This is an update about Coronavirus and the measures we are putting in place to keep our residents safe.
As a nation, we are faced with unprecedented times, creating challenges for us all. After the Government’s announcement of additional measures to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, we all need to do our bit by following the guidelines of social distancing, staying at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives.
First and foremost, the health, safety and wellbeing of our veteran residents and our staff is of paramount importance. We have introduced a number of measures across both our houses, in Newcastle and Liverpool, to ensure we are doing as much as we can to protect our residents and limit the spread of infection.
We are currently housing up to 80 residents who rely on our help and support. Some, more than others, are vulnerable and need additional support and we have put procedures in place to ensure they receive the support they need.
Our Trustees and managers are having regular updates and we are following Government guidance to ensure we minimise any risks to our residents and staff.
The following measures have already been put in place to reassure residents:
- All residents have been briefed about the seriousness and threat of the virus and the symptoms to look out for.
- Residents are encouraged to take care of their health and personal hygiene and posters have been displayed clearly in all areas within both houses. Residents have been provided with extra soap and information on hand washing.
- Residents have been given advice and guidance on self-isolation and the importance of social distancing.
- Residents are encouraged to use telephones and social media to maintain contact when in isolation. Each house is sending group messages via What’s App to communicate key messages to residents. The number of visitors to each scheme has been limited and all communal areas undergo a deep clean. Residents have been given emergency contact telephone numbers of staff and key partner agencies.
- There is good clear (and regular) communication between staff and residents. Welfare calls are being made daily to reassure residents and staff are having extended calls with those most vulnerable to reduce the worry of isolation.
- Residents are encouraged to ask questions and support is being provided about sustaining benefits or income.
- Residents are encouraged to exercise once a day as per Government guidelines. Support is also provided for those who need food supplies and who can’t visit the local shop or foodbank.
- All appointments with key partners are to be conducted via telephone. Residents can still access an emergency repair service.
- Staff have been briefed and appropriate measures are in place to ensure residents are referred to medical and social service support when required.
- Contingency plans are in place should staff need to self-isolate.
These are very challenging times and like other charities, Launchpad relies on personal and corporate donations to ensure we can continue to provide the support and services we need to help our resident veterans. Now more than ever, our residents need our support and we will do everything we can to help them. If you would like to support our veterans, you can still donate through our usual channels on our website at www.veteranslaunchpad.org.uk
The situation is constantly evolving, and we will continue to seek appropriate advice and guidance from Government. I hope you stay safe and well during these difficult times.
CEO and Co-founder of Launchpad