otrbristol | 17th March 2020

A note from OTR – Coronavirus

Update 30/3/20: We have worked hard in the last week to move as much of our work as possible to a digital alternative. You can now visit the project pages on this website to find out more about each offer. We are also uploading a weekly schedule every Monday (here on the website, via e-newsletter, and on social media) with a list of resources that will be shared throughout the week on our social media channels. This includes practical mental health and wellbeing tips about dealing with challenges the Coronavirus throws up, as well as other fun and entertaining stuff. Please share these schedules around as you see them, as you may have friends who want to join in/watch!

Hey everyone! As you’ll know by now, the Coronavirus is having a pretty big impact on day-to-day life, and you may have been affected by events you were looking forward to being postponed or cancelled.

First of all, we should recognise that it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all of this. It’s a very unusual time, and it’s important to look after our mental health just as much as our physical health in a challenging time like this. We posted some wellbeing tips over the weekend, and stay tuned to OTR’s social media and newsletter for more of these.

At OTR, a place that brings young people together, we have a responsibility to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. This means that we also have to follow the Government’s guidance and put a stop on gatherings at OTR. Currently, we are still able to offer one-to-one support, but the measures in place mean we have to postpone any of our sessions that involve groups of people with immediate effect. This consists of: Hubs, Freedom, Resilience Lab, Corner Man, Yoga, Book Club, Nature Works, Zazi, Mind Aid, hARMED and Shameless.

At this time we cannot take new sign-ups for group sessions and we cannot run the previously scheduled dates throughout the coming weeks.

Anyone with a one-to-one appointment should assume this is going ahead unless you are contacted directly to say otherwise. If needed, we will be able to run your session via a Skype / FaceTime / Google Hangout call depending on your needs and preferences; e.g. if you have a weakened immune system or are feeling particularly anxious about being out in public. In the event that we need to postpone your sessions if the OTR building completely closes, please be assured that this will not impact upon your place on a waiting list or ability to speak to us.

If you are coming in to OTR for your session, please make good use of the hand sanitizers around our building.
Update 30/3/20: The OTR building is now closed, in line with the Government lock-down measures, and you will be contacted individually if you have a 1:1 appointment.

We appreciate that these closures suck, and for many of you, these groups are an important part of your journey to feeling better and looking after yourself. That’s why, in the coming days, we will be exploring ways to provide support and resources in other, digital, ways. We’re committed to staying available for you, it will just need to look slightly different. Some of you accessing groups will have already been contacted about telephone and online alternatives – we’ll make the best of it!

If you were planning to come to one of these OTR groups/sessions, we have to ask that for now you please stay at home instead, and take all the sensible precautions such as washing your hands thoroughly and avoiding public gatherings.

Please check back to OTR’s online channels regularly for more updates on what we will be offering.

Stay safe – we will all get through this together!