the return journey

11 September 2020

At long last the Return Journey: a message from our Chief Executive, Elspeth McPherson


We are delighted to announce that Journey will be restarting its day service for Clients identified by Care Managers from Monday 21st September.  The Local Authorities who have given the go-ahead for the agreed Clients to come back in to Journey’s Hubs are:  Durham, North Tyneside and Northumberland Councils.  We are still waiting for updates from Gateshead and Newcastle Councils.


Adam, Emma and Sarah, our Hub Managers are Newcastle, Coundon and Acomb, will be contacting Clients/families coming back to Hubs.  Each site will have two small ‘Hububs’, a bubble of four Clients and one Life Skills Coach, working in a designated area.  These two groups won’t mix.  Arrival and departure times are also going to be staggered so that our Hububs are kept separate.  This will keep everyone safe. 


Clients will find that the Hubs, and Staff, look a little different.  This includes posters, signs and tape, showing everyone where they should be, and how to keep apart.  We will have lots of sessions to help everyone understand our new way of working, and lots of reminders, and a few competitions and prizes, to keep hand-washing and cleaning.  Our Staff will be wearing protective equipment and some Clients may choose to wear face coverings. 


Local Authorities have spent the last months making sure that providers have everything in place to keep Clients and Staff safe.  We have had to provide a lot of information including risk assessments for every Client, Staff, our service and transportation, and ensure that our Staff are trained in using the new PPE.  When they are happy with our arrangements a limited day service at our Hubs can resume.  Local Authorities have had to ensure every provider of only day and residential services and educational services for children and adults is safe, hence the delays in some providers being able to open sooner. 


We are very grateful to our Commissioners in our Councils and the NHS for their support and recognise the enormous workload they are managing.


Our wider Journey service for Clients will continue.  This includes outreach visits, our activities packs and exercise equipment library, contact calls, Zoom and internet activities and our website secure Chat Forum.   This has been a huge journey and we have all learnt a lot since March.  Who ever thought Clients would be cooking, quizzing, yogaing and discoing online.  What amazing talent everyone has.


We are all really keen to see you back on site and to welcoming the first of the new Journey minibuses.


Elspeth McPherson

Chief Executive Officer


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