Coronavirus Support

Coronavirus Support

Support And Help From Around The County

The aim of this blog is to highlight some of the fantastic support that is being offered by local businesses, charities and individuals.  To access more information including contact information please click/tap on the logo/pictures below:

Lincoln Area

Washingborough Academy are providing hot meals for the elderly in isolation in the Washingborough area during the coronavirus pandemic. Please let your elderly neighbours know about this project. Click on the picture for contact details.


Bracebridge Heath, Lincoln. Your community needs volunteers NOW. Can you help your local community? Contact Andy by clicking on the picture to find the contact form


Lincoln. Browns Pie Shop are delivering to your home or work 7 days a week from 12.00pm-8.30pm within 10 miles of the shop

Lincoln. The Salted Orange are offering a ‘not for profit’ meal delivery service for the over 65s. £20.00 weekly for three meals a day delivered to your door twice weekly


Lincoln Veg Out Lincoln provide a delivery service for their frozen vegan meals. Click the picture to go to their website or follow them on twitter @vegoutlincoln


Lincolnshire Grow Your Own Veg – skip the supermarket queue by growing your own veg from seed. Not sure how? Click on the picture to go to the website for more info or follow @strawbaleukman on Twitter. There is even a book to download too. No Soil Needed….


ONLINE. Dance classes for all age groups online. Why not join your children and have some fun? It’ll keep you fit too!


Lincoln, Norton Hub are providing a volunteer led local help scheme to those in isolation


Lincoln Small Beer is open to the public for beer, cider, wine, soft drinks, spirits, cask ale & kegs. Call them on 01522 540431 or click the picture to visit the website.


Lincoln The Golden Eagle is providing home deliveries too


Lincoln. School closure interim provision. To book call 01522 283027


Lincoln – BetterWeb Space is offering FREE basic websites during the Coronavirus pandemic.


Lincoln & Lincolnshire – Octagon Technology has produced a blog for remote workers. A useful blog about VoIP and how you can use it while working from home. Click on the picture to visit the blog post



Lincolnshire. “Self-isolation can be difficult for even the most resilient of us. If you’re experiencing loneliness or feeling low, call the emotional support helpline 0800 001 4331. Open 24/7 for confidential support”


Lincolnshire & Beyond. Call Connect Bus are still working to help our community stay mobile and now providing FREE transport too. Call 03452343344 for info


Lincolnshire. Lincs Libraries may have the answer to self-isolation boredom with their ‘download and listen’ service. It’s FREE with your library card


Lincolnshire Co-Op have announced at 12.00pm 22 Mar that they have reviewed their opening times and are advertising jobs for Customer Service Assistants and Delivery Drivers. The new store opening times will be 7.00am – 8.00pm with restrictions of two units on all products. Click the logo to go to their web page.


East Lindsey Lincs Digital partnered with TED East Lindsey are here to help with digital connections. If you know someone who needs help connecting with Skype or FaceTime visit their website for more info. Simply click the image to go to the website.


Lincolnshire This is a useful blog by @CCDigitalUK which explains how to market your Hand Made Products for sale on Etsy. An ideal opportunity to use some time at home to brush up on some marketing skills. Click on the picture to go to the blog post



Lincolnshire Live are promoting Lincolnshire businesses for free on 2 April 20. Click on the picture to follow the link


Gelston FREE delivery on packs of lamb meat. For more info click on the picture to follow @GelstonLamb on twitter

Gelston Lamb – Free delivery (for orders over £35.00) within 10 miles or 15 miles for orders over £70.00. Fresh lamb delivered to the Grantham, Sleaford, Ruskington, Heckington and surrounding villages. Order yours no by calling 01400 251501



Charity/Community Help


Lincoln – Bracebridge Heath, Can YOU volunteer to help your local community in Bracebridge Heath? Please contact Andy ASAP by clicking the picture to go to the website. THE COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU


West Lindsey Business Rate Application Form. West Lindsey still have money available and believe there are still businesses that have not claimed


South Holland, Spalding. South Holland are providing additional support for those in the area who are struggling financially as a result of the Coronavirus. Click on the picture to find the Linc. Also contactable on Twitter @SHollandDC


Lincolnshire Rural Support Network (LRSN) @lincsruralhelp provides help and support to Lincolnshire farmers and their families. Cal 0800 138 1710 or click on the picture to open the link


Lincoln Washingborough Academy are providing hot meals for the elderly in isolation in the Washingborough area during the coronavirus pandemic. Please let your elderly neighbours know about this project. Click on the picture for contact details.


