COVID – 19 Update June 2020

 

As it has for countless others, the impact of COVID-19 here at SSG has been wide spread. Below we aim to provide our customers with an update in relation to how we have reacted, our current position and our up to date plans for the reopening of some of our services that have been impacted.

 

Initial Response:

 

At the point of the restrictions being implemented by the government, we had already spent several weeks action planning and developing comprehensive continuity plans to mitigate the impact on both our customers and our staffing team. Our priority was to safeguard future provision and jobs – as a local organisation we are acutely aware of our responsibilities for both.  As restrictions tightened, we implemented the following strategies:

 

  • We ceased all of our regular consumer projects inclusive of weekend academies and swim schools. We ensured that all our family provisions were frozen so that as we return from lockdown; children’s development and progress can continue upon the lifting of the restrictions.
  • We ceased all of our weekend birthday party provision and began a 4-weekly cycle of communication to customers with future bookings. We have been hugely appreciative to families who have sought to support us by rescheduling parties to a later date.
  • We ceased all of our schools and corporate based provision inclusive of cancellation of our summer residential season and activity days for schools across Beds, Herts & Bucks. We set about working with schools and organisations to reschedule provision and safeguard funds for our customers. We wanted to ensure that they all receive the services they pay for or have the opportunity to re-shape it to best support the needs of their school/organisation in the future. We are so grateful for having such an incredible group of school and business partners that we work with.
  • We closed down our operational office and re-housed all staff on a ‘work from home’ basis providing ICT infrastructure and access to online meeting platforms, communication tools and contact points for customers via online and call-back services.
  • We moved all of our educational and training-based services to an online delivery model with over 200 live learners now accessing existing courses as well as specialised tailor made COVID-19 personal support courses.

 

Local Community Support:

 

Having remodelled our services as above, we turned our attention to identifying how and where we could best support our local community. We have been delighted to have worked in close partnership with both Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Council to provide and deliver a COVID safe service of active childcare throughout the pandemic to children of keyworker and vulnerable families.

 

We continue to work in partnership with the local authorities to provide these fully funded services to families whilst the school landscape settles. In addition, we have provided a 7 day a week rest bite service for families of children with high needs. These provisions have been completely free of charge to families and has been funded through a combination of support from Bedford Borough Council and Bedford Education Association as well as a SSG Community Grant from us to support this service.

 

We have developed a wide reaching COVID-19 Support Package providing focus, qualification opportunities, welfare & wellbeing support and careers guidance for individuals aged 19+ that have been affected by the pandemic and our tutors continue to deliver this via online platforms across the counties we operate in. This has seen some wonderful individual stories and development with our tutors providing drop off and collection services, signposting to partner organisations and most importantly cake drops!

 

Our Intended Re-Start Plans

 

We continue to monitor the guidance released from both the government, local authority and the relevant governing bodies with whom our services fall under. As we do this, we are beginning to formulate a timeline of restart that will of course remain fluid and reactive to any changes of guidance.

 

We are holding a bi-weekly return to service review and will provide updates to our customers following these reviews.

 

Swim Schools:

 

We are in communication with our pool facilities as well as Swim England as we monitor the development of leisure service restrictions. We are keen to restart our lessons as quickly as possible but this will largely be restricted by the safe access to our partner swimming pools.

 

We hope to be back in lessons by no later than September and are currently developing comprehensive operational plans in line with updated guidance from Swim England. As restrictions continue to ease, we will provide updates via email to our existing customers and are allocating available spaces to new swimmers to access free taster sessions when we are able to restart.

 

Weekend and Evening Academies & Birthday Parties

 

We remain hopeful that we will be able to open these services under revised operational plans in August. This will include our weekend Football and Gymnastics academies as well as our birthday party offers.

 

We will remain in communication with existing parents for these programmes and provide a minimum 3-week notice of intended confirmed return dates.

 

School Holiday Active Childcare:

 

We are delighted to confirm that our Summer Holiday provision will operate this year in Bedford utilising our COVID-19 safe and approved delivery model that we have developed and implemented in partnership with Bedford Borough Council. Our bookings for the summer holiday are now open and can be accessed via our website as well as through call back requests on our social media platforms.

 

Education & Training Services:

 

We continue to monitor DFE guidance and work in partnership with local authorities. Our service continues to operate via online learning platforms and we anticipate a return to classroom learning in September. We are NOW open for applications for our 16-18 further education courses for September in Bedford, Luton and Hertfordshire and interested parties can apply on line via the website or can call us on 01234 340782 option 3 to request a call back or email courses@ssgservices.co.uk.

 

Schools Based Services

 

We continue to communicate with all of our school partners and are tailoring provision and services for schools as usual. Should your school require any tailored support this side of the summer holidays, please contact us on 01234 340782 option 1 or email info@ssgservices.co.uk to discuss further.

 

A final Message:

We would like to say a HUGE thank you to all of our customers, staff and partners. Like many businesses we have been impacted in an unprecedented way, we feel incredibly fortunate to still be operating and to be involved in the services that we provide. We have been able to see first-hand how difficult this has been for families that we support and will strive to provide even better provisions for you as we move in to a very different looking future.

 

We wish you all good health and happy times.

 

SSG Services