A Statement from our CEO Martin Kelly
Hello everybody, well what a strange year 2020 has turned out to be. There will not be a single person who has not been affected by the Covid-19 crisis in some way shape or form. Many of our staff have been in the shielding group who barely left their home since March.
Although shielding has ended and some things are beginning to open up again we need to be very aware that the virus is still out there affecting people and as there is no vaccine at the moment we have to be extremely careful about how we do things.
As a result, we plan on reopening to the public in September 2020, however, you will notice that we will be doing things differently at Disability Experts CIC to enable us to be able to support you to meet your goals in a way that is safe for you and us.
We can now only have 4 people plus tutors in our training room instead of the usual 6 to ensure we can keep 2m apart. Visitors will be required to wear a mask, as I said earlier some of our staff are in the high risk group for Covid-19 so even if you are exempt from wearing a mask we would either ask you to wear one for the time you are with us or to arrange for us to support you either over the phone or through appointments carried out online.
There will be a one-way system when walking through our training room to ensure people can remain 2m apart and we will have some new furniture that will be easy to clean and sterilise after it has been used.
Sadly, we have lost some of our courses and activities to enable us to make these changes. Our computer courses, Job Club, My Money My Choices, My Body My Choices and Creating Confidence courses are currently suspended, as is the mental health choir and our small literacy group. We hope we can bring these back at some point but at the moment we cannot find room for them. We have introduced mentoring sessions where we can support people on a range of subjects, either related to the matters covered in these courses or something completely different that means we are not leaving people without support, it just will not be in a course format as we have done in the past.
We have also had to adjust our prices accordingly. As we have always operated on a non-profit basis, our costs have increased and we can see fewer people we have had to raise our prices as a result, however we have introduced a guaranteed pass scheme where for a slightly higher price people can re-sit our courses multiple times until they pass at no extra cost.
Be assured I am watching the progress of our ability to tackle and eventually defeat Covid-19 and as soon as we can introduce more courses and activities and reduce our prices we will do so, but just at the moment this is how we have to do things for the safety and well being of all of us.
Finally, I would just like to re-iterate we still have to be careful about Covid 19 and the risk it presents us with. As long as we all act as carefully and responsibly as we can then the sooner other activities will be able to reopen across the country and when a vaccine becomes available we can all begin to get back to something like the way life used to be.
Until then, as ever, Best Wishes & Stay Well