What we are doing to help you stay safe…
The team as CSASS have been working hard to ensure that we can open our office again, and return to face-to-face counselling and group work while keeping survivors and workers as safe as possible.
You can download the full COVID 19 Risk Assessment here, but here are some of the main points…
- We are following Government guidance, including Social distancing good practice (keeping 2m kept between people where ever possible)and good hand hygiene. We’re using face coverings except where there is a therapeutic need, such as a need to reduce anxiety or better enable a survivor to access support (or in low-risk situations), and keeping spaces well ventilated with windows open fully (and doors too, where confidentiality and security can be ensured).
- We are offering reassurance and encouragement for everyone to be open about any exposure to COVID, including household members, or symptoms (before, after, or during activities with us). This is to ensure people don’t come in, or that they leave the premises promptly, as needed. We won’t penalise anyone for missed sessions due to quarantine, for example, or lose a place on the waiting list. We will contact anyone who has potentially been exposed to COVID at CSASS, but will not pass on any personal information (eg to track and trace) without individual consent.
- We are making it easier for everyone to comply, by making hand sanitiser available at the entrance and on every desk/table, arranging furniture to enable everyone to keep socially distant, and not face others directly, arranging for staggered arrivals for groups or meetings arranged, where possible
- We have a maximum of two people working in the office at a time, normally one staff member/one volunteer (others can pass through the office briefly), and we won’t have drop-in visitors. Our small counselling room is only used by one person at a time (for online or phone support). Face to face counselling and small group work are happening in the larger Oak Room, opposite our office. We are minimising the need for people to use more than one room.
- We are holding regular staff and volunteer meetings, supporting one another, and reducing isolation. We are also using different ways to communicate – like zoom, WhatsApp, phone, and email.
We are timetabling support work to make sure there is immediate help available from colleagues on duty, by phone. All workers also have regular clinical and management supervision, and access to our Employment Assistance programme. Individual worker Risk Assessments have also covered each person’s working arrangements, to ensure mental health is supported.
- We are reminding CSASS workers to follow good hand hygiene, including avoiding touching face, handwashing, or sanitising after unlocking, entering the building or the office, or Oak Room.
The Oak Room is fully cleaned by our landlord before every booking, and we clean all surfaces and touchpoints in between individual clients. (We’ve rearranged appointment times to leave plenty of time to do this cleaning.)
- We carry out a full clean of all office surfaces as the last worker leaves (there’s a touchpoint/cleaning reminder list on the door, including sign out date/time and tick to say what has been touched/cleaned). Individual staff office equipment/papers are cleared from the desk and kept in separate named drawers. Computers and telephones are not shared without cleaning. Any groupwork equipment (paper, scissors, glue) is not shared – we provide enough items provided for one each – and are cleaned after use.
- We have arranged roles and timetables to minimise the need for going in and out of building and touching anything outside (eg going to shops, taking the bins out), and we are encouraging anyone working for a full day to keep it to a minimum too, where possible.
- For small groups, we are making time for discussion (as a group, and with individual clients) to ensure needs are expressed, and that all members are able to adhere to rules and respect each other’s needs and safety.
Download the full Risk Assessment here. We look forward to seeing you again (in person!) soon.