COVID – 19 Update
As the national restrictions begin to lift, Ups and Downs Southwest are starting a careful return to our normal ways of working.
With restrictions lifted, Ups and Downs Southwest are delighted to be able to offer our normal services. Your safety remains our priority, so some COVID-19 measures remain in place to help protect us all.
Ups and Downs Staff and Volunteers
All staff and volunteers are partially or fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As an additional measure, where staff/volunteers have contact with families, pupils and children and young people, they will carry out a lateral flow test before their visit.
Requesting Support or Seeking Advice?
Our family support team and school liaison worker remain very much on hand to offer you information, advice, and support. We are now working back our offices at Westonzoyland and Bristol, but on a strict rota basis to enable safe ways of working in line with Government guidelines.
Rest assured you can now call the Westonzoyland office Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, or the Bristol office Monday to Thursday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and someone will be available to take your call. If you are wishing to speak to someone in particular and they are not rostered on, they will be working from home and your message will be passed on to them.
We are now able to reinstate home/face-to-face visits if you are comfortable with this. Staff will continue to wear a face-covering for your safety and maintain a suitable social distance.
Our volunteer befrienders may also conduct their visits to families in the same manner.
As well as COVID-19 safe visits, we will continue to offer support via email, telephone, or via the online zoom platform by request.
We know that it has been an incredibly isolating time for so many and we are carefully looking at how we can safely organise some social gatherings over the coming months – we cannot wait to see you all in person again.
Youth Club Provision
Both of our current youth club sessions are back to live sessions. Taking place once a fortnight in W-s-M and Sherborne, both sessions have been fully COVID-19 risk assessed and measures put in place to protect our members and staff.
The Bristol Office
The Bristol office is now operational and will be fully staffed by the end of October. For families and professionals in Bristol, you can now have direct access to our services on your doorstep. Contact Us – Ups and Downs Southwest
On-site school visits to deliver training and/or attend meetings are once more permissible providing the school has all the correct COVID-19 procedures in place. A copy of our protocol is available on request.
Advice and Support Not Related to Down Syndrome
During this challenging time, you and your family may be experiencing additional pressures or issues; our team has a wealth of information at their fingertips and are more than happy to help with research and signposting. From finances to well-being, domestic abuse, debt, or housing – just drop us a line and we will be more than happy to help. If you are seeking discreet support in relation to domestic abuse, you can call or email us and ask to “speak to Angela for some Down Syndrome advice”; we will know you are reaching out for help and find a way to communicate with you that does not increase your risk.
We are keeping a very careful eye out for useful resources to support you and your child or young person during this time as well as developing some of our own. We will post anything of interest here on our website and on our social media platforms. Do follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates.
Please be assured that we will remain proactive in our approach and available for children, parents, and professionals as we slowly make our way through the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telephone 01278 691100
Director Jo Thorn
Admin & Finance Jackie L
Family Support Worker Catherine J
Family Support School Liaison Worker Jackie S
Family Support Worker Jackie A
Fundraising & PR Officer Michelle S
Video Conference Facilicty