Latest COVID-19 update from RMBC…

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Thursday 18 June 2020

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we will now be providing regular email updates for residents to let you know about the latest information we have and any changes to local services that may be affected.

If you do not wish to receive these updates please click on “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the page.

You can check the latest information on our website at any time by going to

Registering births service now available again


If you’ve become a parent during the last few months we’re pleased to confirm that our registration service for births is now available again.

The service had been suspended since 24th March, but we got up-and-running again this week with new arrangements in place to minimise face-to-face contact between registrars and new parents.

Registering a birth will be done in two stages. Initial information will be taken via a telephone appointment, where new parents will also be given the opportunity to pre-order any birth certificates for their baby for the statutory fee of £11 per certificate, payable by credit or debit card.

Once the telephone appointment is completed, a second, short appointment to attend the Register Office in Riverside House will be arranged. This will be used to sign the register and collect certificates.

Both appointments will be on the same day wherever possible, so we are asking people to bear this in mind when making their booking.

Further information on registering a baby and making a booking is available on the Council’s website, using the button below.

We’re grateful to new parents for their understanding during this difficult time and ask that you please bear with us while we catch-up. Thank you.

Registering a birth

Free school meals to continue through Summer holidays

Children in England eligible for free school meals in term-time will now get vouchers to support them during the summer holidays.

The Government announcement this week follows a campaign led by the Manchester United and England footballer, Marcus Rashford.

More than 1.3 million young people are entitled to free school meals in England, including 9,100 in Rotherham.

During the coronavirus pandemic, when children entitled to free school meals are not in school, the cost (set at £15 per child, per week) is provided through a Government voucher system, which parents either access directly through one of the Government’s appointed administrators or through their school, who collect the vouchers on their behalf.

The vouchers are redeemable against the cost of a food shop at a wide range of supermarkets.

It is thought the number of families in need is likely to be much greater than those claiming free school meals, as the impact of the pandemic continues to force thousands more families into financial insecurity.

The Council will continue to work with schools, families and the Government to ensure that children and young people in Rotherham receive the support they need.

Please see our website for further information about the support available for vulnerable residents during the coronavirus crisis:

Help for vulnerable residents

No change yet to advice for ‘shielding’ residents


Although there has been recent speculation about changes to advice for people deemed as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, people in the ‘shielded’ group are urged to follow current advice until further official guidance is issued by Government.

Around 2.5 million people in the UK, including more than 13,000 Rotherham residents were advised to stay at home as lockdown began, because they were identified as being at particularly high risk of needing hospital treatment for coronavirus symptoms.

People on the shielding list include solid organ transplant recipients, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, pregnant women with heart disease and people with severe respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and severe asthma.

Recent changes to national guidance suggest that if you have been advised to shield you can now go out your home, however:

  • While the number of infections has come down, there is still a risk of catching COVID which may be more severe if you have an underlying health condition.
  • You should continue stay at home as much as possible, and work from home. You should continue to avoid crowded places, such as shops and public transport
  • If you feel you have to go out for your own wellbeing, you should limit the contact you have with other people. Remember to keep 2 metres apart from anyone outside your immediate household
  • It is important to keep washing your hands regularly or use hand sanitiser when you can’t wash your hands, and avoid touching your face.

View the current advice by clicking the button below

Guidance on shielding and protecting the clinically vulnerable

Gulliver's Valley covid heroes

Do you know a local covid-19 hero like Lennie or Tobias?

The new Gulliver’s Valley attraction in Rotherham has launched a campaign to find people who have gone above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic so they can get the special recognition they deserve.

The campaign has been launched by Yorkshire fundraising stars, Lennie Street (8) and Captain Tobias Weller (9), pictured above.

The duo, both students at Paces, a leading specialist centre for children with Cerebral Palsy and other motor disorders, have raised thousands of pounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are asking people to nominate anyone they know, children or adults, who should be recognised for their efforts to support others during the covid crisis and 50 people will be drawn from the entries and rewarded with a family ticket to the new theme park when it officially opens.

Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park, aimed for children aged between two and 13, will be home to a host of rides and attractions across several themed areas.

To nominate your unsung hero, please fill out the form by 28th June on the Gulliver’s website:

Nominate a local covid hero

Forge Island

Artists impression of Forge Island

Huge double boost for Town Centre regeneration

Forge Island 2

The new multi-million pound regeneration of a rundown area of Rotherham Town Centre moved a significant step closer today, as planning permission was unanimously agreed by Rotherham councillors.

The Forge Island development (pictured left and above) will include a new cinema, hotel, restaurants, terrace seating, high-quality public spaces and a new pedestrian bridge connecting to the wider town centre.

Muse Developments Ltd is working with the Council to help deliver the new leisure destination within the heart of Rotherham, which forms a key part of the Town Centre Masterplan.

Work is already underway on enabling works for the development, including new flood defences.

And in a further boost to the town centre, demolition has begun on the Domine Lane part of Westgate Chambers, as work continues to convert the historical site into new apartments, commercial and retail space (pictured below).

The site is being given a new lease of life by developers HMP Bespoke Construction Ltd.

Westgate Chambers Domine Lane

How the new Westgate Chambers development will look

Shared Lives carers

Celebrating our Shared Lives carers

It’s Shared Lives Week from 15 to 19 June and we’re thanking our amazing carers and celebrating all that they do.

Carers and the people they support have teamed-up to mark the week by performing a song, aptly ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ (click here to view the video).

The Council has been sending carers gifts and thank you cards to show our appreciation, as well as making virtual or socially distanced visits and hosting online events, including a virtual coffee morning.

The Shared Lives scheme allows adults to live or spend time with carers and their families – as valued members of their own communities.

People who receive Shared Lives care include:

  • People with a learning disability
  • People with a physical disability
  • People with sensory needs
  • Older people
  • People with dementia

Our longest serving carers have a collective 527 years’ experience and have cared for hundreds of individuals between them…wow! Visit our website for further information on our Shared Lives scheme and find out how you can get involved.

Shared Lives in Rotherham

Help us to raise awareness of Nystagmus in Rotherham

Nystagmus Awareness Day

This Saturday, 20 June is International Nystagmus Awareness Day and we are inviting you to join the Council’s Vision Impairment Team in raising the profile of the condition which affects 1 in every 1,000 young people.

Nystagmus is an incurable eye condition where a person has involuntary movements of the eye.

In some people the eyes are always moving to-and-fro even though the object that they are looking at is still. Because the eye is shaking the vision is usually a bit blurred – it’s a bit like if a camera moves during a photograph.

Find out more about the condition by watching and sharing this brilliant video, starring Richard Osman from BBC 1’s Pointless, who suffers from Nystagmus.

And you can find further information as well as resources, quizzes and games all about the condition at the Nystagmus Network website.

For further information about support for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in Rotherham, including visual impairments, please visit our SEND Local Offer website using the button below:

 Rotherham SEND Local Offer