This is such an extraordinary time that I thought I should write to let you know what we are doing at NewstrAid to keep helping people whilst protecting our staff, volunteers and beneficiaries.
Firstly, we are following the original advice to wash our hands thoroughly and frequently, try not to touch our faces and cough into a tissue and dispose of it quickly. We are also staying up to date and heeding government advice in respect of travelling and physical distancing where possible.
Whilst it isn’t immediately practical for us to close the office or work completely from home, we are taking steps to reduce the amount we come into work and are likely to introduce a minimum staffing rota in the next few days. We will then move to working entirely from home within a week or so.
We will endeavour to divert the phones and mail effectively but this will inevitably have some implications for the work we do and the services we provide. However, we will remain available for our beneficiaries and those who need our help, whatever it takes. As usual, we will also fast-track Welfare decisions for those with urgent need at this difficult time.
In the meantime, as you will know, we have cancelled all beneficiary visits with immediate effect and will be mailing the April cheques to avoid unnecessary contact. There is no question that this is the right decision but we haven’t taken it lightly as the almoner visits are hugely important to the way we work as a charity and greatly valued by our beneficiaries.
We are also asking Area Committees to heed the current advice and postpone all face to face meetings and events until we have the all clear.
Finally, it is important to us that all our staff and volunteers stay as healthy as possible and whilst it is inevitable that some of us will be infected with Covid-19, please take every precaution to stay as well as you can for as long as you can.
Many thanks for everything you do for NewstrAid and best wishes.
Mike Mirams (CEO)