Covid 19 Update - 12 May 2020
We wanted to update you on our plans to get CJP back into action and running schemes as soon as possible. The Trustees met via conference call on Tuesday 5th May and felt it was important that we keep you up to date as the Government plans for the end of lock-down start to emerge.
First of all, we also wanted to send our message of support and best wishes to all of you as we know that the Covid19 lock-down has been particularly challenging for families of children with profound learning difficulties and it has made it even harder to get the support you need. We were very disappointed that the Easter Scheme and our Saturday activities had to be stopped but clearly we had no choice and this was the right thing to do to comply with regulations and to make our contribution to the lock-down and keep everyone safe. But, we wanted to remind you that our Activity Club manager, Carol Brown, is still working and would be happy to take a call if that would help share some of the challenges you face. Carol has been using the time to prepare for when we can start running again and to this end, we set out more information below.
We are pleased to say that the Trustees want to get our play schemes operating again as soon as is possible. We are dependent on three key factors, Government guidance, the approach to School re-opening plans and what we would need to do to run our play schemes while keeping the children and our staff safe and socially distanced. To this end, we are reading all Government guidance as it emerges and we are staying in close touch with the leadership team at Granta School and thinking about how the playscheme might be able to access the additional PPE equipment we might need and how we might use Covid-19 testing for our staff.
At the present time, it does look unlikely that we will be able to operate any Saturday activities this term, but we will endeavour to do so if we possibly can. If anything is possible it would be in July. However, our primary focus over the next two months will be to do all we can to run our Summer Holiday Club. If we are able to run the Summer Play Scheme we will have to make modifications to the way we work. We are considering lifting the staff ratios so there are more staff to help ensure safe operation, limiting the number of places available each day, enhanced health and safety procedures and how to ensure social distancing. We will also run the Scheme in the safer and more controlled environment of Granta School rather than having any activities going out into the community.
So, we suggest you proceed with making your requests for places at the Summer playscheme as normal and keep a close eye on your e-mail, the CJP web site and Facebook pages for updates on how our plans are proceeding. The Trustees will meet again on 26 May when we expect to have much more information about whether and how we can start running the Playscheme again and we will give further updates as soon as we can.
In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Carol, me or any of the Trustees and we will do all we can to respond. In the meantime, please keep safe and well and keep in mind that we will all be able to return to some level of normality in the coming months and there will be a time when the Play Scheme is running again. We will all be looking forward to that!
David Jones, Chair of Trustees.
Who are we?
Cambridge Joint Playschemes (CJP) was set up in 1995 and provides Holiday Playschemes for children and young people with moderate to severe learning disabilities as well as Saturday activity clubs. CJP currently runs Saturday clubs and a holiday club at Easter and during the Summer School Holidays.
What do we do?
Our day trips are planned to support everyone to engage in as many community based activities as is possible, these include, but are not limited to, swimming, boat trips, visits to museums and local wildlife centres. We have even been power kiting and down dry ski slopes!
Sadly, the majority of our young people do not have the same social network outside of school as other children do, this is largely due to the fact that they are transported to and from their special schools. This means they have limited contact with friends outside of the school environment. They do not always have the opportunity to mix with children in their local area, due to their disability, their need for adult supervision or the social stigma’s still attached to these amazing young people.
CJP plan activities, in consultation with parents and the children with the aim to build on their interests, encourage social interaction, independence from their families, develop communication skills, promote self-esteem and confidence, to name but a few. These undoubtedly support these incredible young people into adult life, something we all take to easily for granted.
As part of our planned programme of activities we have a contract with a local minibus company and collect the children from their local "park and ride" site around the Cambridge area.
Cambridge Joint Playschemes Activity Clubs holds to the principle that children and young people with moderate to severe learning disabilities have the right to access enjoyable, stimulating and fun activities provided in a safe and caring environment by an organisation run to the highest standard.