As we digest the news from the Prime Ministers announcement last night we have to take stock and look at the safest way possible for us to provide our essential services to the community. We had an immediate telephone conference with the team after the news was released so we could pro-actively work in a safe and Covid-Secure manner. The most important news, is that we are, as before, remaining open to make sure we can continue to support some of the most vulnerable children in our community.
Unfortunately, to ensure your safety as well as our team members we have had to make some very difficult decisions, these have not been taken lightly but will ensure we can continue to offer most of our services going forward until the pandemic restrictions have been eased enough for us to continue with a full service. I will break this down into sections so it will be easy to understand how we will be working over the next few weeks.
Counselling & Play Therapies
Sadly, this is the biggest service to be affected by the new lockdown restrictions. For the time being we will not be able to offer face to face appointments for counselling or play therapies either in our counselling suite or in a home or school environment. Our counsellor, Sarah will be contacting all of her clients over the next few hours to discuss individually tailored support options which may include Skype calls, telephone calls and worksheets alongside weekly check-ins to check on the welfare of each client. These remote sessions will be offered free of charge, for both existing and new clients until the restrictions are eased. Please note, that paid for sessions will not be lost, these are all marked in your file and will be still offered when restrictions ease.
We are still taking applications for the free respite breaks for families, these are currently being offered from March onwards, but just like last year, we are offering a Covid-Secure booking system and if you are local, national or family lockdown we will be very happy to rearrange breaks to later in the year, subject to availability of dates. Please apply as normal through our website application process.
Financial Grants (Hospital & 50:50 Grant)
Our team are still working in a Covid-Secure way to ensure we can still process applications for support. We are acutely aware that urgent financial support will still be needed despite the lockdown and we will still be processing Hospital Grants and 50:50 Grants as normal. Please apply through our website using the appropriate application form and we will aim to have them processed within 4 weeks.
We have to look at other options as well to ensure our teams safety, a big part of how the charity raises funds is through recycling through our commercial partners, we will update this post with statements from each partner as we receive them.
House to House Clothing Recycling: Clothing bags were distributed to households over the last couple of days with our clothing partner, Unicare. These will be collected today and tomorrow in a Covid-Safe way with no interaction with members of the public. Bag drops and collections will then stop while we check on the latest rules and legislation to ensure that when we are able to restart, collections will remain in a safe manner for both members of the public and team members.
Static Recycling Banks: These are provided and serviced by RMSC who are working on a skeleton staff through the lockdown period. Clothing banks will not be emptied or serviced on our normal schedule. If a bank needs to be emptied or serviced, please call 01422 728080 and ask to be put through the the RMSC Static Clothing Bank line (EXT 207) or email email@example.com with the bank location and this will be arranged. Please allow 7 working days from notification for the clothing bank to be serviced.
Recycling Inkjet Cartridges: This can continue as normal, please follow the step by step guide on the dedicated cartridge recycling page to request a postage label or packaging.
Stamps and Coins: This can continue as normal, please post any stamps and coins to our usual address. We cannot collect or accept personal donations at our door.
Other important Information
Our team members will be working both remotely and in a Covid-Safe way in our office. If you have a question or enquiry that cannot be answered on our website, the quickest way to get a reply will be to send an email via the website contact form. Team members may not always be available to take your call and your understanding through these difficult times are greatly appreciated. Please do not visit our office for the time being in Halifax, we are limiting access for the safety of not only our team members, but you as well.
Finally, we understand that these are difficult times and we all have to make decisions that not ideal and are difficult, but we will get through this together and we are here to help if we can.
Thank you for your help and understanding
Simon and the team.
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