Exemption Cards can be found at

Or you can make your own home-made one. Carrying a card is a personal choice and is not necessary in law. Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this. Written evidence includes exemption cards.

Sunflower lanyards can be worn to show that the wearer has a hidden disability. We have a small quantity of sunflower lanyards in stock, they are also available free of charge from larger Argos, Tesco and Sainsburys stores, ask at customer service.


Some ideas were put forward for fundraising so the appeal is out for Tombola prizes once more, we are happy to collect.

Social Events

With the end of shielding on August 1st we are able to start offering our social calendar once more. I hope to release further details shortly.

Due to the current situation we have had to make some changes to comply with social distancing etc. This is the Risk Assessment to include coach trips and events where your own transport is used.

Risk Assessment

Organisation: Dudley Carers Forum

Location: Various locations for Social events

Assessor: Jane Grainger

What are the Hazards? Exposure to COVID19

Who might be harmed and how? All persons present

Track and Trace

All persons to supply full contact details. Should an exposure occur details to be passed to the relevant authority. Records to be kept securely for 28 days and then destroyed by shredding.

COVID symptoms

No one should join us if showing any COVID symptoms ie


New or persistent cough

Change in taste or smell

Please do not join us if you are in anyway unwell or believe you may have been exposed to the virus.

Exposure to COVID19


Whilst face coverings are not mandatory on private hire coaches we ask that members wear them to protect vulnerable people in our group. Face shields will be provided for any person exempt.

Social distancing

Household groups should remain at 2 meters distance at all times, from other households.

Follow the instructions regarding distancing at the venue. Seats on the coach will be suitably allocated, please do not change seats.

Temperature and hand sanitizing

On boarding the coach each passenger will be subject to taking of temperature and use of sanitizer. (Coach company ruling)

Checking Venues

Officers to check venues prior to booking to ensure all safety measures and facilities.

A report will be made to members of any reduction/change in facilities when advertising the event.

Limited seating on Coaches

Seats are limited on a 52 seater coach down to 26. To allow for social distancing

No Toilet on coach

The toilet is not in use.

Additional notes

  • A household group is persons living in the same house. Or in some cases Full time carer and disabled living in separate houses but who have been in daily contact throughout the pandemic.

  • Wheelchair places are still available on coaches.

  • No food or drink should be consumed on the coach unless medically necessary eg taking medication.

  • To reduce the time spent on the coach pick up points will be limited to Brierley Hill and central points in Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley and Sedgley. Sorry no individual pick up/drop off.

  • To limit contact on the day of events, bookings should be made by telephone or email. Any monies due should be sent to the office within 5 days of booking to secure. Failure to comply may forfeit your booking.

  • Many venues prefer contactless payments rather than cash where possible. (Paying for food etc).

  • It is recommended that you bring a personal supply of sanitizer and spare masks.

First Event

For the first we are going to hold a lunch at the Parkgate Inn, A451 (Stourbridge to Kidderminster Road, on the junction of Park Gate Road),Wolverley, DY10 3PT. Meeting on the carpark  at noon for a 12.30pm service on Tuesday 11th August. Due to social distancing we are limited to 20 places, so don’t dally. Use own transport. Places must be booked with main course order by Friday 7th August please. Include your name and phone number for track and trace (see risk assessment)

Martin and myself have been for a trip to the pub, Oh how hard we work for you! Please note the following

·         Our time in the pub is limited to two hours.

·         A one way system is in operation. Entrance is by the car park and road. Exit via the beer garden. Arrows on the floor give direction for walking.

·         Please sanitize your hands on entry.

·         Two tables of 8 and one of 4 have been booked all at some distance from one another. Do not wonder off to other tables to chat with friends. But you could both go outside and sit at a table in the beer garden if one is free. Similarly we can use free tables in the beer garden to chat after eating.

·         Do not approach the bar. ‘Table service only’ is in operation. Please order drinks desserts etc from the server and pay by card. (the card machine is sanitized after every use)

·         A disabled toilet is available and the pub has no steps.

Menu all mains £7 per head but an application for funding is underway in which case we may be able to offer them at a discount. Please send payment by chq with your booking made payable to Dudley Carers Forum. Your cheque will be returned in the event of funding being made available.

Pub Classics

Beer battered Fish and Chips – pedigree beer battered fish served with chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce.

Breaded Scampi – 12 crispy golden whole tails of Whitby scampi served with chips, garden peas and tartare sauce.

Smothered Chicken – roasted chicken breast, bacon and Monterey Jack cheese smothered in your choice of bbq or sweet chilli sauce, served with chips, onion rings, corn on the cob and coleslaw.

Steak and Ale Pie – British beef slow cooked in a rich Hobgoblin ale gravy and encased in a hand finished combination of short-crust and puff pastry. Served with chips, garden peas and gravy.

Button mushroom and Bourguignon Pie (VE) – Herbed flecked vegan suet pastry with a rich chunky button mushroom, shallot and red wine filling topped with flaky puff pastry, served with chips, garden peas and gravy.

Chicken Tikka Masala (mild hot) – chicken breast in a mild tikka masala sauce, served with rice, naan bread, poppudum and mango chutney.

