Support towards funeral expenses to rise from 8 April 2020

From Wednesday 8th April, financial support helping families meet the costs of funeral expenses such as coffins and funeral directors’ fees will increase from £700 to £1,000.

Coronavirus: London Northwestern Railway season ticket refunds

London Northwestern Railway is encouraging customers unable to travel due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions to claim their season ticket refunds online.

National Pet Month: Eight ways to entertain your dog

This month is National Pet Month (April 1st – May 10th). As the nation’s dog owners are currently stuck indoors, Dogs Trust has issued some top tips on how dog owners can keep their dogs happy. Just by using simple household items – a cardboard box and toilet roll tubes!

Singing your heart out to raise money for Heart Research UK

A long term supporter of national charity Heart Research UK, Ric Cipriani, from Cheltenham, is hosting a live Facebook concert to raise funds for the charity.

will be grabbing his guitar and singing his heart out from 19:00 – 20:00 on Wednesday the 8th April, live on Facebook.

Ric first became involved with Heart Research UK six years ago, after his grandfather sadly passed away due to heart disease.

Since then, he has raised over £15,000 for the charity, running marathons, dressing us as Santa, and playing charity gigs.

Furloughed workers miss out on National Living Wage increase

The National Living Wage (NLW) increased on 1 April 2020 to £8.72, giving a pay rise to thousands of workers. The NLW is the statutory minimum wage for workers aged 25 and over.

The age threshold for the NLW will be reduced from 25 to 23 in 2021, and then further to 21 by 2024.

However, furloughed workers on NLW will not see this increase.

COVID-19: Witnessing wills over the garden fence

The current coronavirus lockdown is restricting the way people normally meet to organise their affairs.

Under the 1837 Wills Act, wills need to be in writing, and be signed by the person making the will in the presence of two independent witnesses. The witnesses must be present at the same time.

COVID-19: Marston Vale line service to be suspended from next week

London Northwestern Railway will begin running to a new timetable from next week. This is part of the rail industry’s commitment to operate regular train services during the coronavirus outbreak.

With passenger numbers continuing to fall and increased numbers of rail staff self-isolating, the operator has announced further changes will come into effect on Monday 6 April.

The latest timetable has been designed to keep as many services running as possible if part of the network has to close due to the increased impact of COVID-19.

Bedford Borough Council: Beware of coronavirus scams

Bedford Borough Council’s Trading Standards team is warning people to remain vigilant. This follows reports of coronavirus-related scams as criminals try to exploit people’s fears.

In Bedfordshire, the sale of counterfeit goods such as hand sanitiser and fake coronavirus tests has been reported. Currently, there are no legitimate coronavirus tests for sale.

Look out for people selling other counterfeit goods such as sanitisers, face masks, or coronavirus swabbing kits online or door-to-door.

Trading Standards says that these products are likely to be ineffective and could be unsafe to use.

Voucher scheme launches for schools providing free school meals

Children eligible for free school meals will benefit from a national voucher scheme allowing them to continue to access meals whilst they stay at home.

Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.

COVID-19: Temporary changes to right to rent and right to work checks

Effective immediately, the temporary changes will mean the Home Office will not require landlords and employers to see original documents and will allow checks to be undertaken over video calls.

These temporary changes will mean that during the coronavirus outbreak prospective renters and workers are now able to submit scanned documents, rather than originals, to show they have a right to rent or right to work.

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Lifestyle News and information

Lifestyle News from the Cranfield and Marston Vale Chronicle encompasses a variety of topics.
They relate to your life at home, at work and at play.
Where to eat, and where to avoid. Food news includes warnings from the Foods Agency.
Money saving tips and scam warnings
Going away? How to prepare to travel with as little stress as possible.
Tech news such as the latest gadgets and the latest hacking warnings.