What is "Know Your Neighbours"?

"Know Your Neighbours" is a grass-roots community group in Seal, near Sevenoaks in Kent. The group is made up of anyone in the village who wants to get involved - individuals, clubs and societies, businesses, church and schools, parish council,and many others.
We organise local events through the year - fetes, street parties, Christmas events etc. - and we hold social gatherings, just so that people can get to "know their neighbours". There's no "committee" - anyone who turns up for meetings is welcome to help in any way they are able.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE, OR BE ADDED TO THE EMAIL LIST, contact Marion Gilchrist , who coordinates the group, or Anne Le Bas, who maintains this blog.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Community Connectors newsletter

Community Connectors 25 November 2020
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COVID-19 Winter Plan

On Monday (23 November) the Government launched its new COVID-19 Winter Plan.
The plan’s objectives are to reduce infections, find better ways of managing the virus and enabling life to return closer to normal while minimising damage to the economy and society, jobs and livelihoods.
The Government has confirmed the national lockdown will end on 2 December, however, a tougher regional tiered approach will be introduced.
We can expect to find out which tier the Sevenoaks District will be allocated tomorrow (Thursday).
We will of course continue to support the Government by sharing its latest campaign materials and you can do the same by downloading their latest assets at [insert link when available]
View the summary of the COVID-19 Winter Plan.

More support for businesses impacted by lockdown

Businesses that had to close or experienced significant financial loss because of the second lockdown can now apply for financial support.
Businesses can apply for funding worth up to £3,000 if they had to close during the second national lockdown from 5 November 2020. Funding is also available to help those that remained open but have seen a significant reduction in income.
Visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/lockdownsupport to view the funding criteria and apply.

Making a Christmas bubble with family and friends 

The Government announced yesterday (Tuesday 24 November) that between 23 and 27 December, residents can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ of no more than three households.
However, residents should continue to take steps to reduce the spread of the virus. This includes ensuring indoor spaces get as much fresh air as possible, washing hands regularly and for 20 seconds, and following rules on self-isolation for those who develop symptoms or test positive for Coronavirus.
Residents should also aim to reduce unnecessary contact with people they do not live with as much as possible in the two weeks before they form their Christmas bubble.
View the Christmas guidance in full.

High streets reopening strategy

We’re working with Sevenoaks, Edenbridge, Swanley and Westerham town councils to support our high street businesses as they prepare to reopen after lockdown.
Our plan includes series of initiatives, including a business recovery toolkit, sanitiser stations and free parking offers throughout December. In addition, there are also a new team of ‘Town Centre Ambassadors’ who will provide support and advice to businesses and visitors in town centres.
Hard copies of the ‘Business recovery toolkit’ will be delivered to businesses in the four towns from this Friday.
We’re also supporting the towns with a mainly digital marketing campaign to encourage the public to visit our high streets safely.
The four town councils will share the publicity materials and we’re encouraging businesses and residents to do the same.
Find out more about the campaign and download the assets.

FREE parking to support our town centres

We’ve agreed to free parking offers to support the District’s town centres when lockdown ends and in the run up to Christmas.
To encourage visitors to stay longer, shop safely and support our local businesses, the first hour of parking will be free in the majority of our short-stay car parks in Sevenoaks, Swanley and Westerham for a month after lockdown ends on 2 December. Bligh’s is not included in the offer.
Visitors will still need to display a parking ticket or register their stay with MiPermit.
We’re also making parking free in all our car parks and on street across the two weekends before Christmas - Saturday 12 and Sunday 13, and Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December.
Find out more about our December parking offers.

Latest local COVID-19 data

The latest data we have received from Public Health England is accurate up to 20 November. It tells us that the trend across most Kent districts was a downward one with rates decreasing.
In Sevenoaks District, the seven-day count of positive cases through laboratory testing was 191, down from the previous week’s count of 221, and at a rate of 158.2 per 100,000, down from last week’s rate of 183.0. The average rate for England is 214.7 cases per 100,000 population, down from 227.1 last week. This indicates that rates in the country are gradually decreasing.
In total, the data we are receiving tell us there are 302 active cases across our District, down from 319 last week. These relate predominantly to residential settings, school, care and workplace settings.

View the latest national COVID-19 data.

Concerns about Coronavirus compliance?

As ever, if you have concerns about people or businesses not following the COVID rules, drop us a line and we’ll see if we or one of our partners can help. Call us on 01732 227000 or email information@sevenoaks.gov.uk.

Go social for the very latest news

We update our social media feeds on a daily basis with the very latest on COVID-19.
We would encourage you to follow our accounts on Facebook and Twitter and share any posts with your contacts that may be useful.
Our Facebook handle is Sevenoaks District Council Official and our Twitter handle is @sdc_newsdesk.
And, if there’s anything you think we should share with our followers, don’t forgot to include our social media handles in your posts!

