Coronavirus Update
When the lockdown began in March, nobody could be sure how long this would last. Many of us hoped that it would be short lived, but very quickly we accepted that it would be many more months before things return fully to normal. 

Merton and the whole of London have now been placed into the Tier 2, or 'High', Coronavirus restrictions. I argued in the House of Commons and to Ministers that such restrictions should be on a borough by borough basis, but they will apply to the whole City. You can read my two recent contributions in the House of Commons on this point here and here.

Below is a summary of what these restrictions mean. I know these will be a disappointment to many and may lead to stresses and difficulties in the months ahead. However, they now have the force of law and must be followed.

I also know the increase in restrictions and the continued worries over Coronavirus can lead to increased anxieties, particularly amongst the vulnerable. If you know someone who this applies to, please do take the time to reach out to them and to offer any help and assistance, or contact me.

The selfless community spirit we have seen from so many people across Wimbledon during this crisis has been extraordinary and inspiring, and will continue through these latest restrictions. I have highlighted a few examples in this newsletter, and am always happy to support any other local initiatives.
Meeting People Safely
You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.
Informal childcare can also be provided via childcare bubbles. Find out more about childcare bubbles here.

You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.

Visiting other venues, including restaurants, pubs and places of worship
Venues following COVID-secure guidance can host more people in total, but no one must mix indoors with anyone who they do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) unless exemptions apply.

Outdoors, you can meet in groups of up to 6 people.

This includes in:
  • pubs and restaurants
  • leisure and entertainment venues
  • places of worship

At least one person in your group should give their contact details to the venue or check in using the official NHS COVID-19 app so NHS Test and Trace can contact you if needed.
Working From Home
Office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.
Full Guidance
The above is just a summary of the main restrictions in Tier 2.

The full guidance from the Government on what the new restrictions mean for you and your family can be found here:

You can read the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (High) (England) Regulations 2020, which puts these rules into law, here:
NHS Covid-19 App
The NHS COVID-19 app helps control the spread of coronavirus.

It is available to those aged 16 and over in multiple languages. It forms a central part of the NHS Test and Trace service, by identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.

The contact tracing element of the app works by using low-energy Bluetooth to log the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.

The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get your test results.

You can download the app here:

Vote for Bertie!
Our RSPCA rescue cat Bertie is competing to be Battersea's next Purr Minister!

Bertie arrived as a rescue kitten along with his brother and mother. From the start he has been the purrfect cat. He is good natured, friendly and endlessly obliging, appearing in election photos, and providing purrlitical support to the Hammond family during difficult lockdown days. An excellent feline friend!

Polls are open until 23:59 on 22 October, and you can vote for Bertie here:
St Mary's Cookery Book

The community of St Mary's Church, Wimbledon Village, have put together a cookbook entitled 'St Mary's at home' - a collection of 120 homegrown recipes, including contributions from Sally and me, interspersed with photography and artwork that celebrates our wonderful Wimbledon area. Conceived as a response to the pandemic, the cookbook is also intended as a keepsake - one that celebrates the simple joy of good food as well as providing a way to document some of the positive aspects of these chaotic and often painful times. All proceeds from the book will be split between two excellent local causes - Faith in Action and the Wimbledon Food Bank. 
The cookbook is now available to order in hardback priced only at £25. It will make an excellent Christmas present for anyone who loves Wimbledon, cooking, or both!  If you would like a copy, here's how to order by November 6th:

First, please send an email to with your name and contact details, confirming the number of books you are ordering/

Then, pay, via one of these two routes:

  • By PayPal: via this link - (ensuring you don't anonymise your payment),
  • or via bank transfer to Catherine Porter, account no. 90417408, sort code: 20-25-28.

NB: Books will be available to collect from St. Mary's during mid-December - details tbc closer to the time. If you live out of town and would prefer your book to be posted, please add £4.90 to your order for a single book, or £10 for two or three books, and confirm your postal address in your accompanying email.
Transforming Life Chances Campaign
Below is a message from the HMCK Charity.

We are aiming to supply laptops to students from less fortunate backgrounds in south west London who have been hit worst by school closures during the Covid-19 lockdown. Four schools in the Wimbledon Partnership have identified 303 highly motivated pupils who would benefit immediately from having a laptop.

The Covid-19 crisis has focussed attention on the impact of lockdown on the attainment levels of these talented young people. They urgently need online access if they are to achieve their potential.

School leaders have welcomed our campaign.

Andrew Halls, Head Master of King’s College School said: “Heather McKissack was one of those teachers who made everyone feel they could touch the stars. This campaign to help pupils achieve their potential by giving them the technology they need to stay in contact with their schools is exactly the sort of initiative she would have supported with the passion for fairness that marked out everything she did.” 

Ro Liyanage, Assistant Head at Raynes Park High School said: “This would be a game changer for students and their families.”

According to Tom Gordon-Walker at Grey Court School: “It would ensure our students can engage, make progress and crucially achieve the best outcomes for their future.”

Please help us help these talented young people achieve their potential and donate now. Any amount you could give would be most welcome. Thank you!

You can support their campaign here:
The Wombles are back in Wimbledon!
The Wombles are back home in Wimbledon Town Centre spreading the eco-message.
Love Wimbledon has teamed up with The Wombles to create new wall art celebrating their relationship with Wimbledon, covering unsightly graffiti on the wall of a well used path. 
'It's a momentous event' commented Love Wimbledon CEO Helen Clark Bell, 'The positive environmental messages that each Womble brings resonates with all of us in Wimbledon.' 
'We encourage everyone living, working and shopping in Wimbledon to adopt positive environmental behaviours. If we all do our bit, we can make it the greenest town centre in the country' commented Great Uncle Bulgaria. 
The project was supported by South Western Railway Customer and Communities Fund and painted by Graffiti Kings. 
You can see the new 15-metre-long mural from a train, tram or walk / cycle beside the railway (access next to Little Waitrose or Francis Grove).
Dons Local Action Group
Can you spare a few hours to volunteer with Dons Local Action Group?

Dons Local Action Group, of the AFC Wimbledon Foundation, have been working tirelessly over the last few months to support our community and provide food to those who need it the most. So far, they have supplied over 35,000 weekly food parcels to households across Merton, Kingston and Wandsworth, and have worked in partnership with over 90 local organisations, including Wimbledon Food Bank.

However, the Dons urgently need your support. They are looking for volunteers to collect donations of food on their stalls outside supermarkets. They have stalls in many locations, including Wimbledon, Morden, New Malden, Raynes Park, Mitcham, Colliers Wood, Wandsworth, and Kingston. Shifts are three hours long and all volunteering is entirely flexible – whether you can help a few times a week, once a month, or even just once, any time you can spare would be a huge help.

Dons Local Action Group was created to help those affected by the pandemic but they are here to stay, pledging to help fight food poverty and digital poverty in our community for as long as they are needed.

To help make sure they can continue their important work into the future, please consider making a donation -

If you are interested in volunteering, or would like more information, please email -

To donate an old laptop or tablet or simply learn more about Dons Local Action Group, see their website -
Friends of Pelham School PTA Scavenger Hunt
The Friends of Pelham School are running a Halloween Scavenger Hunt over half term to raise funds for the school. Please find below a message from the PTA.


Can you and your family help save Wimbledon Common from the evil plans of Sir Hadeon Wifflegrass? Join this fun-filled and informative hunt with a grand prize to be won for one clever code cracker. Can be completed anytime over half term in your family bubble. On your marks, get set, hunt!
Promoted by David Jones on behalf of Stephen Hammond MP, both of 3 Summerstown, London, SW17 0BQ