Welcome to sthelens.gov.uk

Best place to find information and services that your council provides...

Spread Christmas cheer rather than coronavirus

Article date - 16 December 2020

After a difficult year, we have all welcomed the news of the coronavirus vaccines and the relaxation of restrictions to allow families to form ‘Christmas bubbles’ on Christmas Day. St Helens Borough Council is sharing advice for staying safe over the festive period – which includes ideas for connecting virtually with friends and family.
Council crest new edit.jpg

Today, they have launched their virtual Christmas Cheer campaign – a feast of jolly ways to socialise from the safety of your sofa: 

  1. Have a ‘Bake Off’ competition – see https://thegreatbritishbakeoff.co.uk/recipes/ for recipe ideas 
  2. ‘Come Dine with Me’ video call – arrange with some friends to all order takeaways or make a winter warmer like mulled wine or hot toddy to enjoy together virtually 
  3. Fancy dress video call – set a theme such as ugly Christmas jumpers  
  4. Sign up for a virtual murder mystery evening 
  5. See who can design the best Christmas card 
  6. Organise an online secret Santa – post your gifts or leave on their doorstep 
  7. Video call karaoke – inspired by Sophie Ellis Bextor’s kitchen karaoke! 
  8. Sign up to a virtual escape room with your mates – and donate to a charity too: https://gamesnight.macmillan.org.uk/trapped.html  
  9. Attend an online wine or gin tasting workshop 
  10. Make some DIY Christmas decorations while you chat with your friends over video call 
  11. Christmas movie night – feel part of something bigger by arranging to all watch the same Christmas classic at the same time. You could try Netflix Party or another streaming service  
  12. Virtual games night – try an online board game, bingo, charades, or a quiz  
  13. Join a virtual Christmas concert – lots of charities are organising carol concerts like the Alzheimer’s Society https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-involved/events-and-fundraising/join-event/special-events/christmas-carols, and most churches are hosting virtual services over the Christmas period 
  14. Share photos and memories from Christmases past  
  15. Contribute to a Christmas playlist so you and your friends can enjoy dancing to the same tunes from your own homes. 

Cllr Anthony Burns, St Helens Borough Council’s cabinet member for public health, leisure, libraries and heritage, said: “The news of the COVID-19 vaccine is probably the best Christmas present we’ve had this year. But as very few people will get vaccinated until the New Year and it will take time for the rate of infection to fall, we must accept that we will not be able to have a ‘normal’ Christmas this year.  

“We can all play our part in protecting our friends, loved ones and community by limiting the number of contacts we have and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance. I know we can do it if we all work together. Please stay safe and have a Merry Christmas.” 

On 25 December, up to three households can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ to meet in private homes, gardens, places of worship or public outdoor spaces. If you are self-isolating then you must stay at home and not have any visitors, and if you are vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable you should carefully consider the risks of mixing with other households. From 26 December, the local tier system will be in place once more. 

Sue Forster, director of public health for St Helens Borough Council, said: “As a direct result of the people of St Helens Borough pulling together during the national restrictions in November, coronavirus cases and hospital admissions have dropped significantly, and our reward is that we are now in tier 2 local restrictions.

“Tier 2 is still ‘high alert’, so we must make sure that we continue to follow the rules to make sure that the virus does not spread into our community again. Please keep your ‘Christmas bubble’ as small as possible and consider these suggested virtual activities to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID this Christmas.” 

For more information on the Christmas bubble guidance, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family/making-a-christmas-bubble-with-friends-and-family