Walk-in Covid jabs available at Civic Centre this weekend

Residents can get Covid vaccinations and boosters at the Civic Centre this weekend – without having to make an appointment.

The walk-in service is open from 9am to 6pm on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of November.

People can either get their booster jabs or their first or second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The pop-up service is open to those who are 12 and over and have not yet had their first or second dose. Or those who are 40 and over and have not had their booster jab.

Those seeking a second dose must ensure it is 8 weeks or more since their first jab.

Anyone wishing to get a booster must be 40 or over and it needs to be 5 months or more since their second dose.

All vaccines on offer at the centre are Pfizer.

People can just turn up with no need to make an appointment. Parking is free.

Greenhill residents urged to get Covid vaccine

Residents are being urged to get vaccinated after it emerged take-up of the Covid-19 jab in some parts of Greenhill ward was low.

Harrow Council is calling on all residents living in our three roads to get their first and second doses of the vaccine in order to protect themselves, family and friends from severe infection.

Vaccination is free and you don’t have to be registered with a GP.

Those aged 16 or 17 can walk in to any vaccination site. The nearest vaccination centre to HCRA’s three roads is at Byron Hall in Christchurch Avenue.

Those aged 18 and over can walk in or book their vaccination online via the NHS website.

All vaccines on offer are Pfizer.

Children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a single dose vaccine through their school.

Meanwhile some people – including those who are older or have an existing health condition – will be invited to get a booster jab this winter.

The council said it was important for those who have got their first job to get their second dose to ensure the best protection from Covid.

“Millions of people have been safely vaccinated with no or minor side effects, such as sore arm, headache or tiredness,” said a council spokeswoman.

“It is also safe if you are pregnant and does not affect your fertility. The Covid vaccine has been rigorously trialled on people from all backgrounds.”

More information on vaccination in Harrow is available via the council’s website.

 

New sponsorship scheme for street trees

Residents are being invited to sponsor trees in local streets as part of a scheme supported by Harrow Council.

Under the Harrow – Sponsor a Street Tree scheme, families can pay for a tree to be planted near their home.

Residents can choose where the tree will be planted – as long as the location is suitable – and will be encouraged to look after their tree.

The cost of sponsoring a tree is £195 if you take on the job of watering it.

Or you can make a sponsorship donation of £295, which means Harrow Council will water the tree.

The sponsorship package includes a 3-4 metre staked tree with a wire mesh tree protector.

Council launches consultation on first news flats at Civic Centre site

Harrow Council is to consult residents on plans to build 42 new homes on the site of a council car park and offices as part of a major redevelopment of the Civic Centre.

The proposals – which are due to be unveiled in full next week – will see flats built on the site of council car park on Milton Road and the Civic 9 building on the corner of Station Road.

A leaflet sent to residents said the site was set for a ‘radical transformation’ that would involve the creation of ’42 high quality affordable homes’ as well as ‘pleasant green space’.

The development is the first phase of a plan to build at least 400 new homes on the  Civic Centre site with the council moving to new offices in Wealdstone.

The council said it would start to discuss plans for the rest of the site – which has been renamed Poets Corner – with the local community next year.

Members of the public will be able to view the Milton Road plans and share their views online from Monday, August 2

The council is also hosting a drop-in consultation event at Milton Road car park – also known as Car Park A – on Thursday, August 12. The event will take place from 3pm to 8pm.

The aim is to submit a formal planning application later this year.

Warning about Covid vaccine scams

Greenhill ward residents have been warned by neighbourhood police to be on the lookout for Covid-19 vaccine scams.

Criminals have been taking advantage of the pandemic to con people keen to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

Scams include text messages asking people if they want the vaccine, phone calls requesting money or bank details and fraudsters knocking on doors pretending to be from the NHS.

The coronavirus vaccine – which is free of charge – is only available from the NHS and residents may be contacted by the NHS, their employer, a GP surgery or a local pharmacy about getting the jab.

Recipients will never be asked to pay or to provide bank or card details, passwords or PIN numbers.

The NHS would never arrive unannounced at someone’s home to administer the vaccine or ask people to prove their identity by sending copies of personal documents like a passport or driving licence.

Click on this link for more information and guidance on how to avoid Covid-19 scams.

