Things are slowly starting to open - As from this week, we can meet up with others outside in groups of 6, whilst abiding by social distancing measures. Schools, for some years, are open. Vehicle retailers have opened. Dentists are due to open next week. All non-essential retailers can open their stores from 15th June providing the rate of infection remains within their defined limits.
We are starting to return to normal. Or are we? Social Distancing measures are due to be in place for months to come, probably until towards the end of the year. Some industries, for example hotels, leisure businesses, holiday companies, airlines and retailers, will take a significant amount of time to recover, with many individual businesses in these sectors, who were fighting to be profitable even before lockdown, already folded. Some school years will not go back now until September.
In addition, the death rate in the UK illustrates how at risk certain age groups are, with nearly 90% of all deaths in the UK being in people over 65 years old, and 42% of all deaths being those over 85 years old (Office for National Statistics). Those of us in this age bracket, or with loved ones in that bracket, will need to remain careful and comply with hygiene and distancing guidelines for some time to come.
But it’s not all bad news. The good news is that we are definitely winning the war. Death rates in the UK over the next few days should drop out of the hundreds a day, which although tragic still, is a huge drop from the peak where figures per day were closer to 1000. We can now see those we have missed over the last few months and begin to socialise, which is so important for our mental health. There are still numerous challenges ahead, but there are, undoubtedly, better times ahead.
Andy Robins, Assistant Director.
Another week we are extremely pleased to say that we have no cases of coronavirus within staff, foster carers, or our young people. The office is running well with the new normal, and support continues to take place in the community, again conforming to the new normal.
Our support groups are up and live this week, with our first sessions happening yesterday. Please do attend these smaller, online only sessions- your input and experiences are always valued, and we look forward to seeing you there.
As first mentioned, a couple of weeks ago, Becs, our Participation and Support Worker, has now sent out all the boxes aimed at our young people going through puberty. The boxes contain a Guide to Growing Up booklet which may help to explain a few things about how their bodies may be changing, and also within the box are a few useful bits (gender specific) they may find useful. It also contains details for Becs, Vic and Bethan who are always there for a chat or if you or your young people have any questions for them. If the young people would like to contact Becs, please encourage them to do so.
A reminder that Vicky has put together a lovely video for all our young people to watch, with a few positive words from her for this continued difficult time. We are very proud of them all and their efforts over the lockdown period. Please encourage them to watch the video on our Youtube channel, search for Affinity Fostering, or access via this link.
Some fabulous content you may have missed over the last week include a guide to Castles, live from Dover Castle, and an update from English Heritage for those of you keen to get the family out on our facebook page; the latest instalment from the secret foster carer on our website blog page; some lovely anonymised quotes from our foster carers with lovely graphics on our Instagram page; and updates from FosterTalk and Remus Horse Sanctuary on our Twitter feed. So don’t miss out, give us a follow or a like!
And, even better, if you have felt especially supported and valued during the lockdown period by us, as so many of you have come back and told us, you could leave us a positive review on facebook or on Google, which would be really appreciated. (You can review on Google by typing Affinity Fostering Services into Google, and then on the right-hand side when the results come up, you can we only have two Google reviews. Click on those reviews and you can then write your own). On Facebook, you’ll see our reviews on the right-hand side of our Posts page. Please do add some of your own, we’d love some more reviews!