Your coronavirus update: Schools returning from next week, protecting our essential workers, Careers Week and more

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Leader of the Council Clare Coghill green background

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 

Walthom Forest

It's fantastic that positive Covid-19 cases are still reducing in Waltham Forest and I'd like to thank all of you who are continuing to follow the rules at the moment. Although the reduction in cases and hospitilisation is great news and the schools opening up next week for more face to face teaching is an important step out of lockdown, the virus is still with us and we need to take precautions.

We are continuing to work with our education partners to make sure pupils can return as safely as possible and encourage you to support your child's school by following social distancing rules if you are dropping off or picking up. Council staff and community volunteers will be on hand to assist with the testing that many pupils will be asked to undertake to ensure the reopening of schools is as safe as can possibly be.

March also brings the opening of Walthamstow Library as a vaccination centre, which will be launching in the next couple of weeks. This follows our commitment to do all we can to assist our health partners in the vaccine rollout, offering our people, buildings and resources as we know its our only route out of the pandemic.

We'll be holding our live Covid-19 webinar tomorrow evening at 5.30pm and I'd welcome you all to join us. We're still collecting questions for our local health leaders to answer, so if you have one about Covid-19, testing or the vaccination process - you can submit it here. Please share and encourage anyone in your life who is hesitant about the vaccine to watch it - it's so helpful to hear first hand from health professionals about the vaccine, including what's in it, who can have it and how the programme is going. 

Hope to see you there tomorrow. 

Test and Trace

Chairman of Noor Ul Islam mosque shares his vaccine story


Last week, we visited Noor Ul Islam mosque in Leyton, to speak to Yusuf Hansa, who is Chairman of both the mosque and also the wider Council of Mosques. 

Yusuf and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 around New Year, and talks about this experience and how worrying it was, as well as why he feels so passionate about people taking  the vaccine when it is offered. 

To read more about the vaccine and the programme rollout please visit our website

Hear from Yusuf 

Are you doing everything you can to protect the people around you?

Test and Trace

It's really exciting to think that normal life might be returning soon, however we will only get there if we all continue to follow the current rules and take preventative measures. Tragically, residents are still dying from this virus, and we need everyone to help stop the spread. 

Make sure you are: 

  • Staying home wherever possible 
  • Limiting your contact with others 
  • Not meeting up outdoors in groups - only exercising outdoors with your household, support bubble or if on your own - one other person 
  • Wearing your face covering if you can and keeping apart from others in shared enclosed spaces

To read the current restrictions please visit the government website. 

Read the rules 

Creative Career advice for young people

Creative Futures

During National Careers Week, the Waltham Forest Cultural Education Partnership is offering free events for secondary school students interested in creative career pathways. 

There will be live online interviews with Waltham Forest creatives where young people can find out how they got to do what they do and what they love about it.

Find out why creativity is so important to employers and the importance of creative industries to the UK economy – even in a pandemic!

Events are free and taking place until Friday 5 March 2021.

Book a free place 

Whipss Cross development to include 'blue light' A&E

whipps cross

The proposed new Whipps Cross Hospital will have a fully functional ‘blue light’ A&E within the core NHS services it will inherit from the current hospital.

This will remain a key part of a brand-new emergency department, which will also have the ability to see and treat patients without needing to be admitted overnight. There are plans to improve parking facilities with a 500-space multi-storey car park.

It will offer modern facilities, in better surroundings with more clinical space for healthcare professionals to treat patients.

Learn about development 

You can register for your postal vote

Postal Votes

Did you know you can apply to vote from home? 

For the upcoming Mayor of London election in May, polling stations will be made safe for you to vote with socially distanced queues, regular cleaning, and personal protective equipment.

However, this may mean that voting takes a little longer than usual, so you can apply for a postal vote if you would prefer to vote from home. 

You will need to give us your date of birth and signature on your application form and again when you complete your postal vote. We will compare these to keep your vote secure.

The deadline to apply for elections in May is 5pm, Tuesday 20 April 2021. The earlier you apply, the earlier we can send your postal vote.

Apply for your postal vote 

Protecting our essential workers

Test and Trace

Free Covid-19 tests are being offered to employees who are going out into the community daily as part of their role. These include contractors as well as council staff such as highway officers, parking officers, and caretakers, to name a few.

Offering tests to our essential workers means we are not only supporting and protecting them, but also the people they work with and the residents that they make contact with.

Around one in three people have Covid-19 without showing symptoms so we encourage everyone who can’t work from home to get tested regularly. You don’t have to have symptoms, and you can just turn up for a test without booking.

Find your nearest site 

Successful National Secondary Offer Day

School age chidlren 201118 at careers fair

Despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic 96.8 % of children due to start secondary school in Waltham Forest this September have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools. 

This has gone up from 96.1% to 96.8% whereas across London this has decreased from 93.8% to 93.3%. Everyone who applied on time in the borough received an offer of a school place. 

79.9% of the borough’s children received their first preference whereas London wide average was 66.6%.  
Waltham Forest are part of the Pan-London Admissions Scheme - for detail on London's secondary school admissions statistics, download the full Frequently Asked Questions document.

Download the document 

Future Insight celebrates careers week

Creative Futures

As part of National Careers Week 2021, Future Insights are offering a series of online talks.

These talks are designed to support residents in and around London Borough of Waltham Forest to design their professional pathways into the world of work and ask those all important questions to our expert guests!

To book your free place, visit the below Eventbrite link. 

Sign up to the event 

The 2021 Census is coming


The census is coming on Sunday 21 March.

It is a unique survey happening every 10 years which provides a snapshot of all the people in England and Wales.

By filling it out you will be able to tell the Government about your needs, helping inform decisions about services in your community, such as healthcare or education settings.

Nearer the time, you will receive a letter with an access code to take part online. Help is available for those who need it.

Learn about the census 

Roadmap: Explained

Test and Trace

We know the amount of information about Covid-19, testing, vaccinations and the roadmap out of lockdown can often be overwhelming, and we want to make sure every resident can access and understand the latest guidance. 

If you need accessible coronavirus information, whether it be in easy read, BSL (British Sign Language) or translated formats, take a look at our website. 

You can also view the Roadmap explainer video over on YouTube. 

Watch the video 

Council services

Corporate Strategy - Newsletter Footer

We are making sure we provide key services to our residents throughout this stage of lockdown and keep our website updated with the latest service information. 

To find out information about a particular service, please visit our website. 

Info on council services

Test and Trace

Information and advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing quickly and its important you keep up to date with those changes. The Council will be using email newsletters to keep residents and businesses up to date.

If residents have questions please visit our website, and use live chat to talk to one of our team, it's quicker than phoning.


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