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Rochdale Local Offer COVID-19 Help and Guidance

We are experiencing an unprecedented time due to the Coronavirus outbreak. It is important to try to look after yourself and your family both mentally and physically during this time. This page is designed to offer some supportive advice for families.

Below are links to pages which can offer some practical advice and links to videos and resources which you may find useful.

Latest coronavirus information

The latest information on the Coronavirus can be found on Rochdale Borough Council website (external link) and on GOV.UK website (external link)

Help with Face Coverings in Public Places

Wearing a face covering on public transport

The government has made it compulsory for passengers on public transport to wear a face covering from Monday 15 June.

The rule applies to passenger’s on-board buses, trams and trains – they don’t need to wear a face covering while waiting at a stop or platform, or in bus stations and interchanges.

A face covering isn’t the same as a surgical face mask. It can be a scarf or bandana, or can be made at home. The most important thing is that it should cover the mouth and nose. The government has given instructions on how to make and wear a face covering here: How to make a cloth face covering on GOV.UK (external link)

 Face covering exemptions

While it is expect everyone to wear a face covering if they can, the Government has stated that anyone who has a justifiable reason on the grounds of health or disability will be free to travel without wearing one.

Government guidance on exemptions is still in development but, following an equalities impact assessment, the Department for Transport has confirmed that the exemption will apply to those with:

  • Breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions.
  • Conditions affecting their dexterity, meaning they are not able to put on a face covering.
  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders.
  • Other non-visible disabilities such as autism.
  • Cognitive impairments, including dementia, who may not understand or remember the need to wear a face covering.
  • Visual impairments, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view.
  • Impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a face covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain.

The exemptions also apply to those who rely on lip reading. This includes carers who are travelling with someone for whom a face covering would make communication difficult.

Passengers will be able to remove their face covering for eating and drinking if necessary and taking essential medication.

This list isn’t exhaustive and exemption will also apply to anyone who has a legitimate health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering, as outlined above.

Further help regarding face coverings

ASC Advice from the National Autistic Society (53KB pdf)

Guidance on face coverings in an easy read format (1MB pdf)

Printable flash card for people who cannot wear face coverings (208KB pdf)

Advice and flash cards for people with sever learning disabilities (337KB pdf)

How to make a face covering from a sock – easy no sewing involved - Watch the video The Latest Face Mask From Sock For Adults, Fits Perfectly. No sewing on YouTube (2 mins 56 secs)

Watch the video Easy DIY Sock Face Mask Video Tutorial (No Sew Method) | Crafty Caboodle on YouTube (2 min 12 secs)

Transport for Greater Manchester Travel Advice (external link)

Returning to School and Further Education after Lockdown

As young people and their families prepare to return to school following lockdown, we appreciate this might be a confusing and worrying time. Please find some links below which might help you to navigate this and answer questions you may have.

For specific school or college advice, please contact the education provider directly.

Guidance regarding transport to and from school and college (86KB pdf)

How to talk to your child about the Coronavirus

These can be difficult conversations without clear answers at the moment. Please find some links below that may help:

Education support for children and young people

Please see the links below for information and guidance from Rochdale Additional Needs and Educational Psychology Services that may help with learning:

I need support for my child's education and wellbeing at home

You can contact Rochdale Additional Needs and Educational Psychology Services Helpline on 01706 926400

Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm.

As our staff are currently working away from Number One Riverside, you will be asked some questions regarding the nature of your enquiry so we can connect you with the most appropriate professional.

Or you can email the service at and provide some brief information so we can forward your request appropriately.

Family wellbeing

Being at home caring for your children for extended periods can be confusing and unsettling for them and you. Below are some links to information which may help you to navigate this:

Support for parent/carers

It is important to try to look after yourself too during this difficult time. Please find some links below that may be useful:

Rochdale Parent Carers Voice (external link) have been working hard to provide information and support for parent/carers. Their details are as follows: Telephone: 01706 358326 Email:

Carers chat rooms and forums

If you would like to chat to other carers online or get online support you could try an online forum.

Before using any online forum make sure you check out the advice on the forum on how to use it safely including community guidelines, controlling your privacy and looking after your safety.

Forums for adult carers

Forums for young and young adult carers

Short Breaks

For those families who normally receive short break support, please see the link below for the current guidance. Short Breaks can include overnight respite support, community outreach activities, sitting services within the family home, personal care, direct payments for specific activities and personal budgets.

Advice for helping to keep a child with complex health needs safe during this time please see the Wellchild website (external link)

Virtual Short Break Sessions

Sports Works – Please contact them to book onto their zoom short break sessions - Sportsworks Short Breaks.

