⚠️ 🔥 Celebrate differently this Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali season

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Celebrate differently this Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali season

A message from Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council

With the evenings getting darker and winter approaching, I am calling on all Brent residents to celebrate Halloween, Bonfire Night and Diwali differently. London remains in High alert level. This means we cannot meet indoors with anyone outside of our own households. Under the rules, a ‘household’ means just the people who live in the same house as you - unless you meet the criteria to form a support bubble.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. There were 300 new cases in Brent in the last seven days. Tragically, 497 residents have now died from coronavirus in Brent. Mixing indoors with family and friends who you do not live with will bring an increased risk of exposure, and potential infection of coronavirus, to you and your family. Older relatives are particularly vulnerable. So we cannot celebrate as normal. Instead, we must find new ways to mark events while staying safe.

This weekend, I know many families will want to enjoy Halloween. But the Trick or Treat tradition, with many children ringing on the same doorbells and digging through the same bowl of sweets, is an unnecessary risk to take. It is possible to transfer the virus on sweet wrappers. And the virus can remain on surfaces such as doorknockers and bells for up to three days – potentially longer. So I am asking you to use your common sense, to not go from door to door and to celebrate differently.

I also urge to enjoy Bonfire Night and Diwali safely. Please only meet people outdoors in groups of up to six. If you do attend a gathering, you must follow social distancing rules. And remember to wash your hands, cover your face and to make space. This year’s Diwali On Trafalgar Square event will take place online on Sunday 1 November 2020.

With the unprecedented year we’ve had, I am grateful that there are so many ways to mark important occasions in alternative ways. Remembrance Sunday will take place on 8 November 2020, and we must continue to pay our respects to those who lost their lives in service for our country. The pandemic is still with us, but we will be celebrating Remembrance Sunday remotely to hold the servicemen and servicewomen, who serviced and sacrificed to defend the nation, in our memories.

However you plan to celebrate over the coming weeks, please follow the rules that are in place to protect us. Acting safely and responsibly at all times is the only way to keep our loved ones, older relatives and communities safe.

Call Brent Council to book a free COVID-19 test

It’s now easier than ever for people who live or work in Brent to book a free COVID-19 test in the borough if they have symptoms.

The council has a fixed number of appointments to give out to local people each day at the Wembley and Harlesden walk-through testing sites. These can be booked by calling 020 8937 4440 (the line is open from 9am-5pm, seven days a week).

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If you have any of these symptoms, you must stay at home – which is sometimes called self-isolation – and book a test straight away. This will stop you from spreading the virus to others and putting your loved ones at risk.

If you don’t have symptoms, don’t get a test. We all need to play our part to protect the NHS Test and Trace service for those who really need it.

>> Find out more about getting tested in Brent

Get your nomination in for Pride of Brent 2020!

pride of brent

You have until Sunday 1 November to get your Pride of Brent nomination in.

Do you know any people, groups or businesses who have gone above and beyond this year? Nominate them for the Pride of Brent scheme and let everyone else know how wonderful they are. The deadline for nominations is Sunday 1 November 2020.

>>Nominate an individual, group or business now

Join us in marking Remembrance Sunday virtually


Remembrance Sunday will take place on 8 November 2020. Every year, Brent joins the country in remembering those in the borough and beyond who gave their lives while serving in the Armed Forces.

As a result of Covid-19 restrictions, we are encouraging residents to mark the occasion in a socially distanced manner this year. This may involve taking part in Remembrance activity in your garden, home or doorstep instead of meeting with others. This could be watching the service on TV or pausing at 11am for the two minute silence.

The British Legion is encouraging people across the nation to ensure Remembrance Sunday is still marked appropriately. You can do this by adding a Tribute to be displayed in the British Legion’s Virtual Field of Remembrance, along with your personal message.

Metroland Studios: Artist Residencies


NEW STUDIO RESIDENCIES for visual artists. Metroland Cultures has launched a new residency scheme for visual artists, including free studio space, at Metroland Studio in Kilburn. The deadline is Monday 2 November.

>>Find out more and share with your networks today

The Agency: supporting young, Brent-based entrepreneurs

The Agency

As part of Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture, Kiln Theatre’s The Agency is a scheme to support young Brent-based entrepreneurs between 15-25 years old develop ideas for social change in their area, turning their passion into a project. Using their needs and desires, research into local community, and support from artists and local networks, the Agents created brand new ideas as potential business plans.

>>Read about the projects

Test and Trace support payments

Tested positive for coronavirus, or been in close contact with someone who has? If you have a lower income, and cannot work from home, you could be entitled to support payment of £500.

>> Check if you are eligible, and apply

Free instructor led sessions in Brent parks

Get fit for free by booking one of the Brent Council and Our Parks instructor led sessions at a number of parks in the borough.

Free to book and carefully organised in a safe, covid-19 secure way. Local residents can book a slot online and with a range of dates and times available, those new to exercise are welcome.

>>Book now

6 ways to improve your mental health during the pandemic

Taking care of yourself is really important, especially in these challenging times.

Follow these six simple steps to improve your mental health and wellbeing, available in 27 different languages including:

Remember, you’re not alone – we’re all in this together.

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