Reacting to the global pandemic of Covid – 19 meant we had to learn very quickly. With guidance from the government and charity sector advisers we closed our modelling sessions, informed all volunteers to cease any public gatherings and cancelled our attendace at model shows. This was not necessary in heinsight as all public events and gatherings were duely postponed or cancelled.
Being a small organisation we were able to pivot to be able to continue to provide a service to our beneficiaries. There were a few steps that we took to counter act the effects of social isolation and being cut off from the usual channels of support.
Firstly, the removal of our core work of modelling sessions was replaced by moving to an online platform. We now make a 2 hour show every couple of days for streamed to the ‘M4H Modellers Mess’. (A private facebook group set up exclusively for friends of M4H to share and discuss their hobby in a safe environment.) This meant we could still provide some social engagement albeit in isolation.
Secondly we asked non-isolated volunteers to contact their beneficiaries where possible, to ask if they were OK, if they needed anything and to provide them with any models or tools while at home. This would utilise any modelling stock they held for modelling sessions which were now unused. Volunteers were reminded of the government guidelines to follow in terms of mitigating risk of infection spread with social distancing, wearing PPE and washing hands. All volunteers were free to stay home and we took advice from a Police Liaison to ensure our volunteers would be allowed to travel to deliver well being supplies.
And thirdly we provided over 30kg of activity supplies to Tri-Services in Stafford and Hull 4 Heroes. These were to be distributed for their vulnerable veterans along with the essential items of food and toiletries. The model kits went some way to alleviating the stress of being stuck inside and provided respite for those worried about the global crisis.
We continue to complete all clinical referrals from professionals providing healthcare to individuals suffering from mental illhealth.