What do you think of this newsletter?

Drop us a line at communications@sevenoaks.gov.uk

Please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends, family, work colleagues and contacts.

To unsubscribe from this newsletter, please email communities@sevenoaks.gov.uk 

Sunday, 22 November 2020

What's on in Seal ... Wreath making and other activities

 As I mentioned the other day, for this time of year, there obviously isn't a great deal going on in the community, but we will endeavour to keep as much of our Christmas spirit alive as possible. In fact, having a different emphasis on Christmas this year, it feels as if we are re-evaluating just what it is all about. That, surely, cannot be a bad thing.

As last week, I have already forwarded Anne Le Bas' Church newsletter, which gives all the information for service podcasts, zoom activities, etc, for the week ahead. Many of you say how much you like to listen to the services, especially during these difficult times.

A huge thank you to those of you that have put yourselves forward to help with putting up the Christmas lights this year, along the High Street, and in communal areas of each road. There is still time to offer your help, especially if you would like to see a little illumination in your neck of the  woods, where we wouldn't normally reach. If you have offered, but have not yet said when you are available to help, please let me know so that we can make sure you can help in a safe way.
Also, most permission slips are back from residents in the High Street, but if you haven't returned them, I will try and collect sometime during this week.

If you would like a Christmas wreath kit for £15 (proceeds to St Peter and St Paul Church), please order by TUESDAY at the latest.The kits will be delivered to your door.
There will be a zoom session on Friday December 4th at 7.30pm, for those wishing to join in this way, but there will be pictorial instructions in each kit, for those wishing to participate but unable to make that zoom session. Please email me for more details or contact sealchurchevents@gmail.com.

The Church also has some Christmas gifts for sale. I will not attempt to send out a photograph to this whole group, as I know what the frustrating consequences can be. However, if you would like to be sent photos individually, please let me know and I will make sure you get them when they are available.

Frances Fish has kindly offered to donate the profits from her 'DRESSED CHOCOLATE ORANGES ' to the Church this year, at a cost of £2.50 each. Many of you will know these as Frances has been running her 'Christmas charity cottage industry' for some years now - they are Terry's chocolate oranges, which Frances knits Christmas Pudding or snowball hats for. They are very popular and make great stocking fillers. So again, let me know if you would like to see a photo, or order from sealchurchevents@gmail.com

I look forward to hearing from you regarding the wreath making, gifts or help with the Christmas lights, but in the meantime, remember to contact me if you or anybody you know, needs a little support during this time.

Very Best Wishes,

Marion (on behalf of Know Your Neighbours).

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Community Connectors newsletter from Sevenoaks District Council

Community Connectors 11 November 2020


Lockdown update


As we enter the second week of a four-week lockdown, the Government is continuing to ask us to stay at home and only leave for a limited set of reasons. View the guidance on the lockdown restrictions in full.
Public Health England has produced new lockdown social media graphics, videos and posters that you can share with your contacts.




Diwali 2020


This year’s Hindu festival of Diwali takes place on Saturday 14 November. The NHS has produced a leaflet to help people celebrate the festival safely during Coronavirus. You can also download the Diwali social media graphics and posters from the PHE website.




Town Centre Ambassadors


In the coming weeks, we will be setting up a team of ‘Town Centre Ambassadors’ who will operate across the high streets of Sevenoaks, Swanley, Westerham and Edenbridge. The Ambassadors are supported by Government funding up to 31 March 2021.
The Ambassadors will not have an enforcement role but will be there to offer support and advice to businesses and visitors to help them comply with the COVID-19 guidance and rules.
We’re currently advertising for the roles, so if you or someone you know is interested, view the job opportunities and apply on online.
The deadline for applications is 18 November with interviews taking place on Tuesday 24 November 2020.




COVID-19 vaccine news


This week, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer/BioNTech published the results of its latest COVID-19 vaccine trial, showing it to be more than 90% effective in preventing Coronavirus in participants.
However, the Government has urged caution. It says while the potential vaccine is promising, further trials are required and if these are successful, it would be several months before the majority of the population could be vaccinated. Therefore, we should continue to follow the current COVID-19 guidance.
Read the Government’s statement in full.



Get the app!


We’re all being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of Coronavirus and protect ourselves and our loved ones as case numbers continue to rise.
The app forms a central part of the NHS Test and Trace service, identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for Coronavirus.
Around 40% of British smartphone users now have the app, with more than 19m downloads since its release.