Louth. Are you struggling to feed yourself or your family? Two hearty meals delivered to your door each day could help you. Call 01507 602930


Spalding Covid Kindness Team. Contact the team for help with delivery of food, essentials & medications


North East Lincolnshire Single Point of Access (open 24/7) for your health, wellbeing, social care and mental health needs. Call 01472 256256 or click on the image to visit the website.



Lincoln. If you’re looking for volunteers please contact VCS Lincoln who will help promote your opportunities. Click on the picture to visit their website


Lincoln Community Larder (food bank) are in constant need of food and supplies. Can you donate something please? Click on the picture to visit their website and locate a drop off point near you


Lincolnshire Age UK East are continuing to provide telephone advice and support to older people in the East and West Lindsey areas as well as in North Lincolnshire. Click on the picture to visit the website


Lincoln/south Lincolnshire Can YOU help please? Age UK need extra volunteers NOW. You can find them on Twitter @ageuklsl or alternatively click on this picture to go to their website


Lincolnshire Community Health Services NEED YOUR HELP. @LincsNHS are offering paid work and flexible hours in return for your help NOW. email or call 07824 550 846


Boston, Grantham & Lincoln are looking for temporary staff to support catering and domestic work. Go to Twitter @ULHT_News or click on this picture to go to the website for more info


Lincolnshire County Council have regular video updates so please click this link for service updates and click on the picture for the regular live updates.


Lincoln If you need help with food, food deliveries or can lend a hand visit Lincoln Food Partnership


Rutland To find out what help is available in the Rutland and South Lincolnshire area visit the Rutland council website by clicking on the picture

Uffington For assistance in Uffington and the local area please contact Rev’d Fr Aran P Beesley by phone 07590 055905 or email

UK. If you haven’t visited this .Gov website yet, DO IT NOW. Click on the picture to go to the website

UK. If you haven’t visited this .NHS website yet, DO IT NOW. You can go to the website by clicking on the picture

Lincolnshire. Can you volunteer? Click on the picture to go to the website


Lincolnshire Police request that you click on this picture to take you to the link for help and advice both nationally and locally for Coronavirus issues

Lincolnshire Police request that you do NOT contact them for Coronavirus related advice. There are other, more well equipped agencies available with information for you. Only call 101 for police related matters. Click on the picture to go to the website for info


East Lindsey Fortnightly activity packs for the over 50s. If you know anyone over 50 in the area who is isolated or alone please let them know about the services on offer. Click on the picture to reach the link

#NHS From 1 Aril @NHSLincsWest @NHSLincsEast @NHS_SouthLincs @SWLincs_NHS will all come under the umbrella account of @NHSLincsCCG

Lincolnshire FionaDuncan @OrigArtPrints is offering 20 (first come, first served) FREE cards for those of you who would like to send a message to friends/family/colleagues in the NHS. Just quote #Free2NHS to take advantage of these printed cards. All you will be asked to pay is the postage.  You can also find Fiona on facebook

Click on the picture to find the link to Fiona on Facebook


Ease Lindsey DC now have £62m to support small business grants. Click on the picture to open the link


NHS Coronavirus checker. Please complete this short survey for the NHS by clicking on this picture.



Lincolnshire Food industry Jobs. Many jobs are available within the food industry sector NOW. Click on the picture to follow the link or follow @GreaterLincsLEP on twitter


Martin Lewis Money Matters

Martin Lewis the Money Saving Expert explains what’s available


Martin Lewis – Update for the Self Employed 24/3/20


Martin Lewis update for the Self Employed 27 Mar 20



Aby (Near Alford) Saturday evening wood fired oven pizza to take away (5.00pm-7.30pm). Call 01507 451366 before 4.00pm. ZERO CONTACT collection system of course.  Days/times may change according to government regulations



Boston Market will continue as planned but will sell food only. Please respect Social Distancing when you visit and give a friendly smile to the stall holders


Cleethorpes & Grimsby


Cleethorpes. Toven’s Cafe offering food deliveries. Call 01472 488590 or click on the picture to visit the website.


