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Covid-19

Last updated: 11.18am, Friday 21st August 2020 by

Hansel are committed to doing everything possible to keep all those connected with us safe during the current Coronavirus pandemic. We recognise that everyone is experiencing the impact of Covid-19 in a different way and we know that for many it has been an anxious and frightening time. We have been working hard to provide clear communications and guidance to our teams and customers throughout but thought it would be helpful to provide a wider update on our present situation for all our stakeholders and detail some of the specific actions we have been taking to help educate, inform and keep people safe.

We are working proactively with representatives from our main funders and the local Ayrshire health protection team to deliver the supports our customers, and indeed their families, rely on. This has not been easy given the restrictions of lockdown but as we progress through the phases of easing we are incrementally able to reintroduce some support options which were severely impacted by physical distancing and infection control requirements in the early phase of the health crisis. Our aim is to ensure that whatever we do, we do it in a way that keeps our team members, customers and wider Hansel community safe.

As our absolute priority remains the safety of everyone we support and employ we are following the government and Health Protection Scotland guidance in all areas. Social distancing, self-isolating and use of Personal Protective Equipment guidance is being followed although such guidance is not without challenge particularly in shared living settings. The involvement of people we support, families and team members has been invaluable in helping us to interpret the guidance and agree on implementation.

Our amazing support teams have been instrumental in maintaining positive support experiences and developing ways to help customers connect with friends, families and their local communities of support. We have made great progress in our use of digital technology across all areas of the organisation and have quickly developed new systems and ways of working.

We have worked hard to ensure we have adequate and continuing supplies of the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) throughout the pandemic. Our teams have responded extremely positively to the changing infection control guidance and requirements of the guidance around the use of PPE and we believe this has been and will continue to be an important part of helping both customers and team members to stay safe and also helping to reduce their anxieties around infection.

The response of the Hansel team has made us proud. Many team members have been remarkable and taken extraordinary steps to keep the people we support safe. We are conscious of the personal anxieties some of our team members have faced but yet they have still shown their true values and care in putting our customers first.

At present we are thankful that we have had no positive Covid-19 tests in our Hansel community for a number of months. We access regular testing in all our registered small group living, residential, respite and short break homes. Although this routine testing currently does not extend to Adult Supported Living Services or Community Supports, with our close partnership links with Health Protection Scotland and the Test and Protect service any possible outbreak will be managed without delay.

We are also thankful to Hansel’s central services team who are working extremely hard (and mainly remotely) to maintain the delivery of key functions of Payroll, HR, Administration, Finance and IT to ensure our front line teams are fully supported during this time. Our Head Office in Broadmeadows remains closed to all non-essential visitors.

Lindy’s tearoom remains closed to the general public at this time and the Laundry continue to offer a reduced service to a limited number of residential customers and contractual clients only. We are aware that this is disappointing to many Lindy’s and Laundry regulars however we ask for your patience at this time. These businesses operate with supported employees and provide services to Hansel residents and customers, many of whom are extremely vulnerable and as such we will necessarily progress towards greater reopening very cautiously.

For a number of reasons we necessarily have had to furlough a number of team members in recent months and are working through the various risk assessments and plans to support them back into the workplace over the coming weeks. We have recently begun to bring a few team members back and look forward to welcoming more back as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.

We would wish to acknowledge and extend our sincere gratitude to the very many individuals and businesses who have offered assistance in recent times. This has helped keep everyone’s spirits up and has been greatly appreciated – thank you! We have been moved by the thoughtfulness and kindness shown and we welcome this and look forward to doing more partnership work with corporate bodies and volunteers in future.

Finally as part of our strategy to help keep people safe and informed we have just published our most recent organisational Covid-19 Risk Assessment which can be accessed from the link below. This document sets out the breadth of actions we have taken and will continue to take to manage the risks associated with the pandemic.

Please call us on 01563 830340 or contact info@hansel.org.uk should you require any further information.

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