Enable Ability and Coronavirus
I am writing again to all participants, their parents and carers, service commissioners, staff and volunteers to explain the charity’s responses to the coronavirus outbreak since the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday evening. At the heart of our decisions are the safety and welfare of our communities and staff alongside the much-needed support that Enable Ability provides to our participants and their carers.
The charity again reviewed our services yesterday, which fall broadly into 4 blocks:
- group activities at fixed venues (Saturday Club and Holiday Play-Schemes)
- group activities at differing venues (Youth Schemes and Teenage projects)
- 1:1 activity (Befriending and Advocacy)
- public facing activity (Landport and Inter Activ)
The play-schemes are dependent on venues being available and sufficient staff in place to provide them. We are discussing provision during the Easter Holidays with Solent Academies Trust. It is likely that a small number of children whose carers are key workers will be offered a place. Final arrangements will be communicated to you. Parents and carers will need to decide if they wish their child to attend based on all the available national and local guidance relating to coronavirus. We are not in a position to continue with Saturday Club at the present time.
The youth schemes, teenage projects, junior club and wheelchair basketball will not continue for the time being in their current form. Our project leaders are endeavouring to provide some individual support to participants through on line activities or tailored programmes. These will be communicated directly to you by our staff. Project leaders have been asked to stay in touch with participants, form WhatsApp groups, and look to other ways to maintain contact during this period
1:1 activity through befriending for children and adults will cease. Managers and Trustees have debated this but feel the risks to staff and families outweigh the advantages of this continuing for the time being.
Advocacy will continue but over the telephone only for the time being. Those needing this help are asked to contact our office in the first instance.
Landport Community Centre is now closed at least until 30th April 2020. All activities therein will cease. However, in partnership with Radian Housing and the HIVE, our kitchen will be preparing meals for distribution to the local community by volunteers. This will commence around the beginning of April. More details to follow.
Inter Activ, our social enterprise promoting employability skills, will cease whilst Landport is closed. We are also unable to offer experience at Weald and Downland Museum at the present time. Our skills coaches will remain in contact with participants during this period of closure to offer remote befriending support.
For all our staff, we are exploring with our HR advisors, HMRC and our accountants the range of financial support available, and will do everything we can to ensure they receive the support they need. I will provide an update as soon as possible. Our salaried staff will continue to receive full pay for the time being, but this could change depending on the length of the emergency.
Trustees and staff recognise how difficult the coming weeks and months will be for our families and staff. We will do all we can to support you within the national guidance available.
Finally, on behalf of Enable Ability, we wish you all safe passage and good health through these troubling times.
Chair of Trustees
25th March 2020