10oz Gammon Steak grilled and crowned with a fried egg or pineapple ring, served with chips and peas.


Plain and Simple – beef burger or chicken buttermilk goujons, served with Heinz classic burger sauce. Served in a toasted bun with chips and coleslaw.

Cowboy Classic Burger – Beefburger with bacon and Monterey Jack Cheese, served with Heinz classic burger sauce. Served in a toasted bun with chips and coleslaw.

Plant Based Burger (VE) – Plant based burger topped with bbq jackfruit, served with chips and sweet chilli coleslaw.

Pasta and Salads

Beef Lasagne – Our own secret recipe served with garlic bread and side salad.

Vegetable lasagne (V) – courgettes, aubergine and red peppers layered with sheets of pasta, served with garlic bread and side salad.

Grilled Chicken and Bacon Salad – on a mixed salad base with house dressing and garlic bread.

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (VE) – on a mixed salad base with house dressing and garlic bread.

(V)- vegetarian (VE)- vegan

Choice of Desserts at additional cost (Please order at table) Apple Pie with Custard (V) £4.45. Chocolate Fudge Cake (warm or cold) with vanilla icecream (V) £4.45. Lemon Muffin Cheesecake with icecream £4.45. Chocolate Indulgence Sundae (V) £4.45 for 1 OR £7.45 to share.

Face Masks and coverings

The government has published official guidance for face masks and face coverings. Anybody heading out and about must wear a face mask in public, the government previously announced in a big change to laws in England.

Official guidance also states: "If you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with."

Coronavirus (COVID-19) usually spreads by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces, if you touch a surface and then your face without washing your hands first. This is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is so important in controlling the spread of the virus.

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.

Because face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, from coronavirus (COVID-19) they are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. It is important to follow all the other government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) including staying safe outside your home. If you have recent onset of any of the most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • a new continuous cough

  • a high temperature

  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.

How to wear a face covering

A face covering should:

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably

  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face

  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops

  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton

  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)

  • unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on

  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead

  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus

  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it

  • avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)

When removing a face covering:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing

  • only handle the straps, ties or clips

  • do not give it to someone else to use

  • if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle

  • if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed

Where and when

Shops and enclosed spaces will require customers to don face coverings and face masks from Friday July 24. Face coverings are also recommended outside in crowded places.

 Though some venues - like pubs are exempt. They are also not required in entertainment venues (such as cinemas, theatres or casinos), visitor attractions (such as heritage sites or museums), exercise and sports venues (such as gyms). Or hairdressers.

Where a shop is within another premises which does not require a face covering (such as a museum or other visitor attraction) they are required in the shop only. Check for signage upon entry and exit to know when this is the case.

When you can remove a face covering

You can remove your face covering in order to eat and drink if reasonably necessary. This should be in an area that is specifically for the purposes of eating and drinking, such as a food court.

If a shop or supermarket has a café or seating area for you to eat and drink, then you can remove your face covering in this area only. You must put a face covering back on once you leave your seating area.

You must regularly change your mask

You should aim to wash or change your mask every time you wear it. You should also change it if you've sneezed or coughed into it.

Change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it, the guidance adds.

Punishments for breaking the rules

Transport operators can deny service or direct someone to wear a face covering.

Shops and supermarkets will be expected to encourage compliance with the law (as they would do more generally) and can refuse entry.

Police can enforce fines for non compliance of £100, reduced if paid promptly.

The people exempt

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:

  • young children under the age of 11

  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability

  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress

  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate

  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others

  • to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you

  • to eat or drink, but only if you need to

  • to take medication

  • if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering

There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:

  • If asked to do so by shop staff for the purpose of age identification

  • If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication

Do not pull it down to talk to somebody

It is important to keep your cloth face covering in place over your nose and mouth at all times while in enclosed spaces.

Do not store it in your pocket

Do not place your cloth face covering in your pocket/bag for later use.

Once removed, store reusable face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them. If the face covering is single use, dispose of it in a residual waste bin.

The easiest way is to put one on as you leave the house/car and don’t touch it till you return home. Do not take it off between shops. Take spares in a clean plastic bag in case you stop to eat or drink.

How often to wash it

Wash your face covering regularly and follow the washing instructions for the fabric. You can use your normal detergent. You can wash and dry it with other laundry. You must throw away your face covering if it is damaged.

The number of layers

A face covering should cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably and ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used).

There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus.

A face covering will help to prevent you spreading the virus to others (you could be infected but have no symptoms). It will not prevent you from catching the virus because your eye area is still open to infection.

We have secured a quantity of single use plastic face shields for our members. Designed to be worn with a mask to give protection to the eye area from splashes and sprays. But if you or your loved one is exempt from wearing a mask these could be used without a mask to help prevent the spread of the virus but will not offer full protection. Carry an exemption card in addition, in case anyone challenges your covering. In my opinion anything is better than nothing. Get in touch if you would like to try them.

