Useful Contacts

Community ActionMK

This group has local responses to Covid-19 and will let you know what is happening in your area.

Food Bank Xtra

Milton Keynes Council and MK Food Bank have teamed up to offer more help to local people in crisis.

Milton Keynes Age UK

This group has all the information about the COVID-19 emergency service they are currently running to support the elderly and vulnerable. The service also offers help with shopping trips, prescription collecting as well as providing essential food packs.

Universal Credit help

MK Age UK are available to help you with the following:

Reviewing CVs

Providing resource packs

Over the phone interviews with feedback

Weekly phone calls and emails

Job search help

Training opportunities free of charge

If you are interested in any of this please contact Sue Sapwell sue.sapwell@ageukmiltonkeynes.org.uk   

Useful Information 

Lockdown loo

Lockdown loo is a free website that encourages organisations and members of the public to provide information on which public loos are open. Do have a check of your local area and update or add information to help people find local facilities.

 

Playgrounds

Advice for users and parents

Children and parents must not interfere with closure measures where a playground remains closed. If it is closed then this will be for a good reason. Do not endanger yourself by breaching closure measures. Wait until the playground has been opened properly.

  • Maintain social distancing within the playground, according to the government’s latest advice.
  • If the playground is too busy then find another playground in which to play.
  • Wash your hands before entering the playground and after you have finished. Use hand sanitiser often.

 

Thames Valley Police

Do you know who your children are speaking to online?

During lockdown, many of us are turning online to stay in touch and this goes for children as well as adults. Sadly, some criminals are using these extraordinary circumstances as a way to exploit and target young people when they are online.

Thames Valley Police have seen an increase in reports of online sexual abuse involving children since movement restrictions were introduced and are urging parents to take this opportunity to have honest conversations about online safety with their children and to review privacy settings on the apps and social networks that they are using.

To support parents during COVID-19, the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection division are producing fortnightly activity packs to help discuss staying safe online with your children. These age-appropriate resources, containing two 15-minute activities for each age group, can be found at thinkuknow.co.uk


App Information

1. Snapchat

Snapchat lets you send pictures or short videos to friends – they disappear after being viewed but can be screenshotted. Users can also post stories which can be viewed by their contacts and last for 24 hours.
Top tips for Snapchat:
• Check that ‘who can contact me’ is set to ‘my friends’ and not ‘everyone’
• Check that only friends can view stories
• Turn off ‘see me in quick add’ so that friends of friends, who they may not know, can’t add them
• Turn on ghost mode in Snap Maps so that others can’t view their location
Show your child how to report content that they’re not comfortable with and how to block or report users.
Internet Matters have produced a video with step by step instructions on how to check these settings.

2. KIK

Kik is a messaging app that allows users to send messages, pictures and videos in individual and group chats. These group chats can be private or public, and users can also video call friends in the app.
Top tips for Kik:
• Encourage them to pick a username that’s hard to guess – that way people will have to ask for their username before they add them
• Discourage them from using the ‘meet new people’ feature which allows them to enter into anonymous, unmoderated chats with random users
• Discourage them from sharing their Kik code on other social media sites where they might have public profiles
Show your child how to report content that they’re not comfortable with and how to block or report users.
Kik have produced a guide for parents.

3. Instagram

Instagram is a picture and video sharing app. Users can post pictures to their feed or add them to their story, which stays up for 24 hours.
Top tips for Instagram:
• Check that their profile is set to private
• You can filter comments to automatically block comments or messages containing certain words
• You can also block comments from specific users
• You can edit story settings so that only selected ‘close friends’ can view stories
Show your child how to report content that they’re not comfortable with and how to block or report users.
Internet Matters have produced a step by step guide on how to check these settings.

4. Whatsapp

Whatsapp is a messaging app that allows users to send messages, photos, videos and their live location with individual and group chats.
Top tips for Whatsapp:
• Turn off the live location feature
• You can edit the profile picture and status settings so that these can only be seen by contacts, or by nobody
• Use the ‘blocked contacts’ feature to block specific people from being able to contact them
Show your child how to report content that they’re not comfortable with and how to block or report users.
Internet Matters have produced a video with step by step instructions on how to check these settings.

5. Omegle

Omegle is a virtual chatroom which connects users to other users at random. Once connected, users can chat via text, audio or video.
Talk to your child about the dangers of giving out personal information such as their age, their location or their full name to people that they don’t know.
Video chat has three different options – moderated, unmoderated and adult. Unmoderated and adult ask the user to confirm they are over 18, but this information is not checked.

Think U Know has produced a parent’s guide to Omegle.