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COVID-19 Coronavirus update on actvities

As you are already aware, current guidance suggests that spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person. The risk of infection increases the longer someone is in contact with an infected person.

Public Health England information indicates that there are two main routes by which COVID-19 can be spread: 1) Infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs - most likely by an infected person coughing or sneezing; 2) It is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching door knob or shaking hands then touching their own face).

There is currently little evidence that people who are without symptoms are infectious to others. Following discussions with the Management Board about how we can best protect the health and wellbeing of Sanctus beneficiaries, volunteers and staff, we have taken the very difficult decision to put all non-urgent activities on hold, starting this Wednesday, 18th March.

This means that for the foreseeable future we will not be running the following services: • English Lessons • Families Room • Help Desk We are committed to continuing to provide as much support to our beneficiaries as possible during this difficult time and are looking to continue delivering the following services:

Food Support. We hope that we will receive enough provision from the supermarket donations to enable us to do this. We will provide this service this Wednesday at the entrance to the church, with food being pre-bagged to hand out.

Befriending. However, this activity should not continue in its current form. We would like to talk to each of you who volunteers in a befriending role about who you support and how, in order to explore the practicalities of if/how it is possible to continue to support your beneficiaries by phone.

We are also working closely with partner agencies to look at how we can work together across our organisations to maximise the support available to refugees and asylum seekers in the coming weeks as the situation unfolds. As I am sure you can appreciate these are difficult times. The guidance relating to COVID-19 is changing frequently as are the expectations of services, employers and members of the public. We will be reviewing our practice and service activity on a regular basis. This will make sure that we continue to operate in a way that complies with the law, enables us to continue to support beneficiaries as much as possible and helps minimise the risk of anyone using or delivering Sanctus services catching COVID-19 as a result of our activities. We would like to reassure you that Sanctus remains committed to supporting refugees and asylum seekers. We are also committed to supporting you - our wonderful team of volunteers. Without your support we cannot deliver Sanctus. Whilst delivery may look different for a while and some of you will not be required to carry out your volunteer role - we continue to value the skills, knowledge and passion you bring to Sanctus.

We would welcome the opportunity to work with you to find a way of keeping in touch, remaining connected and supporting each other. In addition we would like to keep you up to date with how Sanctus is continuing to respond to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Again, thank you for all you do. We will be in touch to keep you updated as soon as we can.

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