Great if you need to see your carer to lip read it will offer some protection for them. But you can’t ask everyone to wear one if you are hard of hearing or deaf. In which case you might find an app that we have found useful. Called ‘Talk to translate’ You can get a 7 day free trial and afterwards it will cost £5.99 per month or £39.99 per annum. Find it in the app store or similar. But remember that you can ask someone to remove their mask if you rely on lip reading for communication, though consider it reasonable if they refuse.

Other News

For our August People's Network we have teamed up with Dudley Council for a friendly online conversation to ask if you have been able to get the support you need during the COVID-19 emergency, what has worked well and to hear your ideas to make care better.

Wednesday 5th August at 1.30pm

 to sign up - we hope you can join us as your views can make a difference.

To help make support better for everyone, we want to hear your views:

  • Have you been shielding during the pandemic?

  • Do you look after someone who receives support at home from paid carers? 

  • Do you have a friend or a relative who lives in a local care home? 

  • Do you have a disability or care for someone who has?  

  • Do you use an alarm or other telecare services provided by Dudley Council? 

  • Have you, or a family member been discharged from hospital during the pandemic and needed extra care or support?

  • Have you had to go out to work when someone else in your household has been shielding? 


DYHC are hosting a 'Mindfullness Live' session for young people on: 

THURSDAY 30th JULY @ 2.30pm

The session will be an ideal introduction into how to use Mindfullness as a technique to maintain good mental well-being from a qualified Mindfullness Practitioner, followed by a short session by Maggie on how to use laughing as a way to maintain positive thoughts and happiness. To join our session please email


Parks and play areas re-open

Eight play areas will re-open at borough parks this weekend for children to enjoy over the school summer holidays.

Playgrounds at Mary Stevens Park in Stourbridge, Priory Park, Wordsley Park, Stevens Park in Quarry Bank, Leasowes and Huntingtree Park in Halesowen, Silver Jubilee Park in Coseley and Netherton Park will be available again from Saturday. (July 25)


Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

As lockdown eases in the UK, we’re expecting a rise in burglaries. We’ve partnered with the Home Office to create a new social media campaign to help keep people safe and continue the great work your scheme is already doing.

Our new Safety in Neighbours campaign is particularly exciting as it has a modern and eye-catching design to grab younger people’s attention and attract even more new members. Read more about the campaign below.

More about our new campaign: Safety in Neighbours

The idea
Life’s safer when you know your neighbours. With more people looking out for unusual behaviour on your street, burglaries can be prevented.

The design
It features our iconic black and yellow brand colours, but with a modern, animated twist to grab attention and stand out on social media.

The audience
We’ll target the most high-risk areas of England and Wales – but we need you to help us reach people everywhere. Our campaign is designed to appeal to a younger audience of 20 - 50 year olds.

The campaign
We’ll promote it on Neighbourhood Watch’s main Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels for 3 weeks from 27th July. Please help us by sharing on your local channels and do let us know about any local press you are able to generate.


Laughter Yoga with Merrie Maggie

With lockdown beginning to ease, we are all being very tentative in coming out of our shells whilst remaining ‘alert’ to the threat of more COVID hotspots.

Laughter Yoga sessions via Zoom has been very well attended both on my sessions, those through the Daily Giggle Channel and many others all around the world.  

I continue to do 30-minute sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5.00 pm as follows:

Tuesday: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 815 4739 3445,Passcode: Please contact me

 Thursday: Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 505 614 703 Passcode: Please contact me

The Daily Giggle Channel has sessions every day, here is a link so you can join whenever you like: and for the times:

Having successfully held one outdoor session for a maximum of 6 people (including me) to comply with current COVID restrictions, I shall be running more sessions and participants will need to wear face shields, nitrile gloves and use hand sanitisers, which I am able to provide.  The sessions will take place as follows:

Friday, 7 August 2020                     Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, DY8 2AA (meet at Hub Building)   11.00 am to 12.00 noon

Saturday, 15 August 2020  Malvern Cube, Albert Road North, Malvern, WR14 2YF (in field or car park behind building)       11.00 am to 12.00 noon

Friday, 21 August 2020      King George V Park, Wordsley, DY8  5LA (meet in car park) 11.00 am to 12.00 noon

Friday, 28 August 2020       Leasowes Park, Halesowen, B62 8DH (meet in car park)    11.00 am to 12.00 noon.

In addition, I am in the middle of running a 4-week Laughter Yoga Basic Skills workshop, which is 90-minutes long per session.  This is proving popular for people wanting to know a bit more about Laughter Yoga for their personal development as it is more in-depth than Laughter Yoga sessions.  It does NOT include a qualification to lead Laughter Yoga sessions but participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance.  The next 4-week series will start on Wednesday, 12 August 2020 ask for a leaflet and booking form if interested.

I am not running the 2-day Laughter Yoga Leader Training at the moment as it cannot be completed until such time as we are able to meet in person in order to do the practical assessments.

I look forward to laughing with you very soon.

Maggie Thompson
Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher and Laughter Ambassador
07565 218567


Please take care and stay safe

Kindest regards

Jane and the Forum


01384 572404

c/o 48 Church Street, Silverend, Brierley Hill, West Midlands. DY5 3QN


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