Malvern Welcomes Family Support Group Bulletin – 27th March 2020
UPDATE on Covid19 and the current Lockdown
As some of you know, the application for a third Community Sponsorship family was all ready to go to the Home Office. We had completed the necessary forms and accessed a suitable house.
Unfortunately, this must now be on hold. In the current circumstances, the Home Office is not able to resettle families. We also are very aware that our ‘workforce’ is greatly reduced, for now at least. Many are self-isolating and needing to take great care of themselves.
We are focusing all our efforts and resources on supporting the existing five families in Malvern.
There is an urgent need to ensure that families are up to date and understand the developing situation and information which is changing all the time. Much of it is hard even for English speakers to understand and the new concepts which we are being asked to embrace are so alien.
At this point the families remain buoyant and display inspiring resilience. They firmly wish to retain the independence which they have so bravely achieved since they arrived in the UK. However, in these unprecedented circumstances some realise that they have no choice but to accept assistance.
Two of the families have a member who is classed by the NHS as ‘at risk’. They have received letters advising that the whole family should self-isolate for twelve weeks. This is going to be tough for them. They will need to have all their shopping and errands done for them.
Any contact by phone, WhatsApp, or other media is hugely appreciated and is an important way for them to feel included in the community and to keep their English going.
Sharon and her amazing ESOL team are supporting all of the adults and children through regular online English lessons. It is impressive how quickly they have acted to put this programme together. All of the adults and children had been making such excellent progress with their English and it is vital that they do not start to lose the ground which they have gained.
The lessons are also, of course, an invaluable social lifeline and add some structure to their lives.
The Primary schools and The Chase have also moved very quickly, and all the youngsters have received work so that they can continue their studies online. Youngsters and their parents have asked for help with doing this work and we are in the process of putting this support in place. Children and teenagers are all really keen to study and we know that we need to build on this now.
Heart of Worcester College and Worcestershire County Council are also continuing the classes online.
Natasha White, WCC Vulnerable Resettlement Programme Manager (Lead for Employment & Education) is staying in regular contact with us. She now has a weekly plan to keep in touch with the families and will be messaging us each week.
A new reality is emerging of Pilates, yoga, Taekwondo and other exercise classes being delivered online. If anyone in the families wishes to enrol for any of these Malvern Welcomes will pay. Please do encourage them.
Margaret Bryer, who recently became a Trustee for Malvern Welcomes died suddenly at the beginning of March. Since she became involved with Malvern Welcomes, we have all greatly appreciated her insight and experience.
Peter Thomas died at the beginning of March, having been living with Motor Neuron Disease for the last twelve months. Peter was a great friend of Malvern Welcomes and he supported us with his considerable IT expertise, designing posters and formatting booklets. We will miss him greatly.
As things are at the moment all planned events are cancelled.
The Safeguarding training scheduled for May 16th will go ahead if it is possible, but this does not look likely at this time.