As we enter week 4 of lockdown, The Times newspaper has reported on Tuesday that the lockdown will continue for an additional 3 weeks, taking us into early May. This is still to be confirmed by the government, but if true, is a likely and not surprising revelation.
The lockdown novelty for most, has now worn off, the jobs around the house or garden, completed or unable to finish because everything useful from DIY essentials like paint to gardening compost are now rare items. Feelings of cabin-fever, and generally feeling worn down by the lockdown are now becoming more common. The good news is that the “curve” IS starting to respond, and it could be possible that, after the next 3 weeks, that lockdown may be lifted, perhaps partially. Importantly, your efforts ARE working, and we must see the lockdown extension as being on the path to success and victory. It also is an opportunity to establish, if not done already, some useful routines, to set goals and encourage the whole household to adopt a mindful, self-caring approach (Please see the blog here). We have this week released a blog on the Affinity website “Strategies to deal with adversity and improve resilience” to help establish the working framework of the household. We hope it helps, and the weather holds!
You are doing a fantastic job, each and every one of you.
Andy Robins, Assistant Director.
Weekly Update on the Coronavirus
Affinity are at full strength in our staffing levels, we are happy to report, and all staff continue to work from home.
We also still have one young person self-isolating with their foster family as diagnosed with Coronavirus through phoning 111. Some of you may have questions or queries on the processes if someone in the household starts to show some Coronavirus symptoms or becomes ill or injured in another way (not related to Coronavirus). To help, attached with this newsletter is the latest advice from the NHS for these scenarios during the pandemic, and when you should call 111, your GP, visit A&E or call 999. These are helpfully categorised by section, so please do keep hold of it.
Affinity’s Easter Egg Competition
Affinity’s Easter Egg competition, organised by Becs, had some brilliant entries this year, and each and every one was fantastic. After some debate and scores accumulated from the whole staff team, we are pleased to announce the winner, a cheeky egg two runners up taking the Runner-Up spots with their wonderfully decorated eggs. Each will receive an online voucher of their choice, and all entrants will get a certificate for entering as they were all so brilliant. Well done to everyone involved!
Pictures of the Easter Eggs can be found here
“Where I Live” Activity Project
Bethan, our Participation and Support Worker in Lincolnshire has been working on a great project to help entertain and engage young people whilst going on their daily one hour walk or exercise outside (which is recommended for mental health and mindfulness) and helps to engage them in the area they live. We look forward to seeing the responses from our young people!
Virtual support and young people groups
This week sees more virtual support groups taking place, so please do get involved and participate – with everyone stuck at home this should be a lot easier to make time for, and offers a much needed bit of contact with others in similar positions, to help keep your spirits up and to share ideas on what has worked well in your own households.
Last week also saw our first virtual meeting for our young people’s Voices group, which went very well, with ideas being worked on for a young person’s brochure, and we plan to have more very soon!
Affinity Fostering Social Media
Our social media continues to remain open and providing useful content, including sites and links for educational matter and interesting activities during this time, on our Instagram page (affinity_fostering) and Facebook page (@affinityfostering). We are also, and will be providing more, useful blogs (https://affinityfostering.com/affinity-blog/) with similarly useful content and pieces to read of interest, so stay connected and tuned in!