Cleethorpes. Spill The Beans are offering a FREE delivery service to Cleethorpes & Grimsby areas. Call 01472 601392 or click the picture to go to their website


Cleethorpes. Veronica’s Larder is offering a takeaway service. Call 01472 823875 or click on the picture to visit the website


Grimsby Age UK North East Lincs are offering a meal delivery service. Call 01472 344976 or click on the picture to go to the website



Gainsborough The Gainsborough market will continue until further notice supplying food items. Please obey the social distancing rules.




Grantham. The Lunchbox delivers food around Grantham to keep your hunger at bay. Give them a call today


Grantham Gelston Lamb provide mail order fresh lamb direct from the farm. To place your order visit them on Twitter @GelstonLamb or on Facebook Gelston Lamb. You can order by phone too on 01400 251 501


Grantham The Grantham market will continue until further notice supplying food items. Please obey the social distancing rules.



Louth Award winning Meridian Meats don’t just supply top quality meat! Currently baking extra bread too in order to help feed the town. Pop in but keep a social distance for the safety of everyone


Louth. Are you struggling to feed yourself or your family? Two hearty meals delivered to your door each day could help you. Call 01507 602930


Louth Market is still open for food sales during the Coronavirus crisis. Please respect the Safe Distance rule



Market Rasen


Market Rasen Cote Hill Cheese are now providing a MAIL ORDER service for their cheese so now is the time to replenish your stock. You can give them a call on 01673 828 481, find them on Twitter @CoteHillCheese and on Facebook Cote Hill Cheese. Click on the picture to go straight to their website




Spalding. Is your computer in need of repair? TCS are offering FREE pickup while we go through the process of self-isolation


Spalding Covid Kindness Team. Contact the team for help with delivery of food, essentials & medications




Hundleby (Spilsby) The Elm Tree are now providing take away afternoon tea for just £10.00. Call them to book your treat on 01790 753534 or click on this image to go to their website



Gelston Lamb – Free delivery (for orders over £35.00) within 10 miles or 15 miles for orders over £70.00. Fresh lamb delivered to the Grantham, Sleaford, Ruskington, Heckington and surrounding villages. Order yours no by calling 01400 251501


Stamford & Rutland

Stamford. Central Cafe Stamford are providing a delivery service for those who can’t get out due to self isolation. Minimum spend £10.00



Stamford. Contact the growing network of coordinated volunteers who are ready to help wherever possible. Find them on Twitter @OurStamford or click on the picture to go straight to their website.


Stamford The Stamford Cheese and Wine Cellar is open for business and is also providing mail order deliveries. Click on the picture to go to their website.


Stamford The Copper Room is providing a home delivery service for your bar until 11.00pm. Click on the picture to go their website and follow them on twitter @CopperStamford


Rutland For updates on what’s available in the Rutland area please click on the picture to go to the Rutland council website


There’s More…

This list is by no means complete so rather than producing more and more blogs with contacts lists this one will be updated regularly.  Please save this URL to your favourites on whatever device you are using.  More headings will be added to make searching the blog easier. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell your friends about this blog.  It’s here for us all and it’s not for profit.  Spread the word and stay safe


How Secure Is Secure?

How Secure Is Secure?

As A Blogging Novice I Wonder How Secure A Blog Can Be

Having experienced several scares on the internet I wonder how secure a blog, website, smartphone or social media account can actually be.  I’ve been lucky enough to have some fantastic support around me to help and guide but (is this a ‘man’ thing)? I’ve also been determined to do things by myself.  Getting things wrong is part of the learning curve and I can’t blame everything on my dyslexia.  That leaves me with only one conclusion then;  Sometimes I get it wrong!

As usual though there is a ‘however’ to add to that.  Having had a few comments on my last blog my suspicions were raised as I noted the addresses of the emails.  Although it’s nice to think my posts may have reached .de (Germany) and .xyz (who knows where?) I’m not likely to approve those comments without first checking their credibility.  Putting the question out to Twitter I received an interesting tweet from Liam @ZaddleMarketing who advised me not to click on any links or even the email addresses in those suspicious comments.  Confirming my fears that these posts were in fact SPAM but also advising me to look at a good security plugin for my WordPress site.  Liam is a very knowledgeable and trusted member on Twitter and I won’t hesitate to recommend him.  Of course there are lots of good people on social media that you know you can trust so it’s always best to ask the question of your contacts if ever you’re in doubt.

