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Suzie Wilde and Jeff Price present essential local information for Petersfield and its villages.

Today we meet the organiser of a 200-strong army making scrubs for NHS staff around our area, Lin Gill, Petersfield care leader Leigh McDonald talks about the role of live-in care during the crisis and local carer Ivy reflects on her experiences looking after her care client during Coronavirus.

Also, a first-hand account of Petersfield Dark Skies Night for one local teenager, Nina Vennis reads from her latest lockdown diary and we have music in support of the NHS from local singer-songwriter Mark Handley.

We share information with the Petersfield Coronavirus Resource Hub, the Petersfield Voluntary Care Group and other local agencies.

Petersfield Dark Skies Night

If you witnessed planets, stars, meteors or satellites in the sky last night you can share your experience with us. Email team@petersfieldradio.uk or leave a message on 01730 555 500.

You can write about it, or record your voice using a voice recorder on your mobile. We prepared this guide to what you might have seen in the night sky from your home.

Information transcript

The Police and Crime Commissioner has set up the COVID-19 Keeping Communities Safer Fund to provide funding quickly to support communities as they work together to be safer during this difficult time.

Grants of up to £500 are available and can be applied for by existing voluntary groups, informal community groups established in direct response to COVID-19, Parish and Town councils, and schools, all to help people stay safe.

This could be through the purchase of a security light for closed community premises; assisting the efforts to ensure those self-isolating have access to the support services they need; or to help purchase equipment to provide existing services differently, for example to take services online.

To apply, visit www.hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/covid-19-fund or if you missed that, check out the link on our website at petersfieldradio.uk … a much easier URL to remember.

Every Mind Matters, now more than ever. We can all feel frustrated, miss loved ones or get anxious during these times. It’s important to remember that it’s OK to feel this way and there is help out there to look after your mental wellbeing, and that of your family. 

Every Mind Matters can help get you started with your NHS online plan. Showing you simple steps to help deal with stress, boost your mood and feel on top of things. Visit www.everymindmatters.co.uk to get your action plan today. And, please remember, don’t suffer in silence.

East Hampshire District Council wants to remind us all that to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone during the coronavirus outbreak, we refrain from lighting bonfires.

Many residents who would normally be out at work or school are now confined to their homes. Smoke could stop your neighbours from enjoying their garden and have a serious impact on their health – especially where they are self-isolating due to medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease. 

Probably a good time to reiterate this with the weather we’re having. Many people will be out chopping away in the garden …

Coronavirus has inevitably caused charities across the country to cancel events and, consequently, they’re seeing a huge reduction in income. In response, organisers of the biggest mass-participation sports events across the UK have got together to create the 2.6 Challenge and it begins on what would have been the 40th anniversary of the London Marathon, on Sunday. 

Are you ready to be a Home Hero and support a charity close to your heart? Simply do something fun based, either individually, with family, or virtually with friends, that’s simply based on the number 2.6 or 26. Complete 26 laps of your garden; get 26 friends together online to complete a 26-minute workout; cycle, run, walk, skip or hop 2.6km; walk 2.6km round your house (in fancy dress if you want!); hula hoop 26 times or do 26 keepie-uppies; get to 26 tennis, badminton, or swingball volleys. Get more ideas and inspiration at twopointsixchallenge.co.uk/inspiration.

At this time, let’s not forget our young adults who are still having to study through the next semester of uni via online portals back at home, with some holding online group meetings with a smart appearance above – and pyjama bottoms below … or worse!

To help them, digital library resources offer EBSCOhost, a research interface used by millions of students and academics worldwide. Just enter any words to find books, journals and more. Follow the link on Petersfield Library’s Facebook post, enter your library card number and the learning world is your lobster …

Staying with libraries – and, hopefully, they’ll be staying with us – check out the e-magazine titles for children and adults available through Hampshire Library Service. Titles such as Spiderman, New Scientist, Hello, Economist Gardening, photography and art magazines, are all available for free as part of your membership. You can also access the Encyclopedia Britannica through the digital library to help answer those awkward questions. And, if you’re not yet a member of your library, now’s a good time to start: visit hants.gov.uk/librariesandarchives

Hayling-based singer Mark Handley has been in touch. With his band the Bone Idols he’s produced a song in praise of the NHS. Mark is a popular character on the live music circuit down on the coast and usually plays gigs in and around Hayling and festivals around central southern England. Lockdown means more studio time and a themed release for our times … and his song is called God Bless the NHS. We play it on the show. Have a listen.

B&Q has reopened 61 stores including those in Portsmouth, Fareham and Havant. Social distancing will be applied in the same way as supermarkets and there is a similar queuing system to get in. Some services are not available, however, like key cutting and paint mixing. The stores have adopted 8am until 5pm as opening hours, Monday to Saturday, with 10am to 4pm on Sundays. 

Now is the time for bees to leave their hives in search of new homes. Half the bees in the hive will leave with a queen, and collect together, while the scouts look for a new home. So, if they’re in your garden, now is the time to call your local beekeeper, who can rehouse them in a nice new hive. Call 07531 901 767 and Petersfield & District Beekeepers Association will try to find someone to collect them. This always happens when it swarm … swarm, get it? Who writes this rubbish …?

<INTERVIEW WITH LIN GILL>

Nosh news

Petersfield market returns to the square tomorrow, as it is an approved essential service … well for food at least. I’m not sure cuddly toys count. But, anyway, Bryant Bros Fruit & Veg and SA Meats will be among the stallholders present. And Bryants has the new season Rogate asparagus available … yummy.

Strict social distancing will be in place, so please follow the directions of the on-site staff … and don’t quibble. I don’t like quibblers.

The Good Intent is opening for takeaway and delivery of food and beer from today. Check its Facebook page now to see what’s available, although the menu will be up outside the pub. It is also offering discounts for NHS employees, care workers and support staff.

Please ring 263 838 to place your order – that’s 01730 263 838, if you’re calling from the periphery of the Petersphere. Staff will let you know what time to collect or an estimated time of delivery. And opening times are Wednesday to Sunday, 5 to 9pm.

Morgans the butcher, in Lavant Street, has a fantastic range of BBQ meats available for delivery or pre-order for collection. Check out its website at morgansofpetersfield.co.uk. I’m sure P pod presenter Joff Lacey is on commission there …

The Harrow pub still has plants and flowers for sale, with proceeds, as  ever, going to Rosemary Foundation. It’s already raised almost £200 this spring, so if your daily exercise takes you past the pub, check it out for your garden.

The vegan restaurant, Earth, in Chapel Street, is still able to offer healthy, 100 per cent plant-based meals, for local delivery or collection. Visit eat at earth.com

<Interview with care leader Leigh McDonald and carer Ivy>

TRAVEL

The railway works at Guildford mean train services are still affected. 

Network Rail is also renewing the lines through Petersfield which should finish on Sunday. The work will be carried out overnight and if you live near the railway, you don’t need us to tell you anymore … it will be noisy at times. 

And, the level crossing on Kingsfernden Lane is expected to be closed for two to three nights early next week as Network Rail continues its works on the line.

On the roads, the alleged diversion on the A272 between Petersfield and Rogate remains apparently, with the road closed until at least 3.30pm on a daily basis, according to the council.

…and South-East Water plans works on Sussex Road, near Tesco from next Thursday with traffic controls there.

WEATHER

Lots of sunshine again today but clouding over later.

Temperatures up to 20 degrees if you’re lucky – partly cloudy overnight and staying dry across the weekend in light winds. Sunday looks like the better day.

We’re back on Monday – have a good weekend.