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Welcome to this week's Independent Living news roundup.
08.04.20 Contents:
Into battle with the virus...
National Business Response Network
Chronic illness and isolation
Fake COVID-19 meds
April - Benefit rates
Latest - Symptom tracker
1. Into battle with the virus...

Some of us are more vulnerable to catching coronavirus than others: notably, if you are older or already have a health condition that weakens your immune system.

But it can affect any one of us, including prime ministers and princes, so we all need to do what we can to keep well. 

Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach. Maybe we can repurpose that thought, and work on building up your self-defence forces through your stomach...

Read Mary Farmer's nutrition advice here


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2. National Business Response Network

Business in the Community has launched the National Business Response Network to identify community needs across the UK and match them to the right business support.

They have a web platform where local organisations can sign up and identify the type of support they need, and businesses can do the same, indicating what type of support they can offer. 

Business in the Community then has an army of ‘connectors’ who will set to work...

Find out more here


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3. Chronic illness and isolation

If you are somebody who is new to spending nearly all your time confined to home, you may be finding it quite hard to adjust.

One group of people with too much experience of this way of life is those with a chronic illness that saps their energy and prevents them joining in with work and social activities others take for granted in more normal times. 

Catherine Hale of the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project has written an excellent article for Disability Wales about the bittersweet feelings of watching the rest of the world discover the realities of her daily life.

And CIIP member Victoria Clutton has helpfully written a guide to managing self-isolation well for those who aren't used to it as she is.


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4. Fake COVID-19 meds

Sadly, the current coronavirus crisis which has brought out the best in solidarity and community spirit, is also inspiring the worst kind of exploitative behaviour.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced that it is currently investigating 14 cases of unlicensed or fake COVID-19 medical products.

More details here


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5. April - Benefit rates

We are into the new tax year, the time when previously announced changes to benefit rates come into effect. Independent Living has updated the information we carry on disability and carer benefits accordingly. 

Worth noting also: carers who have to stop providing care temporarily, because either they or the person they care for is affected by coronavirus, can continue to claim Carer's Allowance.

And the government has confirmed that providing emotional support counts towards the 35 hours a week of care provision required to qualify for CA.


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6. Latest - Symptom tracker

You can help researchers at King's College London track the spread of COVID-19 and understand it better, by sharing your symptoms (or hopefully lack of them) every day via a phone app. It doesn't take much time at all to set it up, then you just check in daily to let them know how you're feeling.

An essential "citizen science" project that will help enable us to emerge from this crisis more quickly and safely.

This is the link to download the app:


Don't forget that you can apply to join the Independent Living Facebook group, if you would like to spend more time discussing these themes with other interested people.

There are various ways you can get in touch with us: email me; visit our Facebook page and leave a message there; or if it's short and sweet, Tweet!

Previous newsletters are archived here.

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That's it until next week! 

Thank you for reading and best wishes,


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Frances Leckie

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Skype: francesleckie
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