First of all I would like to thank the many people who have sent best wishes and support to us as a staff team at this extremely difficult time. It is really appreciated and much needed.
I am working very hard and liaising closely with Trustees and others to manage the situation which is extremely worrying for us all.
The health and well-being of our community is our priority. This extends to mental health as well as physical health.
The livelihoods of our 52 staff members is an additional significant concern to us. We are doing what we can to minimise the impact on their incomes
The future of the Centre is at risk. I am working with Trustees and others to put contingencies in place to secure its position as the essential hub that it has become. This will involve difficult decisions and we may need your support with these.
Regarding the memberships. I feel very uncomfortable about the proposed increase. It is, to say the least, bad timing. However, we have decided to proceed with the increases as we have put a fair amount of work in behind the scenes which will be time consuming and hence, costly to reverse. In addition, obviously the costs that led us to make those increases will remain. Indeed, they may well increase.
We fully understand if people decide to cancel their memberships whilst we are unable to maintain a normal service.
We are also incredibly grateful to the large number of very supportive people who made a point of renewing their memberships this week as a token of support for us. Thank you so much. It means a great deal to us to know that we have that emotional and practical support at this time.
We are constantly reviewing our activities and looking at providing alternatives. This is likely to include classes outside on the field or maybe the Downs or beaches, with limits on social contact. Please watch our website and Facebook page for updates on this.
In addition to attempting to maintain some sort of physical activity programme we are also working with the many voluntary and other groups across the West Wight and are planning to set up some sort of help centre based here at the Centre. This will include a data base of healthy volunteers who can help support the isolated and vulnerable. This could well include delivering meals from our café, collecting prescriptions, etc. etc. If you would like to offer your services as part of this, please let us know.
Thank you again for your support, which is needed more than ever at this time