Today, we locked the door to our office at the Kath Locke Centre, and it is strange to think that we don't know when we'll be back there as a staff team. Following government and NHS guidance, and also in conversation with other services and organisations, we took the very difficult decision to close our office base from 5pm on Friday 20th March. Our work will continue, but for now, the sign on the office door will continue to say 'closed'.
The last few days have been a blur of activity, speaking with all our clients, keeping in touch with our night shelter venue coordinators and then sorting out everything we need so the staff team can all work from home. Alongside this, our night shelter is still running, there are over 75 people staying in our shared houses or with hosts, and we've even been able to move two clients into our newest Boaz house!
We're pleased (and somewhat relieved) that our early attempts to work remotely have been fairly successful. We held our quarterly trustees finance sub group meeting using Zoom, and we've also been able to use this app to connect with staff who are self-isolating at home. We carried out a phone based meeting with a client and their solicitor which worked well, and we're really grateful to our amazing interpreters who are working with us to make sure we can communicate effectively with our clients by text, phone and email.
These are difficult times. People have asked us how they can help us and the simple answer is, we don't really know yet. As the next few days, weeks and months unfold, we'll all be learning more about the impact of COVID-19 on our work and as we identify areas where we need your help, we'll be sure to let you know. Please do follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates, and thank you for your support.