After so much uncertainty we are feeling so pleased that we have been able to run Skool’s Out for summer 2020. This summer will be rather different to what we have done before but we are feeling ready to roll with it now.
We have organised summer into 2 onsite groups, or ‘bubbles’. These each have two alternate weeks onsite. The bubbles consist of no more than 6 young people and the minimum amount of staff required to support these fully.
We have been extremely busy getting all the behind the scenes safety in place. The staff have been fully trained in use of PPE and the donning and doffing process. We have introduced many measures for good hygiene and routine cleaning. Everyone is fully prepared and and we can honestly say we are so proud of the team we have and feel confident they will be their usual amazing selves!
We are extremely thankful to local sewers for making us all our scrubs for our staff to wear on scheme. The community has been amazing and we are so thankful.
As mentioned in the previous letter, we will only be using one site, Ridgeway School, with no bus trips out this year. We have appointed Chloe and Kaydee in a new role as our Group Coordinators this year. They have been working together and with Jade at Spectrum to create a FANTASTIC timetable of activities for their groups onsite, as well as an amazing virtual timetable!
For our young people unable to attend playscheme, we have little plans up our sleeves to ensure you are still part of the action including plenty of virtual activities to keep everyone involved!
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO IS MAKING THIS HAPPEN – VIRTUALLY OR ONSITE!
On Friday 26th June join Rodda’s Clotted Cream and Wilkins & Son, Tiptree as they host the nation’s largest online cream tea gathering for this year’s National Cream Tea Day!
In the absence of the many events that would have taken place this summer, they are bringing the celebration online, helping everyone to come together virtually with friends and family through the power of social media to enjoy a much-needed cream tea.
BDCPS have registered ourselves for the event and you will be able to make a donation via their website to take part in this event. We are really missing our cream tea fundraisers this month!
Even more exciting is that they have teamed up with baking expert and TV chef Juliet Sear, who will be hosting an exciting online bake-a-long on National Cream Tea Day, making a delicious new scone recipe with a twist for all to try. They will post the recipe on their website but you can download this Scone Recipe today!
Follow the day on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Please also post your photos of your home-made cream teas with loved ones, and tag @bdcps and @creamteasociety and help create the ultimate feel-good online occasion!
Hi all – just a quick update for you – we are now just weeks away from summer playscheme and we are going ahead! This year will be very different to our normal summer playschemes BUT we are teaming up with some exceptional providers, including Jade at Spectrum Community Arts, Nathan Sounds and Aga to make this summer the best it can be – think creativity, fun, rainbows, and the usual BDCPS magic! More will be revealed in time…!
The delivery of playscheme will mean we have new stringent safety measures in place and additional procedures to protect our young people, staff and families as best we can. There will be small groups onsite and we will be at Ridgeway School. The days will be shorter and as we are going to be taking less young people, we are extending our playscheme for one extra week and we will also increase our virtual activities.
All staff and volunteers will complete a risk assessment which will help us to safely plan. We will be providing PPE to all staff and volunteers, which includes face masks, scrubs, visors or eye goggles in addition to our usual protective wear.
We understand that it is a very uncertain time for many and that you may have worries or concerns. We are here to answer any questions you have and hopefully we can put your mind at ease.
The government have provided an update for education and childcare providers which you can read here.
Thank you everyone for your continued support during this time. We hope you had a lovely Easter weekend, and managed to enjoy some sunshine safely. We are continuing to follow the social distancing and government guidelines on COVID-19 and the office team are continuing to work from home.
We are planning for ‘Skool’s Out’ summer playscheme, but this is of course something we that may change but we will keep all updated when we have more information nearer the time.
Summer bookings have been sent to all parent carers, so please do get these back to us with your requests, as soon as you can. We are planning one of our brilliant performances in the final week of playscheme (10th-14th August) so if booking our final week, we need you to be available to attend as many of those days as possible!
To keep spirits high we have planned a number virtual activities to keep everyone at home occupied. There will be opportunities for young people and parent carers to meet up virtually, which include Spectrum Community Arts Zoom sessions led by the wonderful Jade; our parent carer choir will continue to run on Zoom; we will be holding fortnightly quizzes, which are FREE to enter, but optional donations can be made using this link. Keep looking out for other activities we have coming up!
