The outbreak of Coronavirus/COVID-19 in the UK, and globally, is deeply concerning. As the pandemic develops, Blesma is taking daily account of the situation and the governmental measures relating to it. Our absolute first concern is for the health and wellbeing of our Members and staff, and we are continually reviewing how we deliver our services to ensure this is the case.
Please know that Blesma will continue to support its Members in all the ways it can. Ours is an Association founded on a strong sense of community, and this community is more important now than ever. The office in Chelmsford currently remains open, with one or two individuals in each day and other staff able to work from home, so no business interruption.
Support in your area
In all aspects it will be, as far as possible, ‘business as usual’ although Blesma Support Officers, Outreach Officers, volunteers and Welfare Representatives will provide support via telephone and online communications rather than in person. All BSOs have contacted, or are in the process of contacting, Members in their areas to ensure support for those who may become isolated and/or at risk (especially if unable to shop/collect medication) and have no other help. There will also be new virtual events to replace physical get-togethers and some activities.
Our new Blesma Connects app is also a way for Members to keep in touch. If you require any additional support at this time, or wish to volunteer to help those Members who are most in need, please do make contact with your BSO or Outreach Officer.
Activities and events
Blesma has postponed all UK and overseas Blesma events until the end of May. All activities and events into June and July are under review, and it is with regret that Members’ Weekend has been cancelled. Individual Members are being contacted. We aim to be in a position to rearrange most events when it is safe to do so. Separate arrangements for Blesma’s AGM will be sent out in due course.
Our Making Generation R programme around the theme of resilience continues despite school closures, as teachers and employed Blesma Members look to deliver their talks and workshops in an online form to pupils now at home.
In summary, Blesma will continue to do all that it can to support its Members and, where the current pandemic cuts across our usual ways of working, we will look to adapt and innovate, and utilise the goodwill of our community to make sure all are safe in the uncertain weeks ahead.