For us here at Harrow Mencap, keeping our clients and their families as well-informed and up to date as possible about the coronavirus.

Our main concern is for the health and wellbeing of the people we support. With this in mind, we have set up this page to make sure you are aware of what is going on. 

This page will be updated as the situation progresses.     

Updated on Friday 3 April 2020

What the coronavirus (COVID-19) is

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus. There are simple, effective things we can all do to reduce our risk of catching or spreading the virus to other people

To stop the virus from spreading


  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds (please see video below providing further guidance on this)
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

Do not

  • Touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

If you need more information, please see these resources:

For the government's response to the coronavirus, please click here.

For easy read information and advice on the coronavirus, please click here.

For important information and advice about the coronavirus from Harrow Mencap, please check our news page.

For local and national information about the coronavirus from Healthwatch Harrow, please click here.

For for a webinar about accessing care following new emergency coronavirus legislation, please click here.

If you are worried about money because of the coronavirus and think you may need hardship funding from Harrow Council, please click here.

For coronavirus information in other languages, please click here.

For advice on washing your hands well, please see the video below: 


Other important things you should do to stop coronavirus from spreading

What I should do if I or someone in my household feel unwell

  • If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days
  • These people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house "even to buy food or essentials" - but they may leave the house "for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others"

This is a precaution to try to delay the spread of coronavirus.

If your symptoms are mild you don't need to contact the NHS. But if your symptoms are getting worse and you reach a point where you would normally call for medical care, you should ring 111 for help. You can also use the NHS specialist online coronavirus service for advice. 

If you think you might have coronavirus don’t go to your doctor’s surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If you need to speak to someone, call 111.


To help prevent the spread of the virus, the Government have said (Tuesday 24th March):

  • You can only leave your home once a day to exercise and go shopping.
  • You should try to go shopping for essentials as little as possible.
  • Non-essential shops such as clothes and electronic shops are now closed.
  • Places like libraries, playgrounds, gyms and places of worship are also closed.
  • Social events like weddings and baptisms are also no longer allowed to happen.
  • Gatherings of more than two people outside your home are banned.
  • When you go out you should stay six feet away from people you do not live with.
  • You should stay at home as much as possible to help the NHS.

For a copy of the government's guidelines in easy read, please click here.   

Social distancing 

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people.

This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

These are:


  1. Avoiding non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  2. Working from home, where possible.
  3. Avoiding large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  4. Avoiding meeting with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media


Particular care to minimise social contact has been recommended for:

  • People over the age of 70
  • Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)
  • Pregnant women


What we are doing at Harrow Mencap

We are taking advice from trusted sources and reviewing all our activities to make sure we protect people in the best way. 

We are keeping clients, families and our colleagues informed and will continue to do so regularly.

We are reviewing our business continuity arrangements on a daily basis so that we are prepared in case the situation gets worse.

We’ve increased the frequency of our cleaning, paying attention to areas people touch regularly.

More hand sanitisers are available at our services.  We are reminding clients, staff and volunteers how to maintain the highest hygiene standards

We are being extra cautious of clients and staff showing any signs of illness and following the advice from Government to self isolate.

We will be updating this web page on a regular basis.

If you are a client or client family member and you have any concerns, please contact the manager of the service that supports you. 

If you are not a client or client family member please contact us on 020 8869 8484 or [email protected].