Firstly, we hope that your school communities are safe and coping through these challenging times. We wanted to write and provide an update on the centre: a bit of news from the Lakes.
- Our staff team and community seem to be well. Most staff are currently furloughed to help protect their jobs, health and our service. At the moment four of us are working, keeping distanced with some home working whilst looking after the house, estate and the business end of our operations. As you can imagine it’s eerily quiet without children: we now get excited when the postie arrives each day!
- We are still awaiting guidance on residential restart dates from the DfE. We will be in contact as soon as there are any developments.
- The support for the centre has been amazing from North Tyneside and our customers. Thank you, it’s reassuring to be valued as a service. It certainly helps on darker days.
- We will continue to support schools where possible with their bookings. The financial support from North Tyneside has allowed us to ensure that no school, or family has been financially penalised through a Pandemic related cancellation or postponement.
- We realise that schools may need time before visiting us again. There will be financial pressures and confidence issues to address for many. We have had a broad range of responses from schools that understandably cover a wide range of emotions. Once we are able to resume our operations we will do all that we can to assist in getting your children here again.
- We have been busy developing our Covid secure operating procedures. We are awaiting our inspection from North Tyneside’s Health and Safety Team. One likely outcome is that our course numbers will be limited to 36 children to aid social distancing. We have posted a video on our Twitter feed @HighBorrans.
- There has been lots happening at the centre with ropes course developments, new jetties, new equipment, decorating the kitchen and Ruskin staff bedroom, fire safety works, re-equipping our piggery stores, new canoes, kayaks and barrel rafting kit. Claire, our much loved cook and housekeeper has moved on to travel and start her own business. We are looking to make a new appointment for when we re-open. We have also welcomed Loz Colyer as our new Deputy Head. He brings a wealth of outdoor experience into the team and his sense of humour is worse than James’! He is looking forwards to meeting some customers, having now worked for six months without any here…
- We still have our proposed North Tyneside Activity Days in the pipeline. Some schools have expressed an interest in these for the children that have missed out on their residentials. We will look to resume these as soon as we are able, this is now likely to be the summer term for Coastal Adventures at Druridge Bay, Climbing Wall Days, Canoeing and Orienteering at Killingworth Lake or a ‘Now get out of that’ challenge in your school grounds. A flyer for this is attached.Please feel free to get in touch, even if you just fancy a chat! We will not actively chase bookings until we have some more guidance and certainty, however it’s always helpful to know your intentions so we can support you where possible.
James Bumby, Rob Smith and the High Borrans Team