As we continue to battle this COVID-19 pandemic, I am amazed with how our community has remained ever strong and vigilant in taking measures to flatten the curve.
Over the past several months, our small Wellspring Niagara team, together with the help of many volunteers, have managed to stay connected with our members. We continue to support hundreds of cancer patients and caregivers across Niagara, through over-the-phone peer, one-on-one short-term counselling, and virtual support groups and Be-Well Talks. Although our programming model looks a little different, our members continue to express their appreciation for the support available to them. In fact, there are people from all across Canada taking part in our online programming and the feedback has been extremely positive. This has been an opportunity for us to learn, grow and assess future strategies that can have a greater impact and improve overall member experience.
With several businesses including fitness and community centres reopening their doors since Niagara entered into Phase 3, many have inquired about the status of Wellspring Niagara’s reopening. At this time, we have made the difficult decision to take a little extra time and care before we open our doors to the public. Our first and foremost priority is the safety and protection of staff, volunteers and the members we serve.
We have stayed connected with the other Wellspring centres in Ontario and Alberta, and all have been carefully monitoring their situations locally to decide the best course of action for their reopening. At this time, there is consensus that no one feels like it is safe to open its doors just yet. The population we serve are living with compromised health conditions and we need to be even more diligent in our plans, ensuring safety measures are in place.
We miss being together with our volunteers, members and community stakeholders, and look forward to a time when we can reunite again in our beautiful new home on Wellspring Way. Rest assured that Wellspring Niagara is working on a plan to get back to in-centre programming, but we need to ensure we are prepared to open safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, we have not yet determined the timeline.
The Wellspring Niagara Plan:
The Wellspring Niagara plan is being developed with guidelines set by the Province of Ontario and Niagara Region Public Health. It will be a “multi-phased” re-entry plan that addresses staff, volunteer and member’s safety concerns identified through recent surveys and includes:
- Preparation of the physical space – putting safety measures in place;
- Establishing new health & safety guidelines, including protocols around cleaning and sanitization;
- Establishing a program implementation protocol, identifying necessary modifications to meet those health & safety guidelines;
- Assessing and developing volunteer roles to meet organizational and programming needs;
- Developing a re-entry training plan for staff, volunteers and program leaders;
- Establishing guidelines for safe interactions with program leaders, volunteers, staff and members.
We will continue to make adjustments and improvements to our plan in accordance with the most up-to-date public health measures and monitor other service providers in the community to see how they are managing – keeping a close eye on the developments of the reopening of schools in September.
- We have implemented a COVID-19 screening and sign-in procedure prior to anyone entering the building;
- We will continue offering virtual programs and over-the-phone support; (expect that virtual programming will continue as permanent additions to our in-person programs beyond December 2020);
- We have begun offering in-person “by appointment only” one-on-one short-term counselling sessions. These sessions are scheduled to permit a limited number of people in the building at one time and help us adhere to a manageable cleaning protocol before and after each session;
- We are implementing a new “online registration” process for programming and interest lists to better meet the needs of the community we serve.
Setting-up Online Registration:
Looking ahead, you can help us make a smoother transition to online registration after we reopen and make it easier for you to register for programming today.
We are asking that all existing Wellspring Niagara members complete an online membership form (if you haven’t already) so staff or volunteers can easily register you for a program or put your name on a waiting list.
Just click on the following link and complete our membership formhttps://wellspring.ca/niagara/register/#!1
If you are unsure that you completed an online membership form or need help to do so, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be assured that your information is kept strictly confidential. We do not rent, sell or trade membership information or our mailing lists.
Thank you for your patience, understanding and support during this time. We will continue to provide regular updates as we move forward.
In the meantime, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you very soon.