Safe Use of the Village Halls
Dear Hall User,
At our latest Trustee meeting it became clear that groups are confused as to how we are using the halls after the Covid – 19 restrictions have been lifted. You are not alone, and rest assured we are doing everything we can to get back to normal, but in a safe way. Northumberland has a very high case load of positive cases, which is worrying, that said, many of our members are double vaccinated, and considered to be at low risk. This does not mean we are totally safe. Many double vaccinated people are still catching the virus.
In September we will be welcoming back all our groups. For the first time, those who were reluctant to return will be restarting their sessions. The youth groups will also be resuming after their summer break. The youth groups are made up of unvaccinated youngsters who will have re-started school and are likely to be asymptomatic if they contract the virus. Because we have mixed age groups sharing the space, we must continue to use the building in an extra safe way. I have outlined below the measures we will be taking.
· We will continue to use the foyer as a signing in area with a one-way system.
· We will continue to keep areas that are not being used locked. (If you are not sure which areas you require, just ask). This is so we can ensure all areas that are used can be sanitized between sessions.
· We will ask groups to develop risk assessments for their activity. There is help available on your governing bodies webpage and the UK government site.
· We ask groups to try, where possible to avoid overcrowding in small areas such as, the bathrooms, kitchen, and foyer.
· We ask hall users to keep a record of who is attending their session, should an outbreak occur, and to inform us if anyone in their group tests positive.
· We ask organisers to allow no less than 15 minutes between sessions to allow for the hall manager to sanitize. This is hard for many groups but will be very much appreciated.
· We ask groups to understand that the side room is being used as a temporary office to house the manager. This is to allow her to carry out the extra cleaning without having to travel to and from home several times a day.
· When running your session, we ask that you keep the windows and doors always open.
· We encourage you to wear face coverings in public areas and use the hand sanitizers or bathrooms for regular handwashing.
Finally, as the hall manager I understand the sacrifices we are asking groups to make. I am aware many members feel they are over the top, but I assure you they are necessary. Our youth groups, who have supported us valiantly through this pandemic must work to a very strict set of guidelines for unvaccinated people. They must spend hours drawing up risk assessments for their activities. These risk assessments consider the sacrifices we are making, they are also the reason we have been chosen as their venue of choice. If we are going to weather this storm we must work together.
I hope we will be back to normal soon, but in the meantime, I appreciate all your help and support in keeping our halls going.
My very best wishes,