Four months since the UK entered the Coronavirus lockdown much has changed in our country. Terms such as ‘unprecedented’ and the ‘new normal’ are frequently used to describe the momentous changes we are living through, and we have had to change the way we work to continue supporting children and families in need.
I am proud that through the commitment, creativity, determination and compassion of my colleagues our services remained open and available to those in need of support. In some cases the move was smooth and almost uninterrupted, utilizing new technology in ways that will become a permanent improvement to how we work. In other cases, it has been more difficult because we must keep personal contact in place to make sure children and parents are safe. But where that was needed we did our very best to find ways to check, encourage and support those in greatest need.
Our centres started reopening in May after exhaustive checks and safeguards were put in place to keep our staff and beneficiaries safe. Almost every week we are able to open some more of our work to in-person contact, and each week throughout the lockdown. Throughout July and August, we will be visiting more families in person and looking to get ready for the new school year. By September we hope that most of our centres will be open at least in part, but we expect that there will still be restrictions on what we can do and some sites that cannot be made Covid-19 secure. In each of these cases, we are already finding ways to reach out to those in need of support.
We carefully monitor all our work and look to learn and improve what we do. Much of our work is ahead of what others can achieve and so we have shared our good practice with other charities and partners so that they can benefit from our expertise and experience. We have also been publishing a weekly internal newsletter of good news stories from around the charity and sharing these on social media with our supporters. We will be using many of these in the next edition of Yours Faithfully, our supporter magazine. In this way, we hope to be an encouragement to others and transparent in our actions.
The coronavirus pandemic is not over. We will be ready if there is a second spike in infections. But we are also here right now for the thousands of children and young people who we already know, and for the tens of thousands who will need us more than ever in the months to come.
Thank you to all our supporters and partners. It is because of you and the dedication of our Spurgeons team that vulnerable children and young people across the country have a better present and more hopeful future.
God bless you,
Ross Hendry, CEO