Dorset Council News releases

A whole heap of organisations are producing advisory information. Without wanting to create information overload but if you wish to read the latest situation from Dorset Council their link below under Trusted Sources of Information is worth tapping into regularly. It includes details on Operation Shield aimed at helping the most vulnerable. This is supported by a mesage from our two Councillors who say:

Operation Shield

Dorset Council received the data from Government on Saturday on the most vulnerable residents in the county under Operation Shield – those who have absolutely no support network whatsoever. DC mobilised calls to those people to work through how we can support them to get supplies of food and essential medicines. We are expecting a delivery of food stuffs from the national effort on Monday 30 March, which we will use to support the initial 177 as the national supply chain logistics start to work, or if they fail we will step in with these supplies. However, as some of the people listed on the data had responded to the national letter nearly a week ago we prioritised calling them to offer help and support – this was very much appreciated by the individuals. In addition we had teams purchasing emergency supplies if any were needed ahead of the national food supply arriving. A huge but important logistical exercise.

From Monday 30 March, we have a dedicated help line set up to support anyone else who may not fall directly into the operation shield categories. This is for any resident who has a concern about COVID 19 who cannot access on-line services, and wants help and advice during the crisis. This might be about how to access services when isolating or financial worries if their personal financial circumstances have changed. DC are here to help. The general number is 01305 221000 and the email is  The super shielded number is 01305 221022. Lines will be open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

This information was put out publicly on Friday 27 March, and we’re continuing to push the message out via social media and through radio stations over the weekend – this number was also included on the post-card that we have sent to every household to ensure those not connected via the internet are still getting advice and a number to call.

Off-street car parking charges

We took the decision on Saturday morning to suspend charges in all Dorset Council owned off-street car parks. This follows the decision on Friday to close all ‘honey pot’ car parks – those closest to beaches, harbours and beauty spots. On-street restrictions and charges will still apply in order to keep streets as clear as possible to help the flow of essential traffic movement.  Many other car park providers have already taken this decision (National Trust) or now moved in line with this and I am grateful to our colleagues in town and parish councils who are supporting this and underlying the message – stay home, save lives.

Suspension of Garden Waste collections

In order to prioritise household waste and recycling collections, we have taken the decision to suspend all Garden waste collections until further notice. We’re asking residents to hold on to their garden waste until collections resume. From Monday 30 March we are on a priority service. The prospect of this was indicated in a media release on 20 March. It said that we foresaw the need to give priority to food waste, then general waste and then business collections.

There will be a media release on this early tomorrow. The reporting of missed bins will stop and we will ask residents to take back in anything uncollected and put it out again on the next appropriate collection date. 

Schools and Free School Meals

Day care provision through for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers is working well. Numbers have been monitored throughout the week and we are now looking at ‘clustering’ this provision. A lot of support is needed as all involved are operating way outside of the norm. A good example of this is opening over the Easter holidays for vulnerable children and children of critical workers. Some schools are even looking to open on Good Friday and Easter Monday to help those critical workers! We have already arranged for 1,800 children, who usually get Free School Meals to get a £15/week digital voucher. This is a complex operation as different schools are adapting their approach to local communities and in some cases their academy affiliations – but it’s great to be able to support the children of Dorset at this time”.

Always use Trusted Sources of Information

Read NHS advice

Read Puddletown Surgery advice

Read Bere Regis Surgery advice

To help understanding an “Easy to Read about Coronavirus” document has been produced:

for the Government direct from the horses mouth:

Read Government advice

Briantspuddle CV-19 Community Support Group

The Group has registered itself with Dorset Council and an information leaflet, shortly to be updated has been produced and distributed to every household in the parish. A copy of the current leaflet which seeks to give community support and reassurance that help is on hand can be read or downloaded:

If you are intending to self-isolate, and would like to keep the Parish Council volunteer support team aware of your situation, or if you are not self-isolating and are able to join the group of volunteers please get in touch by the following means:

Email the support team at:
Telephone and leave a message on: 07745 796 118.

This mobile cannot be constantly staffed, but messages will be picked up and responded to daily so please leave clear contact details so that someone can return your call.

Privacy of personal information

The Group is very much aware of the personal privacy of anyone who registers to volunteer or who needs help. Although the record will be stored electronically it will be under password access known only to the group. However the contact details for those who need help will have to be given to any volunteer invited to give personal assistance. Please be assured this information, both held on record by the group and given to specific volunteers, will not be shared with anyone else, will be kept secure and when this is all over the record will be destroyed.


A Facebook Page has been set up for anyone living in the parish who would like to volunteer to support the community, is in need themselves, or is isolated and just looking for a way of interacting and socialising.

Please join by clicking anywhere on this text and spread the word.

FAQs and guidance for volunteers

These are testing times but those who volunteer to help must first seek guidance from the Community Support Group if they are to assist to best effect. The following link contains further information given by Dorset Council and is issued on 23 March as a further update on the original:

Update for volunteers

Cold Caller advice

As well as some good people around there are some really nasty ones too who will take advantage of the current situation and who can be fairly persuasive. Dorset Police have issued advice which is well worth reading;

The Food Bank collecting box has moved

The box for the Wareham Food Bank has moved from St Laurence’s Church at Affpuddle to Briantspuddle Village Hall. The Hall will be open via the main entrance during Shop opening times to provide a waiting postion for use of the Shop and Post Office whilst the the restriction of the number of people in the shop at any one time is in place.

Wareham Help

The Botany Bay Pub

Read about how a local pub can help with Community Essential Supplies or ring them on 01929 459227 between 11.30 and 2 pm 7 days a week with deliveries from 4 pm each day – debit or credit card only. Order as much or as little as you need by weight or items – fruit, vegetables, salad, fresh and frozen meat, frozen goods, chilled and dairy products, bread, tea, coffee, flour etc.

Local Radio

check out This is a Dorchester radio station on 106.3 FM which might provide a little bit of light relief from national stations.

Help Dorchester Hospital

Dorset County Hospital Charity has launched the DCH COVID-19 Appeal to raise funds to provide extra support to the hospital’s staff working under immense pressure during the coronavirus pandemic. If you would like to donate to the DCH COVID-19 Appeal please visit the appeal page of the Dorset County Hospital website