Thank You Kerrin

Thank you Kerrin @Kerrinwilson999 for your hospitality (and the lovely cake of course).  It was really nice to meet you and I’m looking forward to extending the reach of  LincsConnect to include regular posts by you and your team across the whole County.  Thankfully I have already had some security tips from some of your colleagues and that information has proved invaluable.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy my short post here today and will have time to add a comment too.

Getting It Right By Chance

I’ve heard that smart speakers listen in to our conversations and it’s not uncommon for adverts to pop up on our social media platforms directly relating to a conversation at home the previous day.  I know I’ve had issues with my iMac and I’m convinced it had been infected with some sort of malware.  It’s taken a long time to convince the experts that this is the case but after trying to rebuild my computer it has become obvious to them that some sort of infection had occurred. Thankfully it has been stripped back to factory settings now and re-built.  It’s extremely uncommon (I’m led to believe) that an iMac can be infected but if it’s going to happen to anyone, it’ll happen to me!  Technology and I don’t gel all of the time I’m afraid.  However, having feared the worst following a rash of phishing emails (ransom emails sent to my inbox supposedly from my own address) I decided that the only course of action was to contact Lincolnshire Police Cyber Crime Unit who responded very quickly with a visit to my office.  A full inspection of my computer confirmed that the emails were really just phishing emails and should be deleted.  However, the nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right stayed with me and after several incidents with my computer Apple decided that a full restore and section by section re-build was required.  Needless to say, I’m happy now that my computer and details are safe once again.

What If…?

What if it’s true that the smart devices can leak our information?  A recent BBC Panorama programme about Amazon revealed that they knowingly and openly use our information for marketing and advertising purposes. I don’t think that the machines (or people) are listening to our every conversation but when key words are detected the link is made with you, your device, your email address and your broadband hub.  Recent news reports have also highlighted that smart devices can be hacked and accessed remotely.  The video doorbells, video baby monitors and even smart TVs and smart fridges are all susceptible to the unscrupulous hackers who want our information.  Accessing our personal data can be very upsetting and worrying of course so we need to protect ourselves.

Basic Protection

If we can access any devices from our smartphone it’s a fair bet that the unscrupulous criminals can do the same.  The smart fridge, smart monitor and smart TV come with factory settings and passwords that can be found easily online and it may not be possible to change those settings.  Hacking your fridge isn’t too much of a problem of course.  Let’s face it, what’s the worse case scenario with that?  Perhaps someone could remotely alter the temperature or turn it off?  I’m sure that isn’t going to be at the top of the criminals priority list but accessing your router from your fridge Or your smart TV etc may be more sinister.


The obvious and most basic form of self protection is strong passwords of course.  Whenever you get the chance, change the passwords from factory settings to something that you can remember.  Names aren’t usually a good idea for passwords as we would tend to use names of relatives, pets or celebrity/sporting heroes.  All of these names are likely to crop up on your social media pages at some point so can easily be guessed.  Random passwords are by far the best option but it’s important to have different passwords for different logins so that your security is as high as possible.  There are some very clever Apps around that can store your passwords for you but I’m sure you will have your own remembering system that works for you.


I’ve had a few scary moments that have made me review my security of course but thankfully, as I don’t trust myself with technology, I don’t keep any client information on computer or electronic device.  The closest I get to storage of any data is the phone numbers on my smartphone.  That’s protected by a security password as well as facial recognition, finger print and VPN (I’ll cover VPN later).  It’s better to be safe than sorry!  Keeping your personal information safe should be a high priority and simple precautions can be all you need.  If you have data stored on you mobile device make sure it’s protected with a security code and backed up regularly.  My devices can be deleted remotely which is a good feature.  If you’re not sure if you can do the same with your own device it’s best to check for peace of mind.  Two factor authentication is handy too – that’s when you get an alert on your chosen device to tell you that someone is accessing your other devices.  My iPhone will prompt me to confirm that I am who I say I am when I log onto my computer and I have to type in a one time only code before the computer will let me in.  It takes seconds and provides an extra level of security.

