Thank you for all your messages of support for the Community. We love hearing from you and sharing your experience.
We are all looking forward to the time when the centres can be reopened and we can once again enjoy a warm, welcoming community at both centres. Until that happens these are just some of the actions that the Trustees are taking to make sure that our staff at the centres stay safe and well and that Othona comes through this time in as good a position as possible.
As you know, following government guidelines, the centres have cancelled their programmes and closed to visitors until restrictions are lifted. Like all small businesses, having no income for an unknown length of time puts considerable pressure on our finances. We are having to draw on our reserves, already depleted by our investment in major improvements at both centres. The centres are being extra careful with expenditure and have “tight but realistic” budgets.
Othona Staff on Furlough
Fortunately we are eligible for Government support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will pay 80% of our staff wages for 4 months until the end of June. Trustees have chosen to top up the additional 20%, so staff will receive their normal salary.
To qualify for this grant our staff have been put on what is called Furlough. While on Furlough staff are allowed to do no income generating work. They are, however, allowed to run the business from a statutory point of view. As they are resident on site they have to carry out the normal tasks of any household. Some staff may be taken off Furlough, for up to 3 weeks at a time, to carry out special tasks.
Support for Othona Staff during Lockdown and Isolation
The Trustees and Wardens are making sure that we adhere strictly to government guidelines with respect to lockdown. Each centre is a ”household” in self isolation. Only deliveries and people doing essential work, carefully distanced, are allowed.
Trustees and Management Committee members are all supporting our wardens and our other residents so they continue to stay safe and well.
Supporting the Wider Community
As you know Tim and Tony are offering personal support to our wider community. They want to help people stay connected and are signposting valuable and inspiring resources. The resources offered are available to anyone who is interested.
We hope that you and your families stay safe and well and in good spirits. with all good wishes
Elizabeth Sayers Board Secretary, on behalf of Trustees of the Othona Community