23 March 2020
Update: 23rd March 2020
There is no change to the status of our services (latest below), however we are closing our office in Brasted from the end of today, and we’re beginning to plan for school holidays and NCS activity over the summer.
- Our schools remain open following the official guidance for schools relating to key workers and vulnerable children. We’re in close communication with each Local Authority, and whilst there is the demand for services, and sufficient staff available to deliver, we will keep our schools open. There is no guidance on whether schools should remain open over Easter holidays to support keyworkers and vulnerable children – but we will continue to monitor the situation.
- There is a reduced service in some of our Colleges as a result of staff shortages, but classes are now being delivered digitally.
- The remainder of our services are operating digital offers where possible (e.g. our young people and families services) or limited one to one contact (e.g. our services in prisons) and we continue to follow official advice.
- National Citizen Service (NCS) will have a different summer programme. We’re not sure exactly what it will look like yet, but the focus is likely to be on engaging young people in different ways digitally – and supporting the recovery effort. We’re not actively recruiting more young people to the programme, or new staff, at this stage.
- The Catch22 office in Brasted will close from the end of today. In order to manage any logistics of post, deliveries and equipment that needs to be sent out, we plan to have a couple of people (minimum of 2, max of 3) who will come in on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 9 am to deal with any issues.
Update: 18th March
As the situation continues to develop, Catch22 is doing its utmost to ensure staff and service users are protected as much as possible. In light of the Government’s latest advice for people to ‘limit social contact’ where possible, we are taking the following steps:
London is the epicentre of the UK outbreak and is deemed 3-4 weeks ahead than the rest of the country. In line with official advice we are taking a view to curtail all non-essential travel and contact in London: anyone who can productively work at home should do so. In the meantime, we have considered all of our service delivery on a case by case basis as well:
- Community Links: staff are being advised to work from home where possible and a skeletal staff structure will be in place to deliver essential services.
- The same applies to Only Connect.
- PPP West London: we are aligned to Government advice to keep schools open as long as safely possible. Our intent is to keep PPP open until a shift in policy; as the site is in outer London, we believe that the risk to staff and service users is limited for now.
- The Hive: will be closed but 1:1 sessions will continue in the community.
- Merton Substance Misuse: will remain open until official advice is to do otherwise. As the site is not in central London, we believe there is less risk to staff and service users.
- The same applies to Wandsworth Young People’s Health Agency.
- Prisons: we are taking guidance from HMPPS on how to operate safely in the current context; we intend to remain active for as long as prison service staff are themselves operational, which we anticipate will be the foreseeable future.
Pear Tree Street HQ and Brasted
Pear Tree Street will close from this afternoon due to its central London location. Head office will technically be relocated to Brasted as part of our business continuity procedures, and there will be at least one member of the Chief Office Group (COG) present daily overseeing a rota of essential support service staff.
Services outside London
The running of other essential services will be monitored on a case by case basis and reviewed daily based on official advice. Any nonessential work that can be carried out at home should be.
Work related activity and spend
There is no certainty as to how long the current situation will last, and we are working hard to limit the impacts on Catch22’s business. With immediate effect and until further notice we are introducing a spending freeze on non-essential items such as marketing materials or equipment and on recruitment along with use of sessional workers and contractors. We will be pausing any change projects or development projects that are not essential to existing capacity.
General health advice
The latest government advice is available here. If you are feeling unwell, make sure you stay at home and follow this advice.
If you are able to work from home with no disruption to outputs, do so (discussing this with your line manager around work schedules and patterns).
Any business meetings you have should be moved to virtual meetings – either over the phone or using Teams (calls or video calls) or Workplace chat.
Clearly this is an unprecedented time, but please be assured that our priority is your health and wellbeing. For those who are working from home, self- isolation does not mean social isolation. It’s important to keep regular communication across teams as much for everyone’s wellbeing as anything else.
- Read Catch22’s letter to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, calling for Government to support voluntary sector organisations.