How Secure?

You’ve changed your passwords from factory settings to secure ones that aren’t easily guessed.  You have a different password for every device so you’re good to go….?  Well, not quite!  Your router may not be secure so if you’re not sure ask your provider to guide you through changing the factory set password.  You’re ‘almost’ there…  You’re now safe in your own home but what happens when you are out and about?  Do you log in to the Cloud or other public WiFi to use your device?  How secure is that system?  The truth is, you have no idea.  Your final piece of security is VPN.  What is VPN?  This is the explanation from Wikipedia: “A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.”  You might want to look this one up for yourself.  It is a ‘belt and braces’ approach to security but if you have any private or confidential information on your devices you might want to read a bit more about it.  It is a ‘paid for’ service so you’ll need to be aware of that and you’ll also need to be aware that not all internet routers are capable of installing it. However, once installed on your home router ‘all’ devices using that WiFi connection will be protected under the higher level of security.  I have it installed and the one I chose covers six devices. I have it on my iPhone and iPad so that I know I’m secure whenever I log into a public WiFi system.

It’s Good To Share

All of this information comes from people I have spoken to who have been kind enough to guide me.  I’m not an expert in this field at all but hopefully some of the things I’ve learned along the way and printed here will be useful fo you.  If you have any other tips that may be useful for other users please feel free to add a comment and send a message on twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #LincsConnect

Helping each other is always good of course but if you need any additional help I suggest you contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP), local IT specialist or if you’re worried about cyber security you could contact @lincspolice to ask about their Cyber Security courses.  I have been on one and can highly recommend it.  After all, these are the experts who really want to help you to prevent crime.


Back Soon

Thank you all for taking the time to read my ramblings.  I’ll be back soon with more blogs of course but keep watching as they are about to evolve into something quite unique.

Best wishes

Don’t forget the small businesses…

Don’t forget the small businesses…

Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Social Media

I suspect we will all agree that social media can be a very powerful tool.  Using it to showcase your work and advertise your skills is obvious of course but many forget to use it to network too.  Networking on social media is easy and quiet individual.  Those of you who know me as @MANDARINLEISURE will no doubt be familiar with my early morning music quiz where I post lyrics from my daily ear worm (I always wake up with a song going around in my head).  It started out by accident but has become a daily ritual and gets lots of engagement from around the world.  It increases my ‘reach’ and makes me a good account in the eyes of the twitter bots.  Following up with conversations and light hearted chatter keeps the connections alive and, I’m pleased to say, has resulted in me making some very good friends as well as a few business connections and commissions.

Grow Your Business On Social Media

Some big businesses are extremely good on social media of course.  I recently had cause to tweet @AppleSupport following an issue I had with my iMac and the response and service I received were second to none. Thank you Apple for your care and attention.  Obviously Apple are a very big company and probably have a vast social media team looking after their customer enquiries.  That doesn’t mean they ‘have’ to be good at it though.  However, they ‘are’ very good at it and we can all learn lessons from their forward thinking and caring ethos.

Good Manners Cost Nothing

Alas, not all larger companies are as good as they could be.  I recently had an enquiry from outside of the County and I happily gave two separate recommendations.  Neither of the recommended companies bothered to thank me for those recommendations until I publicly tweeted my disappointment at their lack of response.  As a sole trader I look forward to recommendations, retweets, shares, and comments from all businesses but I do wonder why so many larger local businesses refrain from sharing or commenting on other peoples hard work.

Does Social Media Work?

Bespoke Lighting Design

Hand made ‘Ribcage Light’

Of course it does!  This morning I tweeted a request for some original local pictures depicting local business. My request was answered within seconds by @ArtedlyLight who design and make bespoke lights.  Not mass produced lighting but hand crafted, made with love, feeling and a lot of soul for each client.

Social media shares and good old fashioned recommendations will help small companies like this (and me) to become larger and more profitable companies.  A more profitable company might employ staff then more staff and become a larger business.  It’s important to remember though that this small business is ‘here’…. ‘right now’! Small businesses like ours have more chance of growing if we work together and share each others work to reach a wider audience.

