Coronavirus: get support, click here
Support available for those affected by Coronavirus
A number of groups are available across the region to offer mutual aid within the community
News team | Thursday, March 26, 2020

 

Quick Navigation

Erdington Task Force | Solihull council services update | Articles on Switch Radio | Solihull and Birmingham Mutual Aid Groups

 

Who are we?

We're Switch Radio, your local community radio station. You can listen to us on 107.5FM, DAB, Smart Speaker, Online, and via a range of apps for your mobile. 

Yes, it's true we aren't in the studio anymore, but that doesn't mean we've gone away. Our presenters - who are all local! - will be doing their shows from their living rooms, garages, kitchens... wherever they can get space! As the station made by you, for you, it's our aim to make sure you've got all the information and entertainment you need during these testing times.

If you're interested in finding out who's on and when, check out our schedule.

 

Erdington Task Force

 

Changes to services in Solihull - Updated 25/03/20

Libraries - CLOSED

All 13 libraries in Solihull have now shut their doors, with the closure of the flagship facilities at The Core, Shirley and Chelmsley Wood.

The shutters had already come down at ten smaller branches: Balsall Common, Castle Bromwich, Dickens Heath, Hampton-in-Arden, Hobs Moat, Knowle, Kingshurst, Meriden, Marston Green and Olton.

Readers are being urged to take advantage of online services, which give access to electronic books and digital editions of various newspapers and magazines.

People who are not already existing members are able to sign-up via the internet and will not need to collect a card to start accessing services.

The council has confirmed that charges for overdue items had been suspended for the time being and any cards due to expire before June 30 will be extended so membership will not lapse. All loans will be extended until the same date.

Solihull Connect walk-in centres - CLOSED

With libraries off-limits, the borough's walk-in centres are also shut to the public.

Residents in need of advice can call 0121 704 8001/6000 for general enquiries and information, email connectcc@solihull.gov.uk or visit www.solihull.gov.uk/ to speak to someone via live chat.

Leisure centres - CLOSED

Last week operator Everyone Active had said that services were continuing at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre and North Solihull Sports Centre, with strict hygiene measures to protect public health.

However, both facilities have now shut their doors to the public, following more stringent guidance from central government.

Parks - PARTIALLY OPEN

After the government declared lockdown all car parks and communal facilities within parks were closed on Monday (March 23).

This extends to children's play areas, outdoor gyms and sports facilities, such as tennis courts, and is to avoid social contact.

While there have been concerns about crowding in certain public spaces, particularly in the London area, Solihull Council has said that other areas of parks will stop open for the time being.

"We recognise the important role that parks play in serving the community, and residents will still be able to access Solihull parks on foot for exercise at this time," said a spokesman.

Under the latest government guidance, lockdown allows for residents to take an exercise once a day - providing they stick to social distancing advice (keeping two metres apart from others).

Day services - CLOSED

Day services for those with disabilities and over 65s were suspended on Monday, March 23 until further notice.

Youth centres - CLOSED

These are all closed for the foreseeable future.

Community advice hubs - SERVICE REDUCED

The community advice hubs at Solihull and Chelmsley Wood have suspended face-to-face services, with advice being offered by Age UK Solihull over the phone or online.

Call 0121 709 7590 or email admin@solihullcommunityhub.org.uk for help.

Cemeteries and funerals - UPDATE

The grounds of Solihull's three council-run cemeteries - Widney Manor, Robin Hood and Woodlands - remain open. However the communal spaces within the sites - such as waiting rooms and memorial rooms - are now closed.

It has been confirmed that funerals can continue but attendance is restricted to up to six mourners, from the immediate family.

Maintenance - CONTINUING

Services such as grounds maintenance, grass cutting and highway inspections are currently continuing.

A Solihull Council spokesman said: "It is important to keep our public spaces clean, tidy and presentable at the moment, for all our communities and our local environment.

"The presence of our staff also helps to promote a feeling of community safety at a very uncertain time for all.

"These staff can play an important part in being on the lookout for vulnerable people in our borough, who need help the most."

Although the work will be kept under regular review.

Weddings - UPDATE

All weddings and civil partnerships for the three weeks beginning March 23 have been cancelled.

Anyone due to have a ceremony at Solihull Register Office during this time period has the option to postpone, change the date or request a full refund.

The closure is set to be reviewed on Monday, April 13 in line with the latest government guidance.

The Core Theatre - CLOSED

It has been confirmed the theatre, studio and cafe will now be closed until at least May 31.

The box office has been contacting customers about refunds and rescheduled dates.

Bickenhill Household Waste Recycling Centre - CLOSED

The Coventry Road rubbish tip was closed from Tuesday, March 24 for "an indefinite period".

Schools - UPDATE

Solihull schools have now closed to all but the children of so-called key workers - who cannot be educated at home - and vulnerable youngsters.

Licensing walk-in centre - CLOSED

The licensing walk-in centre, based at the council's Moat Lane site, is now shut to the public. Customers are asked to email enquiries to licensing@solihull.gov.uk

Bin collections - UPDATE

The start of garden waste collections has been postponed, with the council confirming that arrangements will be reviewed after the Easter break.

Bulky waste collections have also been suspended until further notice as part of an attempt to keep the other, more critical, services running.

These are fears that without these measures reduced staffing could impact on the weekly rubbish collections and the fortnightly household recycling.

Solihull Community Housing (SCH) services - UPDATE

It has been confirmed that SCH is now only conducting essential repairs to tenants' properties and changes have been made to a number of other key services. Full details are available at www.solihullcommunityhousing.org.uk

Articles on Switch Radio

Coronavirus: how thinking like a spy could help beat the virus
A great article which discusses both the science behind the disease and what we can do to keep the distribution of the disease under control.

 

GOV.UK Coronavirus Home

HM Government has a dedicated site containing information about coronavirus and some of the practical issues that might be on you mind. 

You can access it here. 

 

Getting shopping or medicines

Call us: 

If our presenters are able to, we're committed to helping where we can. Call us on 0121 288 1075. If our presenters can grab you something on their way home, they will!

Solihull mutual aid groups:

Solihull Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2529366700658100/about/

Solihull Community Support Group COVID19: https://www.facebook.com/groups/614610252715231/

Solihull/Shirley/Chelmsley Wood COVID-19 mutual aid group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/527445844871565/?ref=share

Birmingham mutual aid groups:

Cooperation Birmingham COVID- 19 Mutual Aid: https://cooperationbirmingham.org.uk/

Birmingham Mutual Aid and Covid-19 Community Response Group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/3234138479933658/?ref=share

Birmingham Community Solidarity: Coronavirus Response: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3234138479933658/

Summerfield and North Community Support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/209761546774601/

Sutton Coldfield COVID-19 Mutual Aid: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ColdfieldCovid19/

 

Health information about Coronavirus

If you need health information about Coronavirus, you can get it from our sister station, Health Info Radio. You can hear this station on DAB across the country or online at healthinforadio.co.uk. Find out more @healthinfoDAB on Twitter.

Twitter