You may have taken the time to clap the NHS staff, Social Care staff and frontline workers on Thursday evenings.
We thank God for all these amazing people some of whom have lost their lives serving others.
At the same time we remember all of our staff who are also classed as key workers. We thank them for their continued support to our residents, homeless clients and foodbank customers.
Coronavirus continues to dominate the news daily, and we are all being asked to take the government advice very seriously. It is important we follow the advice and play our part in supporting our community. You may already know someone that has been affected by this virus.
I want to highlight how we are working within the current challenging times and keep you up-to-date with our services at the YMCA.
Our most important asset – our staff; are continuing to work and deliver a number of our services. They have stepped up and shown tremendous care and support towards our clients and one another.
As anticipated demand for our food bank has risen dramatically. We’ve put calls out to the public and our local supermarkets for extra food. The public response has been fantastic and we are very thankful. Morrison’s the local supermarket have been amazing and are now providing our Charity and two others with a regular supply of food. We continue to run a social media campaign requesting additional donated food. A number of new volunteers have come forward following a great number of our existing volunteers having had to self-isolate. Thank you to everyone involved in ensuring our Foodbank can remain operational at a time of great need.
Our furniture shops remain temporarily closed. We will continue to watch the Government guidance on the use of our shops and we will follow the instructions to comply with legislation. We are keeping in touch with our furloughed staff as we are very mindful they are having to cope with a forced break from their job roles. They are all very keen to get back to work as soon as the Government permits them.
The Burton Night Shelter has now closed. Thanks to Brian and Tash and all of our team of staff and volunteers for ensuring that this service was such a success. Our staff and volunteers have helped transform 56 lives over the winter period. We are very grateful to the staff at East Staffordshire Borough Council – Housing Options team for their work with the YMCA in securing temporarily accommodation for all those homeless that stayed in the night shelter and the few people that remained on the streets. Our staff will continue to support these vulnerable lives.
Our Outreach Service, Navigation Service, Family Mediation Service, Chaplaincy Service and Counselling service are all continuing to operate, albeit in a different way. A new intensive intervention service has been launched to support young people and parents dealing with tensions due to ‘Stay at home’ policies. This service is delivered through a video call service and will include working together to find better ways of dealing with problems, increasing empathy, and looking at communication skills. Thanks to the creativity of all the staff running these services for continuing to work and deliver essential support.
We will continue to support one another through kindness, acts of compassion and prayer where we can. We will look back in the YMCA History and remember how we thought first of others and acted with love, care and support.
On behalf our Staff, volunteers, Board of Trustees, residents, clients, and service users – Thank you for your phone calls, emails, offer of support and generous donations. You are supporting us all to change lives and keep people safe in these difficult circumstances.
22nd April 2020