Operating in a Covid World

In one way or another the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on us all.  We have been forced to adapt the way we live our lives, making necessary sacrifices to try our best to keep the most vulnerable people in our communities and each other safe.  Our Hansel journey through the pandemic has been most challenging at times, however we keep our sights firmly fixed on how we continue to move forward and maximise opportunities for those we support to anticipate more freedoms returning into everyday lives.

Since the early part of 2020 here at Hansel we have experienced such remarkable commitment from so many individuals across the organisation in keeping our people safe; all our colleagues are to be thanked and commended for their hard work and resolve.  It has been an exceptional effort, from frontline workers and managers dealing so competently with previously unimaginable circumstances, to our Board of Directors who have provided wise counsel and have been steadfast in their support of our management team.

We also acknowledge the continuous flow of invaluable practical guidance and assistance we have received from National and Local Governments, and our local health and social care partnerships, to navigate our way through unprecedented organisational challenges in terms of managing both health and financial risks.  We would also wish to thank families, volunteers and countless others who have supported Hansel and our people through this pandemic.  A truly collective effort to overcome adversity keeping Hansel and the wider local community safe!

Out of necessity our journey through the Covid-19 pandemic has called for wide ranging responses across our diverse services and operations.  With our primary focus on keeping people safe and well, our small group living and community supported living teams adopted government-led pandemic guidance and guidelines to create safe environments for those we support. The daily use of PPE, regular testing and management of data sharing have become the norm. This continues to be challenging for everyone involved, given the invisibility and changing nature of the threat disturbing daily routines.

Our residential respite, short break and community lifestyle supports presented a different set of challenges, and given the shared friendships support and our active use of Ayrshire’s community amenities we had to temporarily suspend full operations for a while.  However we re-engaged quickly with people in crisis and continue to redesign and rebuild these supports with individuals and families using all resources available to us, including reaching out to many through our new digital online support options each week. At this time we remain well below pre-Covid volumes of support hours in these areas of our operations due to continuing restrictions to reduce community transmission and help manage potential risks of the virus mutating and spreading.

Similarly, our 3e activities have at times operated with skeleton staffing resources, and at other times been paused entirely.  We are slowly building back capacity, though our Lindy’s tearoom will not reopen to the public for a while longer to allow us to concentrate and prioritise our efforts on providing catering and safe social opportunities for those we support directly.

As we’ve moved through the first half of 2021 we’ve been reassured by the success of vaccination programmes and testing regimes, so we can celebrate a little bit more normality being reintroduced across all our Hansel operations, and in all our lives.  Our Board of Directors have actively been refreshing future plans, to ensure we are ready for the next step out of the harshness of this pandemic.  Enthusiasm is therefore being renewed for what lies ahead, and we should soon be able to better celebrate our freedoms once more; so important in living all our lives meaningfully and being together safely once again.