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Coronavirus Update Joint statement Posted on Friday, 20 March 2020

Maureen O’Malley – Charity Manager and Linda Jones – Chair of VASL Trustee Board

We are currently taking the necessary immediate and longer-term steps to support and protect our clients, volunteers, staff and partners from the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak, which is happening in the UK, Europe and around the World.

Our focus is to keep our services running, particularly those supporting vulnerable people: such as those using our carers support, mental health support, befriending services and community transport.

At present, our priority is ensuring staff can run our critical services – Support for Carers, Young Carers, My Mind Matters, Community Champions, and VASL Community Transport.

VASL, like any organisation, has a duty of care towards the staff that work for the charity, our volunteers, and to the people that use our services. We have taken the step of temporarily closing our headquarters at Torch House and making some adjustments to the way we work and the services that we offer.

  • VASL staff will be working from home
  • VASL offices based at Torch House will be closed with immediate effect.

We are:

  • Looking at how we can protect the most vulnerable in our community
  • Minimising meetings in line with Government guidance
  • Cancelling all public events, groups, and gatherings, such as VASL Young Carers Group, Community Champions gatherings, and Carers groups.
  • Minimising face-to-face contact with vulnerable individuals ie. persons over 70 years old and those that we are aware may have underlying health issues

We will be:

  • Maintaining VASL services wherever possible
  • Continuing to offer support via the telephone, email, and social media
  • Liaising with other local groups and organisations to offer advice and support to the community in the coming weeks.
  • We are still in the early days of the Coronavirus outbreak within the UK and things will become clearer regarding the needs, working methods, and services that we can offer. We will post regular updates on our website to keep you informed.

In the meantime, a summary of our services is as follows:

  • Support for Carers Tel: 01858 468543 Email: maureen@supportforcarers.org.uk  
  • Young Carers Tel: 01858 439268 Email: youngcarers@vasl.org.uk 
  • My Mind Matters Tel: 01858 411383Email: mindmatters@vasl.org.uk
  • Community Champions Tel: 01858 439262 Email: champions@vasl.org.uk 
  • VASL Transport Scheme Tel: 01858 468499 Email:transport@vasl.org.uk 

VASL Main Contact Details: Tel: 01858 433232 Email: admin@vasl.org.uk  

Further reading – Read the latest Government guidance at www.gov.uk/coronavirus