We are informing you of the changes to BDCPS services following the recent Covid -19 outbreak and recommendations from the government. We have developed a COVID 19 policy and we highly recommend that all parents, carers and staff & volunteers read it carefully.
The key points from government include:
Everyone in the UK is now being advised to avoid “non-essential” contact with others and “unnecessary” travel
People are being asked to work from home where they possibly can and avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues
People are being advised to stay at home for 14 days if they, or anyone in their household, has either a high temperature or a new and continuous cough
Those in at-risk groups will be asked to be largely shielded from social contact for 12 weeks
The UK is to scale up Coronavirus testing in the coming weeks
Mass gatherings will no longer be provided with emergency workers
Our number one priority is the health and safety of our children and young people and because many fall in the at-risk group we feel it is in everyone’s best interests to cancel all our clubs, play schemes and parent carer activities for the recommended time of 12 weeks, which takes us to mid June. We will be constantly reviewing and following government guidelines and further decisions will be made once this period of time is over. We will of course keep you fully updated on this throughout. We will continue to support parent carers in these difficult times in the best ways that we can. We regret that we will be unable to provide any care as this has health implications to you, your families and to our staff.
Instead we have a very keen team of staff and volunteers who have offered their support in terms of shopping, collecting prescriptions and medication, taking post to the post office, walking dogs or a simple chat via a telephone call. If any parent carer finds themselves unable to leave the house through self-isolation or any other reason we are here to help. Please drop us an email or call us on 01234 351759 to request help.
We will be continuing to work from home and will continue to be there for all of you as much you need us, to try and keep spirits high in the months ahead. Our office telephone number is on a divert so we will get your calls and voicemails you leave. We know it will be a scary time for many, so we want to reassure everyone that we are there for you.
We would also like to reiterate that any payments already made by service users for schemes and clubs will be automatically added as a credit to your account. If you would prefer a refund, this is absolutely fine just please get in touch.
We will continue to update you as things unfold but please continue to stay healthy, safe and well.
Can’t get to the pub? Let BDCPS bring a bit of pub fun to your home! Our Zoom quiz will run fortnightly on Friday’s at 7:30pm! A great chance to have some fun in time for the weekend, see some familiar faces and get together whilst keeping safe at home.
Our next quiz is on Friday 19th June at 7:30pm with a bit of a Father’s Day theme! All of our quizzes are FREE ENTRY but we have set up a quiz night Just Giving page for people to make an optional donation if you are able to. You can do this by clicking here.
To join, you will need to let us know you are planning to attend, and we will send you the meeting ID and password needed. You must also ensure your profile name on Zoom is correct – we may not admit if we do not see a recognised name. You will need to have a Zoom account. Anyone can join, just grab some note paper and pens and be prepared! Click here to let us know you will be joining us.
Ellie will be quiz-master, keeping everyone entertained in a unique way! Those who have been to her quizzes before know anything can happen so come along and enjoy the fun!
Whilst at home many of you will be having a good spring clean and sort out. Wondering what you are going to do with all the goods you no longer want? Well we have the solution for you!
Virgin Money Giving have partnered up with Ziffit, giving fundraisers and donors an easy way to raise some funds. Ziffit is a website that values your unwanted items, which can then be directly donated to your Virgin Money fundraising page! Easy!
All you need to do is set up a Virgin Money Giving page, where you can select BDCPS to raise money for. Once on your fundraising page, you just need to click ‘Donate your stuff’. This will then take you to the Ziffit website where you enter the details of the item you are donating, pack up your goodies for a courier to collect, then see the full value of the item go onto your fundraising page, which will continue to help with donations to BDCPS during this uncertain time.
You will have seen the UK is moving into the ‘delay’ stage of its response to the Coronavirus outbreak, which is likely to involve social distancing measures in the weeks ahead, such as self-isolation, limiting large-scale gatherings, home working, school closures etc. The aim of these measures is to slow the spread and lower the peak impact.
We have made the decision today to cancel clubs and gatherings next week, which means that the Bingo Night we were due to run next Friday, will be postponed until a future date when things have (hopefully) settled down a little more. As you know our children are particulary vulnerable and we do not want to increase the risks to them in any way.
