Covid-19 & Co-worker Placements – UPDATE

We remain open during the November 2020 Lockdown

Latest News as at 4th November 2020

We have been given the approval to remain open during the national Covid lockdown of November 2020. We are pleased to report that all of our Co-workers, staff, volunteers and customers are adhering to our Covid Risk Assessment and wearing face coverings while on our sites. We are able to provide Co-worker placements across all of our sites, our Saturday Volunteering Support Group and as an essential food provider our farm and shops will remain open.

Following the most recent Government announcement confirming that there will be new national restrictions commencing 5th of November 2020 for 4 weeks, our Local Authorities have been reviewing the available Government guidance in relation to Day Services, our care provision at The Prospects Trust is governed by this.  The full government guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.   Cambridgeshire County Council expect that services will be able to remain open to provide support for service users wherever possible.    

  1. There are exemptions to the Stay at Home Guidance which enables people to visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.  This will apply to Day Services who are caring for vulnerable people as part of the County Council’s response to the pandemic.
  2. Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support
  3. Section 9 of the guidance requests that those over 60 or clinically vulnerable (aged over 70 or under 70 with one underlying health conditions outlined in the guidance) should:
    • be especially careful to follow the rules and minimize contacts with others. At Prospects Trust we are working to our “Tilly Tractor distancing” and all wearing face coverings.
    • continue to wash hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace
  4. Section 9 of the guidance also states that people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable should work from home.  The Government will write to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place. Any Staff or Co-worker who receives this letter should raise it with our Management Team and follow the advice given.

Adults with the following conditions are automatically deemed clinically extremely vulnerable from the 5th November 2020 .gov guidance:

  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • those with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • those with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • those with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
  • those on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • adults with Down’s syndrome
  • adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions

We ask all Co-workers, Staff and Volunteers to follow the guidance to keep all safe. If you are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable we need to work with you to offer alternative provision during the national lockdown.

August 2020 Update:

We are pleased to announce after months of planning and getting our sites Covid-Secure we were be able to bring back our Co-workers to The Prospects Trust. From Monday 3rd August we reintroduced Co-workers placements to all those wishing to return to their supported days with us or on a phased return placement with the achieved aim of being fully open by September 2020 across all sites, Snakehall Farm and Unwrapped.

We have sent emails to our Co-workers (and/or their appointed contacts) with information about our plans to make their placements Covid safe while at The Prospects Trust. We know it is very different and at times worrying and we have made lots of changes to keep everyone as safe as we can. Here is a little film about the Covid Safe changes we introduced at Snakehall Farm:

Welcome Back to Snakehall Farm August 2020

Co-worker Return to Placement Form needs to be read, completed and returned electronically as soon as possible to help us plan your placement and support needs from August 2020.

On Thursday 19th March we made the very sad decision to stop providing Adult Social Care Placements for a period of approximately 12 weeks both on our Snakehall Farm Site and within our Ely Shop, Unwrapped. We responded to the current Government advice that people with learning disabilities are in the AT RISK category and should social distance.

Our core reason for swinging open our gates back in 1989 and setting up our new shop in 2019 was to open up the world to people most often marginalised. In March 2020 The Prospects Trust lost its heart and its smiles as we said goodbye to our Co-workers for four months. But we have dug and we have grown and we will sow again with our much missed Co-worker team. Our shops have continued to trade and our fields are ready to be harvested by our Co-workers and our shelves will be stocked with their produce once more.

For 30 years we have proudly worked shoulder to shoulder with people with additional needs. For the past few months we have worked tirelessly to keep our small charity ploughing forward ready to welcome our most magic of workforce back where they belong. We are ready are you?