There was smiles and excitement as service-users were gradually welcomed back to our Kettering centre last week, proving our careful planning and social distancing measures are working.

Autistic adults and adults with learning disabilities and mental health needs eased back into activities, education classes and work experience tasks in small numbers at the centre, with support from our dedicated Teamwork staff.

Our Wellingborough centre will now begin to welcome service-users by following a similar phased process, and we are still finalising plans at our Corby centre, which we hope to reopen at the end of July. Teamwork Trust’s blended ‘Living & Learning’ support will continue remotely and online for those who are still at home.

“It was fantastic to see people so happy to return to our Kettering centre and we’re delighted the first week back went so well. It puts us in a very good position to reopen our other two centres in Wellingborough and Corby in a similar and gradual way,” said John Bruce, strategic director at Teamwork Trust.

“Service-users were able to visit with their families and households so that they could see what’s changed, ask questions and get used to the new rules. The feedback was that everybody felt happy and safe.

“We’re looking forward to activities, classes and work experience tasks beginning properly this week in Kettering, while the gradual reopening of our Wellingborough centre begins.

“We are very proud of the way we have adapted and delighted that the first week back has been such a success.”

An overview of Covid measures include:

  • Slowly restarting elements of our hands-on Living & Learning service – e.g. activities, education classes and work experience tasks on the factory floor
  • Guided tours for service-users, families and carers so they can familiarise themselves with the new systems before they return
  • Restricting numbers to a minimum at any one time – these differ from centre to centre and can be increased/decreased where necessary
  • Staggered start/end times with Teamwork staff assisting service-users as they enter and leave the building
  • New entrance, one-way systems, designated areas and no sharing equipment
  • Temperature checks and encouragement of good hygiene and handwashing
  • Restrictions in the kitchen, canteen and toilets