COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

We are following the Government Guidance very closely and as an organisation have now decided to limit opportunities to spread the virus. We have moved to remote working where possible and cancelling any non-essential meetings and gatherings. We will keep this page updated with the latest news and information so please check regularly for any changes.

Please see below for updates about specific programmes and services:

Youth Action Wiltshire

During the current unprecedented times Youth Action Wiltshire, following government guidance has suspended all group work and face to face support sessions.  However it’s not all bad news as we have been busy creating interactive, live, fun sessions which young people can access online with their Youth Support Worker.  These sessions range from skill development, to quizzes to fun activities so there should be something there for everyone to get involved in and enjoy.  From the sessions we have already delivered young people tell us they are fun, it helps to break up their day and they’ve enjoyed seeing people from outside the confines of their own homes.

All of our Youth Support workers are still available to support our young people and can do this by telephone, text, email or face to face online one to one sessions.  We have access to Skype, Whatsapp, Zoom and other online applications so all anyone needs is a device and a connection (internet or phone) and we can arrange an individual or group session for you.  These are testing times for everybody and we appreciate that we will all be affected differently by the current situation, however having someone to talk to, share your fears with or just chat to can help you to feel less anxious and stressed during this time.  We have helped a number of people access community, educational and volunteer support in order to address specific needs, so our message to young people is if you’re finding things tough at the moment, get in touch and we will support you in whatever way we can.

If you would like to discuss our support offer or require urgent support please contact your Youth Support Worker or call the Youth Action Wiltshire office on 01380 729813 or email enquiries@youthactionwiltshire.org

Building Bridges Programme

The Building Bridges programme is continuing its excellent work to support participants across Swindon and Wiltshire despite the challenges of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown period.

The aim of the programme is to help people who face multiple barriers and challenges to move towards the world of work or education and at the moment we are actively supporting 423 participants across the region.

Over 80% of our participants are disadvantaged and over 50% consider themselves to have disabilities or long-term-health conditions, so in these challenging times it is vitally important for us to keep supporting the people we are working with as fully as possible.

Although our key workers are no longer able to meet people face-to-face either individually or for group activities, they have been finding lots of innovative ways to support them through video calls, webinars, vlogs, telephone support and email.

The programme has created a resource centre for key workers to be able share information that may be of help to each other’s participants and the lead team publish a daily newsletter giving links to all of the support available across the region.

In addition, the support being provided to participants hasn’t just focused on helping them to continue working towards their employment or education goals, but has also included a large degree of helping people to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing during the lockdown period. The key workers are absolutely vital to the success of this approach, as they know the participants well and can tailor the support they provide to each person’s individual needs – in some cases this has even included delivering food and prescriptions for those people who have had to self-isolate and had no other support.

The programme team is strongly linked in to the support arrangements being put in place by both Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire County Council. Through these links, we are also helping our more vulnerable and disadvantaged participants to be aware of and access other support as it becomes available.

We are continuing to receive referrals to the programme during the lockdown period and have put special arrangements in place to enable us to sign people up remotely.

We are also really pleased to report that our participants continue to make fantastic progress and our congratulations go to two of them who have successfully gained jobs since the lockdown period began!

If you would like to learn more about the programme and the support we provide, please contact us on 01380 732821 or email us at hello@buildingbridgessw.org.uk

Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub

Wiltshire Council has set up a dedicated hub to support the most vulnerable residents during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The Wiltshire Wellbeing team is available to anyone who is struggling during this difficult time, such as people who are shielding or self-isolating and don’t have a support network around them or know where to get help.

The team can help provide support but also signpost them to where additional help is available in their local area with hundreds of community groups set up across the county providing invaluable assistance.

How to access the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub:

The helpline is open Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm and Saturday, 10am – 4pm on 0300 003 4576 or email wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk

The helpline staff can:

  • Arrange for the delivery of emergency food parcels where needed
  • Connect residents with local community groups who can assist them with support needs
  • Resolve any issues with the delivery of medication from a pharmacy
  • Give ideas for staying physically and mentally well
  • Signpost to other specialist services

The helpline staff cannot:

  • Give professional health advice

Local health services are supporting the work of the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub but continue to escalate any individual patient concerns through your normal routes.

MORE INFORMATION

Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre

The current outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) presents new challenges for everyone and we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of our schools and groups for their co-operation with our team, to re-schedule their course bookings for 2020 due to either guidance from Public Health due to Coronovirus (Covid-19) or the closure of their school.

We are looking to the future, ready to build on our positive relationships with our customers. The team are committed to delivering first class educational visits and are busy planning our tailor-made activity programmes for the children’s future stay.

Please email the office on enquiries@oxenwoodcentre.com if you have any questions about your existing party booking or enquiries.

If you suspect that you may have the illness, we recommend that you follow the official guidance by visiting: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Bookings and Cancellation policy for Oxenwood

A booking form is completed including full contact details, the expected number in the party, how many nights you wish to stay, desired activities and as much information as possible about the desired outcomes for the trip.The itinerary for each party is compiled from that information for each group. and confirmation pack is sent out.

We ask for a deposit to secure all bookings of 30% of the total. An invoice for this deposit is sent from the Finance team with the confirmation pack. Bookings are not confirmed on our system until deposit has been received.

Final payment of the balance is invoiced 2 weeks prior to your visit. We will also ask for an update on expected numbers attending. If numbers of participants attending the trip changes at the time of the visit, we will contact you after the visit to amend the balance. For residentials we will be flexible on one place dropping out for residentials (and will not charge). Any drop out in excess of one will be charged as declared on the booking form.  However we are able to accept additional numbers if required, not indicated at time of completing the booking form on the booking form, subject to capacity.

Cancellation

All bookings are subject to a cancellation fee of 30% of the total charge of the booking if the booking is cancelled more than 90 days prior to the booking start date, 50% within 90 days of the start date of the booking, 100% within 14 days of the start of the booking.

Proposed coronavirus contingency

In case of cancelation due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). If the cancellation is due to guidance from Public Health we will endeavour to re-schedule any course booking within 12 months. If alternative dates are found but not accepted by the booking party then the 30% deposit will not be refunded if already paid. This situation will be reviewed in accordance with the latest Government guidance.

Volunteering & COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Volunteering will be crucial in the response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and people have not been stopped from doing this. However, volunteering that requires going out of the house is now only permitted in certain circumstances. If you are well and are not at risk from Coronavirus you can undertake essential activities including:

  • Delivering food
  • Helping people with their medical needs, such as picking up prescriptions
  • Providing essential care or to help a vulnerable person or person(s), including through essential public and voluntary services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions

Even when you are doing this, you need to do so safely. You should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres (6 feet) apart from anyone outside of your household

You can only provide support to people who are in isolation if you fulfil ALL of the conditions below:

  • You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature and nobody in your household does
  • You are under 70
  • You are not pregnant
  • You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to Coronavirus.

If you or someone in your household has shown symptoms, or if you are more vulnerable to coronavirus yourself, then you must stay home. You still play an important role but will need to do this from home.

We have also been asked for guidance on delivering leaflets about COVID-19 community response groups. Our view is that if groups deem delivering leaflets as essential to providing help to the vulnerable then they can do so within the following parameters:

  • Social distancing being key, with people always at least two metres apart
  • Washing hands before going out, not touching your face whilst out leafleting, and washing hands as soon as you get home
  • Only go out and deliver leaflets once so you minimise your time outside

To register your interest in volunteering as part of your local COVID-19 response, please fill in our quick and easy online form.