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Dear Colleague

I know that these have been the most worrying and unprecedented times for us all.  As a System Leader I didn’t foresee in my lifetime needing to make such difficult and, at times, possibly life changing decisions that may affect my organisation and the wider workforce and community which my wonderful team continues to support and serve. The last 12 Months have been hugely challenging, but also rewarding seeing communities pull together and the generosity and selflessness of individuals giving up their time to help those who are the most vulnerable. Never has there been a time when charities were more needed. We, like so many across the sector, were affected by the Covid-19 crisis, meeting greater demand for all of our services.

Charities and the voluntary sector have played an invaluable role in the national effort against coronavirus. From tackling loneliness, supporting those who have had to shield,  supporting those suffering with poor mental health to providing support to families and young people, we have all responded to the impact of coronavirus on vulnerable people and to relieve the pressure on our NHS. It’s important to remember though that many people will still rely on the vital work our charities do.

As we continue to take full direction from the Government, we will continue to act accordingly, following the new guidelines as we slowly recover and open up communities once again. We will continue to keep everyone safe, whilst delivering our services. Any changes will be clearly communicated but can assure you that we will be continuing to respond to the needs of our diverse population, including the worried well and supporting people to adapt to these changes. We understand those who have been shielding may be concerned, we will do whatever we can to support those people too. Our 900 local volunteers will  continue to be a huge support when required and my sincere thanks goes out to them.

Our Strategic partnership with One Colchester, has been amazing and we will continue to work closely with them and all partners to ensure that we continue to deliver our evolving services, supporting those who need it most. As you will appreciate this is a very moveable feast, but we continue to communicate daily with our workforce, voluntary sector and wider stakeholders to any changes to the current working arrangements.

We have been busy co-ordinating the recruitment, training and deployment of volunteers who wish to help and will continue to provide transport, medication, shopping and many other services you may identify.  We are also proud to have been part of the Vaccination Rollout supporting the Primary Care Centre and GP surgeries across Colchester. It is important that member of the public attend their therapy, health and vaccination appointments. We will continue to provide a transport service where possible as well as supporting the hospital with discharge and wrapped around befriending support. It is also important that our wonderful proactive groups continue to work together in a co-ordinated effort to get the best use of what will become sparse resources.

We are continuing to work  behind the scenes to support you all, helping the sector adapt and survive for the future. With new data being produced this will help to inform our understanding of this crisis moving forward.

Our Weekly C360 News has been used as a platform to provide up to date information and support networks which we hope you have found useful, this will continue to be published every Thursday.

The green shoots of recovery are finally being seen and the hope that we are seeing the end of this terrible pandemic and the opening up of society once again. We must not forget though how brilliantly everybody has responded to the pandemic – our staff, our supporters, our volunteers, our partners. All have played a part in supporting the national effort and will continue to do so as we take baby steps down the road to recovery.

Please continue to stay safe, well and connected and please get in touch if you need any advice or support as we move into the next phase of recovery.

Tracy Rudling



Risk Assessment Coronavirus

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