First and foremost, we want to continue to extend our best wishes to youall during this turbulent time and to thank you for your continued support of MertonVision.
With the new wave of Coronavirus and the rise in infections, we thought it was time for another MertonVision update.
Just when we thought things were getting back to normal, we have the second wave. It is going to be tough for all of us to come to terms withthis, especially those who have been shielding or have remained indoors for a long period. The emphasis on getting back to normal is to follow good practice guidance in social distancing. We know this is still a major issue for many of you. We continue to keep the health and wellbeing of our service users and volunteers as our priority.
We have been giving support as and when it has been requested by providing volunteers to help with shopping, collecting prescriptions and anything else that is needed. We have helped those of you who have found it difficult to maintain your independence at home and require extra support. We will continue to provide this support as long as you need it; we understand the complexities of travelling independently out into familiar areas that have been dramatically changed with one way pedestrian travel, extra street furniture on the pavements, public travel restrictions and social distancing requirements.
We want to assure you we are still here for all your needs, as we have been throughout the Covid pandemic. The Guardian Centre office number is still maintained and we will respond to any phone, email or social media enquiry. Our staff have contacted over 550 of you already for a chat to enquire on your well-being and will continue to contact as many of you as possible. When we contact you we will ask if you need any food, prescriptions, essentials and or assistance with important correspondence. You do not need to wait for us to call if you have any of these needs, or if you just want to chat to someone please do not hesitate to contact us. Our driver Mark, together with our brilliant volunteers, will endeavour to drop off and collect items to ensure that we help you manage your continued isolation to the best of our ability.
To date we have made over 1300 phone calls and carried out 160 shopping requests and Mark has made over 150 visits, delivering prescriptions, equipment and providing assistance with IT.
Your continued well wishes are greatly received and help us through this difficult time.
In the last member’s letter we sent you, it stated that we intended to re-open the Guardian Centre in October to provide small interactive groups and help to get you out of your isolation.
Unfortunately, the Guardian Centre’s heating system is not working and it is too cold to provide services within. We were planning not to be in the Guardian Centre this winter but delays in the proposed new joint venture of the Guardian Centre and Colliers Wood Health Centre have meant we are still occupying the building. Once we have fixed the heating situation and Covid restrictions allow we will re-open as soon as possible to provide a number of social activities. We will send notification as soon as we can. However, we will be working hard behind the scenes to bring you a new look delivery of services, we obviously want to see you face to face at the Centre but this may take a while, so we are working to try and bring new innovative ways of interacting. We are aiming to bring all your favourite activities such as Coffee and Lunch Clubs, Exercise, Arts, together with a selection of new activities including Yoga, Dance and Singing all through modern video technology. Don’t worry if you haven’t got the technology, we are working on how we can overcome this barriertoo. We will update you as soon as we have perfected the alternative activities.
The planning for the new joint venture has gone to the local Authority andcan take up to 13 weeks to complete the process. During this time we are working with Nexus, the developer, to secure our temporary site and get it ready to provide services. We are hopeful to use rooms at the Wilson Hospital and will confirm these arrangements as soon as we can. As we mentioned above services may look a little different when we move but it is an exciting time and has given us the incentive to continue our support through disruption.
Looking after your mental well-being;
Understandably, you may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people.
At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behavior which in turn can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help you stay mentally and physically active during this time.
• Look for exercises ideas you can do at home on the NHS website
• Spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio etc.
• Keep in contact with family, friends, MertonVision and other voluntary organisations
• Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
• Keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden
You can also go for a walk outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others. Please let us know if you need assistance with this as we may be able to arrange a volunteer to give verbal instructions to maintain the 2 metre distance.
Please look after yourselves at this time and do contact your doctor or hospital if in need, the NHS is still open for general health requirements as well as the virus.
We would like to express our best wishes that you, your family and friends stay safe and keep well.
Kevin and Harry