Coronavirus Updates

Mental Health Support Services in your community

A message from Rachel Bates – North West Ambulance Service

Dear colleague,

Hope you are keeping safe and well,

The past few months has been a challenging time for everyone across the UK and many people have felt overwhelmed during the Covid-19 outbreak.

As a trust it is important to us that we help you to take care of your mental health and wellbeing especially during the ongoing pandemic.

As part of this we wanted to share some mental health support information for the different areas we cover as a trust across the North West, that may be useful for yourself or those in your local groups and community in accessing help and support in your local area during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please find attached a number of documents with details on how to access mental health support available in your local area. We have also included a newsletter provided by Cumbria County Council in May focusing on support for those with Dementia during these challenging times and the Mental Health Transformation Programme May bulletin from Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership.

The information provided in the attachments has been obtained from health and social care partners across the North West and is accurate and up to date at the time of sharing this. If you have any further queries about the information included in these documents you should contact the local council/organisation for clarification.

Take care and keep safe.

Kind regards

Rachel Bates

Patient Engagement Assistant| Patient Engagement Team

Strategy and Planning Directorate

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Shoretel: 4311 

Telephone: 0151 642 2576

Mobile : 07812 305 630

[email protected]

*Please note my normal working days are Monday to Thursday


You are now able to book a covid 19 test, by phoning :-

During this unprecedented time JVN is working with the Jewish Leadership Council in the hope that we can harness the skills and expertise of furloughed workers in our community to support areas of most need across our communal organisations.

If you have been furloughed and have some capacity to volunteer, there are charities that could greatly benefit from your expertise. You are able to volunteer your skills for an organisation you aren’t employed by. Click here to view charities in need of skilled volunteers and what skill areas they are looking for.

Charities are still looking for volunteers for general help during the Covid-19 crisis such as running online activities and doing deliveries. To view these charities’ volunteering needs go to

Keep well and stay safe.

Joshua Kleiman
Volunteer Projects & Communications Coordinator
Jewish Volunteering Network

A message to the Youth of Our Community from

The President of The Jewish Representative Council


Greater Manchester & Region

Together with the Honorary Officers and Executive we recognise that our young people are going through a difficult time.  They are not attending school or college, not mixing with friends, being home schooled. All very different from what they are used to and as much as we hope this lockdown will change soon, no one really knows.

So please

  • Eat regular meals, drink plenty of water
  • Have regular showers or baths
  • Set a routine, set daily targets
  • Exercise, try challenging your friends so you are not exercising by yourself
  • Try and get enough sleep but, don’t stay in bed all day
  • Don’t use your phone too late at night
  • Stay connected with school, ensure you log in to classes or lectures. Keep up to date with your school or college work. If struggling, ask.
  • Keep in contact with friends and family using the phone, text, face time, House Party, Zoom, etc
  • Keep a diary
  • Plan a time capsule so in ten years we can all open them and remember the summer of 2020

Please, if you are struggling, speak to someone, ask for help. You will not be the only one as these times are unprecedented.

The JRC would love to hear from you as well, with any other suggestion or stories on how you are coping. So, with your parents’ permission, if you have done art work, have thoughts to share or have a story, please email [email protected].

Your work could be in our next Yearbook.

If you do go out, remember social distancing. Keep well and keep safe.

Russell Conn


Helplines / Informa on Lines
1). Young Minds Crises Messenger – text to YM to 85258 for free 24/7 support.
Parents’ Helpline – 0808 8502 5544.
2). Childline’s confiden al free helpline 0800 1111.
Gateway Ac on Helpline – 0161 826 3333.
3). C – 19 informa on & ideas for things to do, while staying at home –
4). Jewish Youth Online Ac vi es – – bbayit

There is also very useful coronavirus & related issues information, on The JLC national website, link as follows :-

Please note that due to the plethora of information received, the Corona Virus pages have now been categorised and clicking on the main meu will show you the categories where information can be found.

