As OPAL trustees we want you to know how we are approaching this difficult business of opening up services and having direct contact with our members and volunteers, while making sure as far as we can that we are behaving in a responsible way and not putting other people`s health and wellbeing at risk. This situation has required us to become far more prescriptive than we would have been previously, however we believe we have no option because we have a duty of care to those we support and to our volunteers and staff.
We have a few simple rules we will be following which we think are important to make you are aware of.
- We will follow the Government guidance and its roadmap and expect our volunteers, staff and those we support to do the same. We will ensure we keep up to date with the guidance, making necessary adjustments as and when it changes.
- All staff who are in contact with members or volunteers have now received their two Covid vaccinations and our expectation is that the majority of our volunteers and members will have done so within the next few weeks. If there are individuals who for medical reasons cannot have one of the Covid vaccines we would like to know, so that we are able to discuss the options in terms of available services and their delivery with you.
- We will be adopting a multi layered approach towards having direct contact with people and we will not be reliant on one method of preventing the virus being passed to others. We will adopt several of these methods to reduce the likelihood of virus transmission.
- Initially organisers will be talking to members outside in their gardens or on the doorstep and with the appropriate social distance between them. They will also have obtained a negative result from a Rapid Lateral Flow test for Covid prior to their visit and we will expect our volunteers to undertake the same test. Hand sanitiser will be used liberally and if the necessary social distance (currently 2 metres) cannot be achieved the organiser or volunteer will wear a 3 layered face mask. Please note that masks are more effective in preventing transmission than visors.
- For members and volunteers who cannot leave their homes and /or who have not been vaccinated against the virus, there are a range of remote services OPAL now provides and we will be happy to extend these to you until such time as you are vaccinated or the current advice and regulations change.
We hope you understand the reasons for us adopting such an approach. If you wish to talk to a member of the Board of Trustees about any of this please mention this to an organiser/volunteer coordinator and we will arrange for this to happen.