23 November 2020. Update on services

During the periods of lockdown our volunteers have been restricted in the services we offer, and have had to adhere to the Government guidelines in place for visiting, ‘bubbles’ and social distancing.  Some volunteers also had to shield themselves.  This has meant that in general, unless an emergency, we have not been able to enter the premises of our clients.  We have though continued with telephone calls to clients, shopping and prescription services and while guidelines allowed visited them in their gardens, taken them for walks, or even to a COVID authorised venue such as a garden centre.

We have also throughout lockdown, in association with Kingsbridge Rugby Club, been providing a hot lunchtime meal once a week to many of our vulnerable clients which has been greatly appreciated.  This is continuing on a fortnnightly basis until the 29th December 2020, but may potentially continue beyond.

Once the current lockdown ends on the 2nd December 2020 and the Government annouces which Tier the South Hams will be in, we can further advise on what level of services we will be able to deliver.  Until then please follow and adhere to all the Government guidelines in place.

Jigsaws: Precautionary Advice – 25 March

I have received advice that in the worst possible scenario Coronavirus can linger on cardboard for up to 9 days. I would advise wiping the box containing the jigsaw with a sterilising solution (such as Milton) or a strong antibacterial kitchen cleaner and leaving it out in strong sunlight for some hours  before delivery.

Many of us are having deliveries in cardboard either from local shops or non-food  items through the post, so it worth being alerted to any further risk, however small.

My personal take on this is that an old jigsaw on a shelf within a domestic environment is a low risk, especially if you clean it well and your hands afterwards of course.

However, I would consult with your client on the telephone to check whether they are happy that this precaution is acceptable.

Sandy Gilbert
Acting Chair, Kingsbridge and Saltstone Caring

Advice for Volunteers – 24 March

Those of you who have been out shopping in Kingsbridge recently will no doubt have noticed that there are more stringent measures being taken, especially at check outs. Personally I am much reassured that our local pharmacies are now limiting customers to one at a time. It is only prudent. I think we are fortunate to live in an area where, for the main part, the majority are cooperating and adhering to the government health guidelines. Our High Street is maintaining a good level of goods and services in most difficult circumstances.

News from KASC Office:
Grateful thanks must go to Andy Walker, who has worked tirelessly to put in place cost free solutions for telephone and IT in a ‘working from home’ scenario at two different locations. We don’t know what we would have done without him, well we do, it would have been a big bill so now instead I’d like to give Big thanks. We need to keep costs to a minimum especially when we’ve had to postpone all our planned events, which are usually very good fundraisers.

Thanks also to our office staff, Helen Baker and Anne Brunner-Ellis who are still delivering the necessary team work from two different places, not an easy task. They are both most essential to keep everything running smoothly.

I know it is a challenging job visiting clients without an ‘actual’ visit, so I do try to offer up ideas. How about a jigsaw exchange? Of course many of our clients may not have good enough eye sight or dexterity, but for those that have, it’s worth thinking about. If your client would like a different puzzle I’m sure we all have some stashed away gathering dust on a shelf somewhere. You could leave one out on the step for the client and they could leave one out for you in return. The image on the jigsaw may also prompt conversation when you telephone, it could recall  a memory or an appreciation of a special subject matter. I recognise that it’s not something for all, but we’ve got to keep the ideas coming.

Please keep your eye on the website. We are trying to keep you posted and connected during this very serious crisis. Send an email with your ideas, it will all help to keep the wheels on the bus turning.

Take care, stay well.

Sandy Gilbert
Acting Chairman
Kingsbridge and Saltstone Caring

Advice for Volunteers, as at 19 March

The Trustees of Kingsbridge and Saltstone Caring met yesterday and wish to add further advices to support volunteers in addition to that already issued in the last letter dated 17 March 2020.

Steps are being taken on Monday 23 March to transition the office to remote at home working. Be assured, all phone calls will be answered remotely – if you get a voicemail message please leave a message with your contact details and we will reply to you as soon as possible. All emails, IT records and correspondence will be transferred confidentially and seamlessly to a ‘working from home’ environment to protect our valued office staff. We will keep you advised as and when there has been a full transfer to ‘working from home’.

If you  have any concerns about a client please inform the next of kin – staff are happy to do this or to give you contact details of next of kin and/or local carers. In an emergency phone 111.

No volunteer is expected to be out of pocket. Arrangements can be made with clients to leave money out on the step to cover the cost of the goods, as suggested in the last letter. Completed shopping and change to be left on the doorstep – of course contact the client to say it is there. In the event of the client not having any cash, then the volunteer refers to the carer or next of kin. If the next of kin is up country, online shopping can be dealt with remotely.

The Trustees will have meetings via IT video conferencing should this become necessary.

Please be reassured that we are doing the best we can for both clients and volunteers. I thought it only fair to explain to you all exactly what is happening at ‘HQ’. It may sound excessive to some, but we need to ‘hope for the best and be prepared for the worst’, leaving you to do what you are all so good at, being a friend.

Take care, stay well.

Sandy Gilbert
Acting Chairman
Kingsbridge and Saltstone Caring