Latest local COVID-19 data


Up to 2 November, the count of positive cases was up across all Kent districts.
In Sevenoaks District, the seven day count of positive cases through laboratory testing was 127, up from 122 in the prior week, at a rate of 105.2 per 100,000 population, up from the previous rate of 101.0. The average rate for England is 236.3 cases per 100,000 population. Although these figures indicate a rise in the count, the rate of increase is generally slower than seen in previous weeks.
In total, the data tells us there are 162 active cases across our District, down from 175 from the last dataset, and that these relate predominantly to household clusters and cases in medical facilities and care settings. 
The Health Protection Board states that the national lockdown should lead to a reduction in cases in two weeks’ time as long as people adhere to required measure to reduce transmission.

View the latest national COVID-19 data.



Concerns about Coronavirus compliance?


As ever, if you have concerns about people or businesses not following the COVID rules, drop us a line and we’ll see if we or one of our partners can help. Call us on 01732 227000 or email information@sevenoaks.gov.uk.



What do you think of this newsletter?


Drop us a line at communications@sevenoaks.gov.uk

Please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends, family, work colleagues and contacts.



Wednesday, 7 October 2020

October Update

 Welcome to your KYN  update for the first week of October.

So, on Friday, we returned to a Zoom draw of the October 2020 KYN 100 Club.
The winners were:-

First prize no 29 Maggie Fox £96.66
Second prize no 9 Sue Buddin £48.33
So, again, that puts £145 into the  Seal Village Fund this month.
I realise we have some new recipients to this circulation list, due to some new village residents, and one person who had never registered before. So, if anybody wishes to join our monthly draw, the cost is £5 per month, payable by standing order. If you wish to join, just respond to this email, and I will send you a joining letter. All profits are spent on Village projects.

A couple of weeks ago, I sent you all a copy of the revised Seal Village Fund constitution. Thank you for your comments, and this was ratified by Zoom at the Friday Group meeting on Friday October 2nd. When we can all meet again face to face (as we would normally do 4 times each year), we will review again, but for now, we have enough support and signatures, to provide our current reviewed documentation for the safeguarding process for the SVF bank account.

We have been seeing some little steps forward, in getting our community activities back on track. Before lockdown, you may remember there had been a survey regarding your views on the use of our Village Hall. This is not something that has been forgotten, but clearly, our needs as a community, and for individuals, have changed dramatically over the past 6 months. 
With these changes in mind, you will be hearing more in the near future, and your up to date views, and ideas, will be explored further. The Parish Council are also looking forward to hearing your views regarding the use of our recreation ground. So - watch this space and get your thinking caps on to come up with some innovative ideas, for use of both the hall and the rec, to enhance our community further for the future.

We are already thinking of getting our Village centre decorated with our Christmas lights, and we will soon be purchasing the batteries for the smaller lights for communal areas, and two or three more sets of icicles, so that we might stretch a little further this year. It is very unlikely we will be able to hold a family party, or even community carol singing , but if you have any ideas as to how we can celebrate as a community observing social distancing, please don’t be shy, and pass your ideas on. One suggestion already made, is to distribute carol sheets through doors, and all to sing outside your houses at a set time (rather in the way the NHS clapping took place). I don’t think there would be much chance of the whole village being on the same page at the same time, but it could be fun! 

So, to get a Christmas sorted for this very strange year, we will need the following please:-
Your ideas to bring the community together safely
A team of people to sort and test our lights ready for use.
A large group of volunteers to hang our lights.


St Peter and St Paul Church Seal.

Some of you will have either hosted or been guests at one of Seal Church’s Great Little Garden Gatherings Over the summer. These have been very successful in providing some small, socially distanced social gatherings, and of course, in raising some much needed funds for our church, during a time where normal funding has been stretched. These will continue despite the change of season, either outside in covered, sheltered gardens, or, whilst we still can, in smaller groups in peoples’ homes.

We have been trying to get a recipe book together for the church to have printed, with some of your favourite ‘Lockdown Recipes’. We have  received a few, but nowhere near enough to put a booklet together for this Christmas, as intended. However, if you would like to contribute one or two of your favourite recipes, together with a sentence about what they are special to you this year, please send them in, and we will endeavour to get it together for next year.

The church is organising a ‘Village Window Advent Calendar’ for this year, to brighten our December, in a time when things look like our Christmas might be taking a very different profile to those we are used to. The idea is to have 24 front windows, decorated with an advent theme (to be arranged in advance) to be unveiled , one a day from December 1st-24th. There will then be a trail sometime between Christmas and New Year, rather like the Scarecrow Trail. There will be more information to come soon, but if you are interested in taking part, please let me know, and I will pass your contact details on to the organisers.

We continue to be here for people needing help in any way during these difficult times. Please contact us via this email address if you, or anybody you are aware of, needs a little practical help, and if we can’t manage ourselves, we probably will know a man (or woman) who can.

Very Best Wishes,

Marion (on behalf of Seal Know Your Neighbours).