Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Headway North Cumbria

The continuing and evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a major impact on many aspects of life.

Headway UK has cancelled Look Ahead in the North which was scheduled to run from 20-22 March 2020 and also cancelled some planned training courses.  Other Headway groups and branches are cancelling or postponing events and/or modifying the range of services they are able to provide.

The Headway North Cumbria committee is continuously monitoring the situation and reviewing the advice and guidance offered by the Government, Public Health England, the NHS, and a variety of other sources.  Regardless of how the situation evolves we aim to continue to provide the best service to our members that we can within the limits of what is possible at the time.

Whilst our intention is to continue as normal, as best we can, the following decisions have been made:

The Headway North Cumbria Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for 16 March 2020 has been  postponed until later in the year.

The Day Centre will be open on Monday 16 March 2020 from 13:00 and will offer the usual range of activities (less cooking).  Chairman, Andrew Kirkpatrick, will be present to discuss the situation.

We believe we should offer a Day Centre for as long as we can provided that we consider it safe to do so and are able to reduce the risks to our members as much as we can.  With that in mind our members are invited to attend if they wish, but should note the following:

–    members that are particularly vulnerable to the virus, or uncertain, should make their own decision as to whether to attend or not.  If in doubt you should stay away.

–    members showing symptoms of coronavirus (including cough, fever, shortness of breath, or other flu-like symptoms) should not attend.

–    anyone attending the Day Centre is encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before entering the main hall, and whenever appropriate during the session.

–    members who prefer to use hand sanitiser may wish to bring their own (due to the lack of availability in the shops we cannot guarantee to provide any).

–    we will be continuing to offer the normal range of activities but will be looking to reduce the risk of spread of the virus.

It is likely that we will need to close the Day Centre at some point over the next few of weeks.  This could be for a number of reasons which include, but are not limited to:

–    Government policy directs us to do so,

–    Headway UK directs its groups/branches to stop providing services such as the Day Centre,

–    the venue becomes unavailable to us,

–    we decide that it is in the best interests of our members to do so.

If, and when, it comes to closing the Day Centre we will, of course, notify our members providing as much notice as we can.  We will, however, continue to provide as much support as we can.  Over the coming days and weeks we will be refining methods for engaging with our members by e-mail, phone, text, and through our website and Twitter.  Details of how this will be done will be sent out in due course.