Please take a look at to see what Emma and Jim provide.  Obviously they are ready to take your commissions but will be happy to have your recommendations too.

Share And Share Alike

When you’re using your social media please don’t be one of ‘those’ companies who just posts their own work and expect everyone else to share it for you.  Be an ‘Apple’ or better still, be a @LincsConnect.  To see what other local businesses are doing on social media make sure you regularly search the #LincsConnect hashtag.  Look what’s going on, share a few messages and make some positive comments.  You’ll quickly learn who the supportive businesses are and you’ll form bonds.  It’s good to share and if you get the chance, it’s good to support with a purchase too.

Let’s all work together


#Hashtags – What Do You Need To Know?

#Hashtags – What Do You Need To Know?

Understanding the difference…

While trying to update and secure my website I really do understand how frustrating and confusing this ‘tech stuff’ can be.

On social media (Twitter in particular) the difference between the ‘#’ and the ‘@’ signs are significant but can easily be confused. Let me break it down into very simple terms which I hope you will appreciate:

Think of the hashtag as being a file that everyone can search and view. When you type it, it’ll light up in blue instead of the usual black text. You can use it for your own marketing and advertising by creating your own words that will follow the hashtag sign. Here are a few examples: #LincsConnect #Scunthorpe #Lincolnshire – if you are using this hashtags you are targeting anyone who may be searching for tweets that are pertinent to Scunthorpe and/or Lincolnshire. You are also targeting people who are looking at the hashtag file for #LincsConnect.

Creating a hashtag

You can easily create your own hashtag of course. Simply type in the words after the hashtag sign. Let’s pretend that your company is called ‘Grow it’ and you sell seeds for the garden. You want to create a special offer of £10.00 discount for every £50.00 spend. You could use the hashtag #GrowIt10 and tell everyone to use that hashtag to claim their discount.

Own the hashtag

You’ve created your hashtag but you really ought to make sure that no one else is using the same hashtag. To do that, simply type the words GrowIt10 into your Twitter search bar to see what comes up. Hopefully you’ll see a note displayed saying “No results for growit10”. If that’s the case, you’re good to go; use that hashtag as your own and search it regularly to see who has used it to claim their discount. If you see a string of tweets displayed using the hashtag or words ‘growIt10’ I suggest you have a re-think to come up with something that isn’t already in use. If you do use it regardless of anyone else using it you’ll have a job finding the tweets that are relevant to you.

Have fun with the hashtag

Twitter isn’t just about selling and information though. It’s a place to have some light hearted fun. If that is what you are doing, you can make up some tweets that are purely nonsense but funny to read. #SillyTweet #fun #IDidntMeanToSayThat #HarryPotterWouldBeProudOfMyEfforts …. Anything goes really! If you’re having a joke with someone the hashtags can serve as a great punchline.

Hashtags and grammar

When creating or writing a hashtag you mustn’t use punctuation as the computers don’t understand it. Likewise, it doesn’t matter if you use all upper case, all lower case or a combination of the two.

What does the ‘@’ sign mean then?

Where the hashtag sends your tweet to a specific file or files (it could be #LincsConnect #Scunthorpe and #Lincolnshire as highlighted above), the ‘@’ sign is like a postage stamp because it sends the tweet to a specific account. If you post a tweet using @LincsConnect it’s because you want to speak to me personally. Only ‘I’ will see that tweet. If you want to let everyone in the County know about a sale, event or piece of information you need to be using #LincsConnect.

If you use multiple addresses ie. @LincsConnect @MandarinLeisure @MandarinLocal you’re involving those accounts in your conversation. It’s a handy way of talking to several people at the same time but can get confusing if they all answer at once!

Should I use @LincsConnect and #LincsConnect in the same tweet?

Generally speaking, ‘no’! If you want to contact me tweet me at @LincsConnect but if you want to get your message out to all followers use the hashtag #LincsConnect.  There is really no advantage to using both the hashtag #LincsConnect and the address @LincsConnect in the same tweet.  In fact, using the address @LincsConnect can result in other people having their messages missed as the ‘chatter’ on the account increases significanty. 


I hope this helps some of you. Happy tweeting…