Weekly update from Aaron, KLS’ Director (26Mar20)

26th Mar 2020

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We wanted to share with you our Director’s (Aaron) weekly update he’s sending around to all staff and volunteers at KLS. Just to keep you in the loop! 

Contact Us

If you need anything during this difficult time then please get in touch with us on 020 7223 2845 and [email protected] 

And ‘Battersea Corona Virus Angels’ are on hand too: 07394 856 557 and [email protected] 

Weekly Update

Good morning everyone,

I hope you’re all keeping well, staying safe and not venturing outside too much!

I’ve had a busy week, as I’m sure you have, making that transition to working from home, juggling family life, keeping connecting with everyone, trying to figure out all the new technology, getting a bit too distracted by social media, connecting with other community groups, charities and statutory services so there is a joined up approach, not freaking out too much as the country goes into lockdown and the infection rate shoots up. All this whilst you (our amazing staff & volunteers) crack on supporting local people in Battersea and across Wandsworth.

I’ve been hearing about the amazing work you’ve been doing from conducting ESOL (English) lessons via WhatsApp and getting replies from our students in the supermarket checkout lines, to supporting our elders with daily phone calls, to putting together education resources for our young people so they have enough to do at home…. and celebrating Tracy’s birthday (yesterday)!

I’ve been working with groups from across Battersea, such as Donna from Kambala as she mobilises local residents to support one another and distribute food parcels and a listening ear (thanks to Lisa for supporting this effort). We’ve joined forces with St Mary’s and Sacred Heart churches, as well as Battersea United Charities and Battersea Society, to form the Battersea Corona Virus Angels – we’ve recruited 221 volunteers within a few days and supported 12 older and vulnerable local people so far. I know this will increase as the weeks pass (see KLS’ previous blog post about Battersea Coronavirus Angels).

Tracy (our Admin & Premises Manager) got a call last night (all calls to our central phone number are being rerouted to Tracy, who will pass on messages) from a worried man in Felixstowe (look it up) who has a 92 year old sister living up the road from us in Battersea. We didn’t know her. However she’ s only recently come out of hospital and her neighbours are elderly too. He’d not heard from her and was getting increasingly worried. We immediately got a Coronavirus Angel out to knock on her door and she was OK. She’d just left her phone off the hook. We’ll be checking on her again. For me this typifies our approach at KLS. We’re working together to support local people however best we can. We will continue to do this in the coming weeks ahead by adjusting our services to telephone and online support, in new and creative ways. Thank you for making this happen.

I’ve put together Coronavirus: The KLS ‘Where to Get Help’ List  regarding the local coronavirus response. I’ll updated it so please send me stuff as you hear about it. I hope it’s helpful.  Do check social media, the council and the local press to find out what’s going on in Battersea and across Wandsworth. I’ve been tweeting lots of stuff (@klsettlement) so do follow that too.

I’ve asked all the teams to have at least one team meeting a week, followed up by regular phonecalls, texts, emails and whatsapp messages! We need to support each other through this time and speaking and communicating regularly is key to this.

That’s it for now. I will try and send a weekly update to keep you in the loop. Do send me emails about what you’ve been up to.

In the meantime, stay safe and keep well.

Aaron

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