include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses.

To qualify for this grant, businesses must be in the East Suffolk area and have been:

·        trading as usual prior to the date the restrictions came into force on 5 November 2020

·        liable to paying business rates as at 5 November 2020

·        required to close due to Government lockdown restrictions

Eligible businesses are being asked to complete a straightforward online form which will capture the data required by central Government and allow the Council to make payment to each eligible business as soon as possible.

Once each business has completed the online form, they will receive an automated email to confirm receipt of the form. The Council will then undertake verification checks and make payment of the grant as soon as possible.  Once payment has been submitted to the business an automated email will be sent to confirm payment has been made.

Cllr Craig Rivett, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Tourism, said: “This is a challenging time for our businesses who have been forced to close their doors once again due to Covid-19. We have a responsibility to ensure they can access this funding as quickly as possible and by setting up a clear and straightforward online form, the application process will be as smooth as possible. We hope to encourage everyone who is eligible to apply and get the funding they deserve.”

If you are not registered on the business rates system and/or your business is not eligible for the LRSG grant under the Government guidelines, you may be eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). The details of this scheme are still being developed and once we have more details, we will announce it.

The online form and full details about how to apply with full eligibility criteria.