This also means that our Little Sweet Peas session that was due to take place on Wednesday (18th March) next week at Biggleswade, and the parent carer choir on Monday (16th March) will not run as originally planned.
Going forward we will be making decisions on a day to day basis and we will keep you all informed with as much notice as possible. Our considerations will be based on the latest government advice and statistics; known Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases within our contact circle; the nature of the venue and other public contact; the concerns of our families and our staff team; but most importantly the health needs of the young people we would be working with.
We do hope that you understand the measures we are taking. Please continue to check emails and messages for our latest updates and make sure you get in touch if you have any questions or concerns at all.
We are very excited to annouce our first bingo night! This will take place on Friday 20th March at Kempston Hammers Sports & Social Club – so not long now!
It will be fun for the family and no booking necessary – just come along on the night with a group of friends or family and pay £1 entry each.
You will then be able to get your bingo books for just £1 each! There will be additional flyer rounds, a raffle (with some amazing prizes already donated, including a Cadbury’s chocolate hamper!) kids prizes, and a bar available for drinks! You can bring your own snacks and nibbles but we do ask that you purchase any drinks from the bar provided.
It promises to be a fun-filled night – and even if bingo isn’t your thing, we guarantee you will have plenty of fun as well as helping to raise money!
If you have any raffle prizes you can donate, or if you are able to sponsor the venue hire, we would be most grateful! You can get in touch by emailing email@example.com if you have any queries or are able to help in any way!
Doors open at 7pm! We hope to see lots of your there!
As you are aware there is lots of uncertainty about the Coronavirus (COVID -19) at the moment, so please understand that developments may mean that clubs and playschemes may change.
We work with very vulnerable young people and would ask that anyone who has been exposed to the virus OR is experiencing any of the signs & symptoms of the virus, does not come into contact with the families or the people working within the charity. Regardless of whether or not this is COVID-19, they present a risk for our young people.
We will continue to make infection control a high priority and we would ask people to take precautions to keep themselves safe. If you have asthma or are prone to chest infections, you must ensure you bring your blue inhaler with you to any sessions you attend. Any child/young person who has an asthma care plan will be expected to bring their inhaler otherwise they will be turned away.
You can download our general letter of guidance about COVID-19, which we encourage you to read thoroughly as it contains very important information. But, as there seems to be new guidance emerging daily, we would also suggest keeping up to date via the government website.
A question that seems to cause much controversy and which nobody ever seems to agree on! Do you put the cream first, or the jam? The Cornish way or the Devonshire way? However you prefer, there is no better way to enjoy a scone than with good company and paired with a good cup of tea!
The good weather and warmer days are in sight and what more could you desire than a delicious freshly baked scone with plenty of jam and cream piled on, served with a good cuppa to sip with it! Yes please! And can you think of a tastier way to raise some money for us than hosting your own ‘Cream Tea Month’ fundraiser this June?
During the month of June, we are asking YOU to gather a few friends or family, provide some homemade or bought scones and ask for a small donation in return! Very simple – but happy faces all round! It is completely up to you how big your event is – it could be as big as hiring a community space such as a church hall and making your event big, or it could be a work fundraiser, or perhaps you could hold a small gathering at your house? Anything that helps raise a few pounds is a really appreciated – no matter how big or small the total!
Tell us if you intend to take part in this June’s ‘Cream Tea Month’ – and if you aren’t able to hold one yourself, look out for other people who may be holding one that you can attend. In the meantime check out this ‘Guide to the Perfect Cream Tea’ from Roddas.
This May will see our fourth ‘Wear It Blue’ event which we hope lots of you will be taking part in this year! The date is set for Friday 22nd May and with your help, we can help raise even more awareness of disabilities; the work that we do as a charity and of course help raise some money.
The concept is really simple. You just wear something blue for a donation. In the past we have had schools involved who have added other ideas to increase the fundraising, such as cake sales and sponsored challenges on the day too!
We are keen for as many local businesses, schools, colleges and individuals to join in with this annual event. It can be as easy as you would like it to be, and we have all you need to make the day a success. We have all sorts of promotional materials, including balloons, wristbands, posters, sponsor forms, banners and collection tins. This will help your event really look the part too!