Groups and Activities
Learning & Leisure Updates – 26th March 2020
Corona Virus: COVID19 – Learning and Leisure Updates
I wanted to issue an update about how we at Centre 404 and more specifically in the Learning and Leisure service are handling the constant changes and developments of the virus.
Although a virus to this scale has never happened in our lifetimes, Centre 404 already had in place a detailed Business Continuity Plan which covers a range of eventualities and an outbreak or pandemic was a part of that plan. We have put the plan in place, ordered supplies, actioned our senior staff teams to adapt the way in which our teams work to allow for additional precautionary cleaning and hygiene measures along with remote home working. Identified high risk individuals that we support, planned for closure of services and identified all of the ones that can’t close and would be top priority if things got worse. Although we never wanted to put these plans into place, to a degree, we were always ready to.
We have had to make some difficult decisions and close all of our children and young people’s clubs and groups along with our adult’s social group activities for the foreseeable future. We are only closing what we really need to and so our Day Opportunities Service, our regular children’s outreach service and our Adults outreach Finding and Matching service are all still running as best they can.
Where we are able and where we have available staffing we are offering 1:1 outreach in place of group activities. This may not be possible for everyone if their personal budgets or support packages don’t allow for this but we are in constant communication with the council where we deliver services to see about getting more support put in place for individuals who need it.
We have begun offering people telephone and/or video call support along with calling around everyone we support to make sure they are well and if they are in need of support with things such as shopping, medication collection etc. We want to be there to help with any practical support as well as any emotional support as best we can, ensuring no one is left isolated.
We plan to put our mini buses to use for supporting collection of shopping and if needed for supporting our staff to get to and from work.
All staff who have had their regular shifts cancelled are being offered alternatives in other projects that are continuing to operate so that they all have the option to continue working and have no need to be out of pocket during this difficult time.
Every day we are in contact with the local authorities and in consultation with them about still providing our services and also offering to support other services when we can across the borough whilst our staffing allows for this. For example, if another provider is struggling to offer support to someone, or additional support is needed due to closure of a day service for someone, we may be able to temporarily cover that support.
We are still planning on running a play scheme in Islington and Enfield although this will not be in our usual larger group setting but mini groups and 1:1 support only. There may be possibility for us to continue some sort of extended ‘play scheme’ provision during the country wide isolation measures to support family carers.
If you are concerned about getting out or getting help please call through to our Supporting Families team or your usual contacts within Learning and Leisure if you need to talk. All contact details are on the website.
We urge you all to continue to follow the government’s advice and keep isolated where possible.
Thank you and take care,
Head of Service,
Learning and Leisure
Learning & Leisure Updates – March 2020
Re: Corona Virus: COVID19 – Services Update
By now you will all be aware there are significant developments occurring on a daily basis from central government as to the status of the Covid 19 virus.
As an organisation dedicated to the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable people in our society this undoubtedly means this situation will have big impacts on the services we are able to provide safely for both the individuals we support but also our staff.
With the rate that this virus is spreading we will soon be forced to make some very difficult decisions about amendments to and closures of our services until further notice.
We want to assure you that we have been updating our approach to the virus status in the country on a daily basis and have plans covering many different outcomes.
Important health care supplies are being stocked where able, cleaning and hygiene of our basis are continuing to be of paramount importance to us, we are seeking advice and guidance from the local authorities and we have plans in place to hopefully help us manage any staff shortages as best as we can.
Within the Learning and Leisure service, although greatly needed none of our services are statutory (need to run at all costs the same as a hospital basically) therefore we will be making decisions over the next few days/weeks to begin reducing and stopping services and putting our full efforts into keeping our most needed services supported and running (Housing related support services).
In the meantime your usual service coordinators and contacts of the services you or your family member attend will be your main point of contact and will keep you updated of any changes the best they can.
We understand this is a very scary and uncertain time for a lot of people and we do not make these decisions lightly. We will be making telephone contact with as many people as possible and are at the end of the phone if you have any questions and queries, which we will of course try our best to support you with.
We recommend that everyone take the government advice around self-isolation as needed when you or loved ones in your home present with symptoms to help reduce the spread of the virus and support the NHS not to be overwhelmed.
We will continue to issue updates to services over the next few weeks and months as we see how the situation continues to develop.
We wish you all the best of health. Take care and look after each other,
Head of Service,
Learning and Leisure