Coronavirus: council service information and advice

Information about changes to council services as a result of coronavirus

We're inviting people to commemorate and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of fighting in Europe, marking the end of the Second World War on the continent.

Due to the on-going coronavirus outbreak and following the government's guidelines on mass participation events, we're unable to deliver the planned 'Shared Moment of Celebration' on Castle Field. 

People across Portsmouth, the UK and the world are living through challenging times, and community is more important than ever. We want to make sure people have the opportunity to mark this important moment in our history - as a city and a nation.

On this page, you'll find lots of ideas and ways for you to get involved while following national rules on social distancing.

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Stay Home street parties

Party like it's 1945 with our Stay Home Street Party ideas.

We know it won't be quite the same, but you can still remember and celebrate at home with members of your household. You can also set up virtual street parties with loved ones.

Don’t forget to check in with neighbours who might be alone on Friday 8 May. See if they're also able to join in on your street party; it's just one way you can keep in touch while socially distancing.

Read the BBC's guide on how to make a video call.

Share your photos and videos of your stay home street parties using the hashtag #veday75portsmouth and we'll share them on our social media channels.

Under normal circumstances we would have let residents apply for road closures for street parties to mark VE Day 75, we can't do that at the moment as it would encourage numbers of people to gather together which is against social distancing rules. Hopefully people can still celebrate this landmark from within their homes or forecourts while following social distancing rules.

Get baking

We've got some classic recipes - perfect for a spot of afternoon tea! We know it's hard to get hold of some ingredients, so each recipe has links to swap suggestions:

Channel your inner Vera Lynn with our Second World War song sheets - if you fancy a shot at fame, share your renditions with us using the hashtag #veday75portsmouth and we'll feature the best ones on our social media channels.

Get crafting

If you've got a bit of time on your hands, why not try your hand at something crafty?

Tune in together

At 2.45pm on Friday 8 May, BBC One will broadcast the speech that Winston Churchill made on 8 May 1945 to enormous crowds in London.

At 3pm, people will be invited to raise a glass in a national toast, saying: "To those who gave so much, we thank you."

Just after 3pm, we'll share personal accounts from Portsmouth residents, voiced by local actors from local drama group Victoryland.

To catch these personal stories, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

Get involved

Does anyone in your family remember VE Day in 1945? Send your stories to and we'll feature them on our social media channels throughout the day on Friday 8 May.

From darkness to light

To represent the light of peace emerging from the darkness of war, spotlights will light up the sky on Friday 8 May from 9.30pm to 11.30pm.

This spectacular sight will recall the blackouts experienced by those that lived through World War II. It's also a reminder that lighter times will come again.

You can get involved too, by shining a torch or light on your phone from your windows or gardens.

Share your photos and videos with us using the hashtag #darknesstolightportsmouth and we'll share through our social media channels.

Portsmouth Cathedral Service

On Sunday 10 May at 11am, Portsmouth Cathedral will lead a service of commemoration and remembrance to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. The service will include readings, music and an Act of Commitment as we join together to commit ourselves to the service of others.

The service will feature serving members of the Armed Forces, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, The Dean of Portsmouth, The Chaplain of the Fleet and Archdeacon for the Royal Navy and The Bishop of Portsmouth.

You can take part in the service through Portsmouth Cathedral’s YouTube channel. All are welcome to join.

Big Picnic for Hope

If a Stay Home Street Party isn't quite up your street, Portsmouth Cathedral is taking part in the Big Picnic For Hope. To mark VE Day and to celebrate heroes past and present, they are encouraging you to have a picnic in your house or garden and to share the experience with family and friends online.

Find out more at or follow Portsmouth Cathedral on Facebook.

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