Sixth of April and I finally find time to write a blog about what's been going on here at YMCA Reading.
All of us at YMCA Reading recognise how blessed we are. We have jobs and we get to come to work and provide a useful service. For all of those out there that are facing really uncertain times, who may have lost their jobs, or worse, loved ones, you are in our prayers and thoughts.
The alarm bells started ringing for me way back at the end of February. I could see it coming, though could never have imagined the shape of 'it'. We made sure, in the nick of time, that the hot water in our public loos was back online and that we had plenty of soap and cleaning material, but were already too late to lay our hands on anti-bacterial gels, which of course disappeared very early on from the shelves of all suppliers. Happy to report that two weeks ago all of our PPE was fully stocked, (at a price) though if guidance changes we will need masks.
We will continue to be staffed 24/7 throughout the crisis to ensure that our residents are safe. We provide them with regular information about the virus guidance and help those that need to self-isolate do so by delivering them meals and getting shopping for them. Support staff are now providing all support over the phone to protect both staff and residents from any cross-infection.
We are looking forward to launching a series of on-line events for residents including Mindfulness and yoga that they can participate in from the privacy of their own rooms.
Our Residents have really risen to this challenge, and are staying in, and off the streets. Helping to keep all of us safe during this historic time.
Special thanks to YMCA Staff who have also proven their value and then some. They are going out of their way to make sure shifts are covered and people are looked after.
We are in pretty good shape to manage this crisis. The Sport Centre was already closed for refurbishment, so we hadn't factored in any earnings there for a few months. The work initially carried on at pace in the early weeks of the crisis, but the Government finally told construction workers to go home, and they did. Quite right. It will be ready and waiting for them when they come back and we are really looking forward to something positive at the end of all of this.
We tried to keep Parkside Pre-School running as long as we could, but in the end there simply wasn't demand enough, but the team will be back of course.
Parkside Cafe also stayed open as long as permitted with a take-out service. We have kept it open throughout for our residents to ensure they have breakfast and lunch available every day and also to ensure meals are delivered to anyone tin the project that is self-isolating.
All of that said, there will be very trying times ahead. We will be suffering like everyone else due to a loss in funding streams. If you do want to make a donation, it will be very gratefully received.