Link4Life – Please follow the portal for crafts, cooking, relaxation and exercise sessions for children and adults on the website: Link4Life (external link)

Barnardos - Please contact them regarding their Virtual Short Breaks Groups, click on link for more details: Barnardos Virtual Short Breaks Groups.  


If you or your child would like to speak to someone anonymously, you could try calling a helpline or visiting websites such as Shout and ChildLine.

Shout is a crisis text line that provides free, confidential support to anyone at crisis at anytime, anywhere, 24/7 via text.

You can:

  • text SHOUT to 85258 in the UK to text with a trained Crisis Volunteer.
  • text with someone who is trained and will provide active listening and collaborative problem-solving.

For further information please see their website: Crisis Text Line UK (external link)

ChildLine provides a confidential telephone counselling service for any child with a problem. It comforts, advises and protects.

You can:

  • Call 0800 1111 any time for free
  • Have an online chat with a counsellor
  • Check out the message boards

For more information please see their website: Childline (external link)

Teenagers and young adults

The Mix provides help and advice for under 25’s around everything from mental health to housing issues. It has a free 24/7 crisis messenger support across the UK.

If you’re aged 25 or under, and are experiencing any painful emotion or are in crisis, you can text: THEMIX to 85258.

Telephone: 0808 808 4994 for free 7 days a week 4pm to 11pm.

For further information please see their website: The Mix (external link)


Should you feel that you or your family, or someone you know, is at risk of harm or are struggling to cope, you can speak to someone using the numbers below.

  • If you need immediate safeguarding support, please contact the Complex Early Help and Safeguarding Hub on 0300 303 0440 (8.30am to 4.45pm)
  • Emergency Out of Office Hours call 0300 303 8875 for emergencies only. Safeguarding Hub email: Or call 999.
  • For disabled children and their families, already known to the Rochdale Children with Disabilities Team, please call the CWD Duty line on 01706 925900.

Mental wellbeing


Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales offering support, including legal advice.

Helpline: 0300 123 3393

Telephone: 01706 752335


Website: Rochdale and District Mind (external link)

Wellmind (free app)

WellMind is a free NHS mental health and wellbeing app designed to help you with stress, anxiety and depression. The app includes advice, tips and tools to improve your mental health and boost your wellbeing. (Available on iOS and Android):

Wellbeing app (external link)

Cove (free app)

Free, personal music journal to help you with your emotional and mental health. Trusted by the NHS. (Available on iOS):

Cove app (external link)

Rochdale Educational Psychology Service

Helping children cope with Anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic leaflet (1.6KB pdf)

Exercises and movements

Please see the links below for a range of exercises/movements for children to do at home:

Games and activities at home

Please see the links below for a range of games and activities you can do at home:

Death and Bereavement Support COVID-19

During the Coronavirus outbreak some families may sadly experience the death of a loved one. The below information and links are designed to help navigate the practical and emotional elements of making arrangements following a loved ones death during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Advice and guidance in response to the virus is changing frequently. At the time of this information being gathered this reflects current advice, however this may change in the future.

What to do when a loved one dies

Please see link below for guidance around what to do following the death of a loved one.

How to register a death

Please see link below for guidance around where and how to register a death and what information and documents you will need.

Funeral service during COVID-19

Things may feel different and take longer than they usually would when organising a funeral service during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Each area and funeral director will be different and will depend on their capacity at that time.

Here is some useful information:

Funeral guide (external link)

Funeral payments (external link)

Emotional support following bereavement

The passing of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time and everyone deals with grief in their own way. Things may feel especially pressured during these uncertain times because of the pandemic. If you have suffered a bereavement, the below links might offer some help and support to help manage your grief.

Cruse Bereavement Care

Free helpline: 0808 808 1677 - they are open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings when they are open until 8pm.


Website: Cruse Bereavement Care (external link)

Child Bereavement UK

Provides confidential bereavement support, information and guidance to families and professionals. The helpline team is available to take calls and respond to emails and Live Chat Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (except Bank Holidays).

Helpline: 0800 028 8840


Website: Child Bereavement UK (external link)

Carers UK

Offers comprehensive advice to carers and their families about what to do when a loved one dies, including issues around benefits, housing, Wills and probate. They are open Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.

Helpline: 0808 808 7777


Website: Carers UK (external link)

Visual Impairment

Helpful links and resources for children with Visual Impairments please see below:

Visual Impairment - Support and Resources (149KB pdf)

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