All the information provided, is to the best of our knowledge.
Please note this is a fast changing situation & we will do our best to keep you updated.

Community Update


The jewish community in Manchester has suffered a  great loss, as one of its prominent leaders, Dayan Osher Westheim, has died on Thursday 2 April, from the coronavirus.
Dayan Westheim, who was 71, was born in Gateshead, where he studied at the famous Gateshead Yeshiva.
He also studied at Yeshiva Be’er Yaakov, in Israel.
He came to the Manchester Kollel, in 1968.
Dayan Westheim, received semicha twice, firstly, from Rabbi  Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss, the Av Beth Din, of Eida Ha Chareidis, in late 1971.
His second semicha, was received, from Rabbi Padwa, of London.
In 1976, Dayan Westheim became Head of Kashrus, at The Manchester Beth DIn, where he became a greatly respected Dayan.
In 1995, Dayan Westheim founded the Yeshiva Ezras Torah, in Manchester, which he lead for 10 years.
The Dayan was also a talmid of Chelkas Yehoshua of Biala and was very close to his son, The Biala Rebbe.
Dayan Westheim was one of the most prominent rabbonim machshirin in Europe and there are hunders of products, that have his herchsher.
He was known as an approachable and helpful person, who always did what he could, to help anyone who approached him for help or  advice.
The Jewish Representative Council, on behalf of the community wish Archis Yomim, to all his family.
This is a tragic loss to all Manchester jewry.
R. Graham Gordon

Latest news and updates from the Mayor of Greater Manchester and GMCA

Useful links for the business community:

GDPR during the current crisis

It’s not exactly about our situation but it shows the approach the ICO is taking at this time.


JAMH ( Jewish Action for Mental Health) now has a helpline; Tel 07510 204 844.

We have access to trained therapists/ counsellors willing to offer phone support to people suffering anxiety and depression on a voluntary basis. 

For your information most of them are from orthodox community.

ALL In It Together

A resource for any local business to freely advertise or provide information about their services and how they have adapted to the new reality.

Add your information here:

Board of Deputies Advice

Coronavirus advice
The Board of Deputies is currently following Government guidelines on how to contain the transmission of coronavirus. It is vital that we all implement these precautions. Should the guidelines change, we will review our policies accordingly. You can find all the latest updated information here: ‘Can I help you’ card is attached and can be downloaded.
Marie van der Zyl’s appeal for volunteers
“These are exceptional times for our community and our country and we all need to do whatever we can to help those who are most affected by this awful crisis. If you can volunteer with any of the Jewish community organisations, with the NHS or informally by helping neighbours in need, you will be doing something tangible and valuable. We can get through this together  – we all need to do our bit.”
Volunteering opportunities
JVN is working with charities in the community to ensure that we can get all volunteering requests out to as many people in as many ways as possible.The organisation has set up a dedicated page on our website for all Covid-19 related volunteering opportunities in both London and Manchester. You can visit the page
Pesah food guidelines for the UK Jewish community, 
In the current unprecedented circumstances, many members of the Jewish community are either in self-isolation or are not in a position to be able to visit a Kosher supermarket to do their Pesach shopping. With this in mind, a number of the UK’s main Kashrut authorities have issued special guidelines for Passover this year, providing information on a significant number of products which are more widely available. You can see our round-up of advice here.
Israeli Embassy
The Israeli Embassy is continuing to operate with the necessary adjustments according to UK and Israel’s regulations. The Civil Society Affairs department would like to offer their assistance, particularly to help support or develop initiatives that utilize technology to continue the regular activities of the UK Jewish Community. In the meantime, the Embassy is proud to invite you to a live Q&A session with the Ambassador Mark Regev, which will take place tomorrow at 4pm.
As you may know the Board of Deputies staff are now working remotely. In view of the latest Government restrictions we would ask that you contact your organisation and inform the relevant people there that if they usually send payments to the Board by cheque that they now do so online. This is to try and minimise as much as possible the need for our staff to visit a bank to pay in cheques or to post them which could mean delay and/or loss. For our bank details please email [email protected]. Thank you for your cooperation.
Reminder – Dates of future Board Meetings
11.00 – 13.30           Sunday 3 May14.15 – 16.30           Sunday 21 JunePlease note that during the current crisis all meeting dates are subject to change. We are working on the best way to hold virtual meetings.

