COVID Community Support Team
The coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has impacted the whole of society and in response, Catalyst has developed a ‘COVID Community Support Team’.
Catalyst is spearheading a major push to go out into communities to help people including those most vulnerable and the elderly.
You can talk to one of the team, they will be available 7 days a week, 8am – 6pm.
Please call 01642 524500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Help will range from, food shopping and picking up prescriptions to making sure people who are self-isolating and may be worried or lonely, get the right support they need.
Catalyst are working closely in partnership with the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector and other public sector organisations to coordinate this support.
If you are a resident in need of help and support or you know someone who is, get in touch and they can arrange assistance for those who are not able to manage.
What is COVID-19
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.
Currently, the government is advising anyone with a persistent cough and temperature to self-isolate, to find out more about this click here.
There are also guidelines around social distancing. This applies to everyone, but if you are considered to be in a vulnerable group please ensure that you are following these guidelines stringently.
NEWS & UPDATES
We will be providing any information that we have in regards to services, please do continue to check back here to find out more about service continuity and where you can get support if necessary.
Main reopening update
Since the closure of our club services in March due to COVID-19 we have been looking at how we can safely re-open The MAIN Centre to groups (we have still been open for PA support throughout the pandemic) when permitted to do so whilst complying with Government guidelines and maintaining a safe environment for our staff and service users.
If the current progress in fighting the virus continues as predicted and the infection rate goes down we plan to re-open our clubs to children only (for the time being) to coincide with the school summer holidays.
We will be implementing the following procedures:
Admission times to our clubs will be staggered at 5-minute intervals to maintain safe distancing.
Queuing markings will be made on the paved area outside the centre at 2 metres intervals to accommodate families to queue at a safe distance. Access via the gate next to the car park and play area. Whenever possible only one parent/carer should come with their child to centre to reduce the chances of spreading the virus.
Families will access the centre by the front door into the alternative education room. Temperatures of all staff and children will be taken using contactless infrared thermometers. If a fever is detected, admission will not be permitted.
Should the reading indicate that the temperature is below fever level children will be supported by a member of staff to wash their hands in the accessible bathroom (in line with current guidelines). They will then access the centre. Parents/carers at this point will exit the building through the same front door and out of the gate opposite the front door.
The centre is now split into two rooms to reduce the chances of transmission:
Groups will be a maximum of 15: made up of just nine service users and six staff including a facilitator. This is lower than the Government recommendations for schools and our rooms are larger than most classrooms.
Weather permitted, service users will be scheduled to access our fully enclosed, accessible outdoor play area as there is less likelihood of the virus being transmitted in the open air.
In addition, we have taken the following measures:
- Despite not having had an outbreak at the centre, the building has been fogged. This procedure kills the virus within a few seconds and lasts for 30 days. We have engaged the cleaning company to have the centre treated every 28 days for the next six months to maintain a continuous infection control measure throughout that period. In addition, staff will continue to clean their own work area throughout the course of their shifts and we have increased the services of our regular cleaning contractor.
- Children will also be supported to wash their hands at half-hour intervals during the session, following Government guidelines.
- Children will be encouraged to follow safe distancing measures and follow other COVID-19 infection control guidelines whilst in the centre.
- Appropriate COVID-19 related signage will be in place, as will adequate supplies of tissues and bins.
- All staff have untaken mandatory COVID-19 specific training; have had a COVID-19 Tool Box Talk and read the COVID-19 risk assessment prepared by an independent Health and Safety company. MAIN has a specific COVID-19 policy in place.
- MAIN will provide staff with relevant PPE in line with Government guidelines.
- Staff will be vigilant in observing possible signs of the virus and reporting should they have concerns.
We believe the steps we have taken to protect staff and service users exceed the Government requirements and we hope that in taking such measures we will significantly reduce the risk of infection.
Above is a letter from Stockton on Tees Borough Council’s Director of Children’s Services, Martin Gray. Here he outlines what is being done at the moment to ensure the children with EHCP’s and other vulnerable children and families are being supported. If you would like to view the letter in PDF format click here
An open letter to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), their parents, families and others who support them from Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families. The letter signposts key Covid-19 guidance published over the past week. If you would like to view the letter in pdf format please click here
The Coronavirus Bill
As a forum, we wrote to the MP’s for Stockton North and Stockton South regarding the concerns that we had with the coronavirus bill. Alex Cunningham (MP Stockton North) has responded to our concerns.
More information about the bill and why we were writing to him can be found in our most recent blog post here
School is closed
If your child can be safely looked after at home then they should remain at home. However, if you are a key worker (list available here), if your child has an EHCP or is under some form of Child in Need, Child Protection or is Looked After then liaise with your child’s school.
PLEASE NOTE your children should only be attending school if it is absolutely vital for them to do so.
Stockton Borough Council has produced some guidance for families in this time to help with information on how to support your family at this time.
SEN & Engagement Update
Stockton Borough Council SEN & Engagement team are doing everything they can to continue performing their statutory duties. Joanne Mills, Head of Service has published a letter explaining further current service continuity, please click here to read
We are speaking with our schools daily to ensure we have a picture of the provision being provided for children and young people with SEN. At the moment ALL schools are open apart from AshTrees.
Although parent/carers should look at all of the guidance about social distancing and shielding those people most at risk from the spread of Corona Virus.