I’m writing to let you know our current plans for re-opening and to remind you about Extratime’s alternative options.
I understand how difficult this lockdown is for Extratime families and that approaching half term without the holiday scheme to look forward to is particularly tough. Please know that although we can’t physically open, we are still here for you and your family.
Re-opening physical clubs and schemes
Safely re-opening, and welcoming everyone back to physical services as soon as we possibly can is our priority. I’m pleased to say that we are making plans to do this from Monday 1st March, which is just over two weeks away.
You’ll remember that the very high local transmission rate in Sussex was the reason we paused physical clubs in January. Since then we’ve continued to carefully follow the local authority advice and government guidance. As you probably know, the reduction in the local transmission rate has been dramatic. Tragically, people are still losing their lives to this devastating virus but it’s no longer spreading so fast. The rates in Brighton & Hove and West Sussex are now lower than the national average and Brighton & Hove is also lower than the South East average. (120:100,000 and 194:100,000 respectively).
The local NHS Vaccination programme* is well underway and most eligible Extratime staff have now received their first vaccine.
All of this means Extratime will soon be able to re- open.
If it’s possible, we would like to welcome all the children and young people back to their usual clubs from 1st March. However some of our after school club sites may still have restrictions in place, and may wish to limit club places to children who are physically in school.
The schools are making these decisions after the Prime Minister’s announcement w/b 22nd February and if there are restrictions, we’ll look at running more sessions at Portslade Village Centre to create as many places as possible. We will confirm this once the school policies have been confirmed.
The Wednesday Youth Club will start again at Portslade Village Centre on Wednesday 3rd March.
As you’d expect, Extratime’s established COVID safety protocols (bubbles, masks, cleaning etc) will be in place at all settings. You can read the risk assessments and guidance here: Resources & Reports
Easter Holiday Schemes
As we already keep the holiday schemes quite small, we are hoping to be able to run them as close to normal (pre-COVID) levels this year.
Of course all of this is subject to the announcements the government makes in the coming weeks. We will also need to consider practical considerations around access to venues and safe staffing levels. This includes waiting to hear about the progress of building work at some sites.
That said, we are optimistic and very keen to confirm Easter holiday scheme places as soon as possible, so you’ll receive the link to the booking forms next week.
We also want to understand how we can make future holiday scheme booking arrangements better for you, so I’ll be in touch next week to ask how you’d like us to do this.
Alternative Offer: [email protected]
Whilst the clubs are not open I hope you and your family have found [email protected] and the Family Play Sessions helpful and enjoyable. We know that screens don’t suit a lot of children and young people, so we’ve tried to create mix of activities. All of this is on the [email protected] pages, so please get involved in the workshops, virtual after school clubs, and family play sessions. Also, we’d love to know how it’s going, so please send us your photos and feedback.
Activity packs are also making their way to the homes of some children and young people over the next few days so I hope they enjoy them. These are for families who requested them in the survey and also for after school and youth club people.
If you have booked a family play you should have received a confirmation email from us. Please get in touch if you haven’t.
I’ll be in touch again as soon as we have more news, and in the meantime I’ve included the usual list of advice and resources below. I’m also including a link to some useful information about vaccinations for unpaid carers from Carers UK. Understandably this is an area of great concern for many families so I hope it’s helpful.
- [email protected]
- *Covid vaccine – FAQs – Carers UK
- West Sussex Short Breaks Wiki
As always please let me know if there is anything else we can help you or your family with, either directly or by helping you speak to another organisation.
Warmest wishes as always