 

Free Covid-19 tests available in Harrow town centre

Harrow residents are being invited to book free Covid-19 tests at a new testing facility at St Anns Shopping Centre.

The rapid lateral flow tests are available to people aged over 16 who do not have symptoms of the virus and can be booked online at harrow.gov.uk/test

The tests take a few minutes to be administered with results sent to your phone or email address.

People who do have symptoms of coronavirus should self-isolate at home and arrange a test via www.nhs.uk or by calling 119.

More testing sites are due to open across the borough.

Community garden brought back to life with new plants

A stunning new planting scheme has helped bring HCRA’s community garden back to life after it was vandalised last year.

A small team of volunteers braved the pouring rain on Saturday, October 31, to plant up the garden with an array of new flowers.

The restoration of the garden has been made possible thanks to grants from the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, Harrow Council and Harrow Central Mosque.

The planting day was the second phase of the restoration by volunteers from HCRA and Harrow Central Mosque.

This time round the team was limited to no more than six people due to Covid-19 restrictions. Helpers followed social distancing rules.

The new plants added the finishing touch to the project which has also involved re-painting the wooden garden beds and topping them up with compost and mulch.

 

Volunteers’ joy at funding for community garden

Volunteers from HCRA say they are ‘delighted’ after being awarded a £500 grant to help restore the community garden.

The grant, from the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, will enable the association to finish work to repair the garden after it was vandalised in December last year.

Earlier this year a team from HCRA and Harrow Central Mosque completed the first phase of work on the garden which involved topping up the beds with compost and a thick layer of mulch.

The new funding will help pay for plants to replace those that were dug up and destroyed.

Jo Stephenson, who chairs HCRA’s gardening group, said the money would make all the difference.

“We are delighted that the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association has recognised the importance of the garden to the local community and awarded us funding to help restore it to its former glory,’ she said.

‘We are hugely grateful for their support and the support of everyone else who has worked so hard to save the garden.’

Efforts to restore the garden have also been supported by a £600 grant from Harrow Council and funding from Harrow Central Mosque.

Further work on the garden will be carried out with appropriate social distancing and safety measures in place in line with government guidance on Covid-19.

New booking system at dump

Harrow Council has introduced a booking system at the town down in a bid to avoid long queues.

From Monday, June 29, residents can only dispose of rubbish at the recycling centre in Forward Drive if they have booked a slot.

The council said the new system has been introduced to prevent long waiting times and queues into the facility, which were affecting nearby homes and businesses.

It is open to Harrow residents only who must bring a valid ID and their booking confirmation with them.

Anyone who arrives without an appointment will be turned away, the council has warned.

As well as booking a slot, those wishing to offload junk at the dump have been told to sort their waste before they arrive.

Only six spaces will be available at any one time to enable social distancing.

You can book your slots online here.

Mosque withdraws application for call to prayer

Harrow Central Mosque has withdrawn its application to broadcast the call to prayer following significant easing of lockdown restrictions.

Mosque leaders had applied to Harrow Council for permission to broadcast the call to prayer every Friday for three months.

The move was part of a initiative designed to reach out to people of all faiths during the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to reduce isolation.

However, the plan to broadcast the call to prayer proved controversial with strong support for the idea in some quarters and fierce opposition in others.

The mosque has now formally withdrawn the application as the number of Covid-19 cases continue to fall and restrictions on people’s movements are lifted.

During lockdown the mosque has moved many of its activities – including worship and classes – online.

This has included participating in an online initiative alongside local churches and other organisations that has seen the call to prayer streamed live on Fridays at 6pm.

It will continue to take part in this project until it finishes at the end of June.

While some churches and other places of worship have started to re-open, mosque leaders said the building would remain closed for the moment.

In the withdrawal letter to Harrow Council, mosque general secretary Jahangeer Choudry said the nature of worship at the building made it hard to implement social distancing measures.

“The safety of our community is paramount to us and due to the congregational nature of worship in the mosque we will not be reopening and remain closed until further notice,” he wrote.

However, he stressed the organisation would continue providing a wide range of practical and emotional support for vulnerable local people of all faiths and backgrounds

Two new helplines are due to be launched in coming weeks to help more people access the mosque’s befriending and counselling services.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners, the council and other faith groups to continue the great work we are all doing to support residents during these difficult times,” said Mr Choudry.