High up on our list is our district's economic recovery, which has taken a huge hit over the last couple of months. At the moment, we are working with our partners to look at how best we can support our local businesses when they reopen.

As you will have heard over the weekend, the Government has now issued a timeline for the re-opening of different business sectors, starting from next week. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers. All other non-essential retail outlets will be allowed to reopen from 15 June as long as they meet five tests set by the Government and have completed a risk assessment.

I want you to know that your safety is paramount, and so we are looking at how social distancing measures will work in this next stage, and how this will be managed when more businesses on our high street start to open their doors.

We are currently working on social distancing signage for our high streets, and as part of this we will be making available some materials which businesses and community groups will be able to download free from our website for their use. We hope to have these available as soon as possible and we will make sure this is widely promoted.

As part of the recovery phase we are also looking at how we can further support rough sleepers, as well as looking at health and environment and how our council recovers as an organisation.

Next week is Volunteers Week and we would like to use this as an opportunity to shine a light on the wonderful volunteers we have working so hard across the Chichester District, particularly during the coronavirus crisis.

There are so many people who have gone above and beyond to give their time to help others during these challenging times, and we would like to hear about them. We are asking you to let us know about a volunteer, or a group of volunteers, who are making a real difference in your community. Your messages can take the form of videos, photos or text, simply send them to us and we will do our best to share them across our social media channels during Volunteers Week.

Finally, during the past few weeks, there has been a real focus on maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing while working from home so much and being away from friends and loved ones.

Whether it's quitting smoking, increasing the amount of physical activity you do, looking after your weight, or making your meals a little bit healthier - whatever you decide to do then our friendly Wellbeing and Social Prescribing Teams are here to help. They provide a wide range of confidential free support to residents across our district.

Although their face -to -face support is on hold for the time being, the team are still offering lots of one to one support over the phone and they would love to hear from you if you need some help with making healthier choices or support during these difficult times.

Their approach is all about helping people make small changes and encouraging people to make those first steps.

As well as advice and tips on healthy eating and looking after your weight, the team also provides support on access to local services, managing stress and anxiety, looking after your emotional wellbeing and reducing alcohol intake.

If you feel you would benefit from our Wellbeing or Social Prescribing Team's support please call 01243 521041 to book a phone appointment or see www.chichesterwellbeing.org.uk.

Best Wishes

Cllr Eileen Lintill

Leader of Chichester District Council

Date posted: 27 May 2020