March 2021

In January we took the hard decision to close our services to volunteers because of the COVID situation. As the local and national cases have dropped dramatically we have now decided to welcome volunteers back to our Pack and Post, Warehouse and Gardening businesses.

We will be operating under strict COVID secure protocols to work as safe as possible for our volunteers, staff and customers.

Sadly we will not be able to reopen the Tans until May at the earliest and, when social distancing is eased, we plan to restart our try popular lunchclub at Gilesgate.

We hope to increase the number of volunteers we can bring back over the next few weeks and we will be keeping in touch with the rest directly and via our weekly newsletter, Hextol happenings.

During this lockdown we have not been standing still. We have taken delivery of a new van for our gardening service, very kindly funded by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland, as well as installing a new IT system.

Various studies have now shown that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted the learning disabled community and that mental health issues are likely to increase further. Our services are therefore needed now more than ever and we are extremely pleased to be able to reopen.

If you want to talk to us about becoming a volunteer in one of our services or if we can help with any work you need doing then please get in touch with us on 01434 604253 or [email protected] and we will get back to you.

So welcome back #teamhextol!

Bruce Howorth

Chief Executive

We have been very busy putting measures in place to ensure we are operating as safely as possible for all of our businesses. These include:

  • Sanitiser in every room for staff and visitors
  • Staff working from home where possible
  • All staff and volunteers split into work ‘bubbles’ to reduce contact
  • Increased cleaning and sanitising throughout our premises
  • Masks will be mandatory when working in groups
  • Staff and volunteers are required to inform their manager if they (or anyone with whom they have shared close contact) develop symptoms of COVID-19
  • Social distancing will be enforced by moving furniture and desks in the office, removing communal seating areas and putting signs and tape to indicate the 1m+ advised
  • Temperature checks on everyone who enters the office buildings
  • Reduced seating to maintain social distancing

These new procedures are temporary and are under constant review to keep in line with Government guidance. We only run shifts and offer services when we are confident we can work safely and effectively.

Here’s our COVID-19 Risk Assessment and our CV-19 leaflet for volunteers to read.

Cherie will be in touch with all of our volunteers about returning to work but bear with us, there’s a lot of you!

 We can now offer our customers some of our usual services. Please contact us if we can help you.