Coronavirus

19 July 2021, Update on Services

Today is the start of the final phase of the Government reducing the level of COVID-19 related restrictions. The majority of restrictions have now been removed, with very few still in place.  There is though much guidance and recommendations going forward, but they are no longer law.

KASC has a duty of care to all our volunteers and clients, but will not be defining any specific rules of engagement.

Volunteers are welcome to see their clients at their home, outside or take them out somewhere

Both volunteers and their clients should still adhere to guidelines regarding social distancing and the wearing of face coverings where relevant.  Some organisations, business outlets and hospitality venues will still be imposing a level of social distancing and face coverings

We know that some of our clients and volunteers are still concerned about the effect of the relaxations.  We would ask that when meeting you discuss what level of protection you both are happy with, and mutually agree on the social distancing and face coverings you will use.  This applies to home visits, going out and travel in a car

If you wish to visit the KASC office this can be dome between 09:30 and 13:00 Monday through Friday, but please note that the Town Council still have a face covering policy. You will have to ‘check-in’ with the Town Council reception and they will contact us to come and pick you up

From everyone at KASC, thank you once again for all your help during these difficult times.   We will continue to provide updates as appropriate.

If you have any questions on the above please contact the office on 01548 854588

25 May 2021. Update on services

As per Phase 3 of the Government Roadmap, we have been able to relax some of the restrictions imposed on our Volunteer and Client relationships.

Volunteers can now visit Clients in their premises (with the permission of the Client) or outside, or take them to places such as coffee shops or garden centres.  If taking a Client out in a car, then it is recommended you still use a face covering, but this is not mandatory if mutually agreeable between the Volunteer and Client.  You must still adhere to all social distancing and face covering guidelines that are in place.

KASC has had a freeze on taking on new Client referrals due to COVID and the capacity of our volunteers.  We are pleased to announce that we can now open up to new referrals again.  It must be noted though that there may be a delay while we complete outstanding assessments for existing clients, so it may take a few weeks to match up a new Client with a Volunteer.

We will provide a further update once confirmation of Phase 4 of the Government Roadmap proposed for the 21st June 2021 is published

25 February 2021. Update on services

The government have now published the proposed roadmap for the relaxation of restrictions for COVID-19. It is positive news, but in reality we still cannot change the level of services we deliver until at least the end of March 2021.  We will review our services then. We continue to adhere to the Government guidelines in place for visiting, ‘bubbles’ and social distancing.  It remains that in general, unless an emergency, we are not able to enter the premises of our clients.  We continue with telephone calls to clients, shopping and prescription services within guidelines.

We also continue in association with Kingsbridge Rugby Club in providing a hot lunchtime meal every 3 weeks to many of our vulnerable clients which has been greatly appreciated.  This is now continuing until the first week in May and will be reviewed again then.  We thank the staff at the Rugby Club for all their efforts.

The roll-out of the vaccine has commenced in our area, and we wait for further information on how and when this will change the services we can deliver. If you are aware of someone who is over 70, or critically vulnerable and has not had the vaccine, please contact and advise their GP surgery.  Please continue to follow and adhere to all the Government guidelines in place.  Stay safe.

25 January 2021. Update on services

We remain within a lockdown period so our volunteers remain restricted in the services we offer. We continue to adhere to the Government guidelines in place for visiting, ‘bubbles’ and social distancing.  It remains that in general, unless an emergency, we are not able to enter the premises of our clients.  We continue with telephone calls to clients, shopping and prescription services within guidelines.

We continue in association with Kingsbridge Rugby Club in providing a hot lunchtime meal every 2 to 3 weeks to many of our vulnerable clients which has been greatly appreciated.  This continues until March and will be reviewed again then.  We thank the staff at the Rugby Club for all their efforts.

The roll-out of the vaccine has commenced in our area, and we wait for further information on how and when this will change the services we can deliver. Until then please continue to follow and adhere to all the Government guidelines in place.  Stay safe.

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.

Office
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’.

 Clients
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.

Shopping
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.

Trustees
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