Twenty-four mentions this week, overwhelmingly on different aspects of the coronavirus crisis.

Religious burials

Religious burials to be protected as MPs pass amended coronavirus bill

Board urges government to ‘provide exemptions’ over proposed virus cremations

Government to amend emergency coronavirus bill to stop cremation against families’ wishes

Board calls on government to ‘respect religious traditions’ and allow burial for coronavirus deaths

UK to give religious exemptions for cremation during coronavirus pandemic

Leading UK Jewish Group Expresses Concern Coronavirus Bill Will Violate Jewish Burial Laws


Tributes Pour in After Leading UK Rabbi Dies of Coronavirus

Cultural change – an unexpected side-effect of Covid-19

Kosher caterers gear up to deliver Pesach food as coronavirus forces people indoors

England Rushes to Protect Its Elderly Amid Coronavirus Scare

Rallying call from chiefs to help all during coronavirus crisis

Coming together to support and sustain our community organisations

Community volunteers offer help to the needy just as it’s needed

Houses of worship pitch in to help those left vulnerable by virus outbreak

In the US and beyond, houses of worship pitch in to help those left vulnerable by virus outbreak

Israeli president sends solidarity and prayers in an address to the Jewish diaspora

Two ultra-Orthodox Jews die in London as coronavirus shutters most communities

2 Orthodox Jews die of coronavirus in London; another succumbs in Paris

Two from strictly Orthodox community die after contracting coronavirus

‘Hundreds of volunteers’ step forward to help JCC fight coronavirus spread in Stamford Hill

‘Devastating’: vicar and headteacher among latest UK coronavirus victims

Jewish leaders fear ultra-Orthodox Jews have missed isolation message

Community rallies round to support those most in need

Board of Deputies/JLC merger

JLC chair describes ‘disappointment’ at failure to find unity with Board of Deputies president over merger

Simon Round

Communications Officer

020 7543 5437/ 07484 082483

Sent on behalf of Lynne Ridsdale, Deputy Chief Executive Bury Council

Dear all

As you are aware the community hubs are now live. We are already receiving calls from vulnerable people and providing proactive support through the VCSE sector.  At this stage the Hubs are focused on identifying people in need of help and determining the community capacity available to support. We expect that the role will grow imminently to include food distribution but arrangements are still being determined nationally – more information to follow.

Please note that we have decided to advertise a single number (0161 253 5353) for the Hubs and not be specific about physical locations. This is to make it straight forward for the public to access support and avoid confusion about which Hubs cover particular towns. Be assured that Hubs will be operating locally to ensure adequate coverage but we will stay silent on these details for the public to avoid confusion. Your local Hub Lead will, however, be in touch with you this week to introduce themselves and confirm their coverage arrangements. We welcome support and engagement from Ward Councillors with this work.

In support of the work of councillors and all wider volunteers we have drafted some principles about the basis of volunteering at this time. The advice is attached and seeks to harness as much local capacity is practicable whilst keeping arrangements safe and controlling infection. (Please note that this will be formatted and re-circulated asap).

We are also mindful of the emotional health and wellbeing of our staff and all councillors at this time.  The Council has therefore implemented an Employee Assistance Programme, details attached, which provides strictly confidential and 24/7 access to telephone and web based support for practical and welfare support. The provision applies to all Councillors too and we encourage you to access this support if you require any help in managing the additional pressure and emotional impact of this difficult time. Details are attached.

Finally, we have now received a number of questions from councillors which will be answered and a rhythm of FAQs will be established.

Thank you for your support

Communications Team