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September Update: New Courses Now Available and Covid-19 Update

New courses and a coronavirus (Covid-19) update from the Letchworth Settlement

Date: 22nd September 2020

It’s a pleasure to see the Settlement returning to life. We have had several community groups back hiring rooms, and the first adult education courses have held their lessons over the fortnight. It has been heart-warming to hear so many positive comments about the Settlement re-opening, and the role it plays in our community life.  

What’s more … we have several new courses on offer! You can find information about these on the front page of the Settlement website at www.letchworthsettlement.org.uk , with details and enrolment available on the website or via the office (by phone or in person during opening hours). Several of these new courses are on-line courses, and we’re excited to be offering this option to cater for those who love to learn but who may not be able to attend face-to-face classes at present. We’ll add more courses as they become available, so please keep checking the website for the latest details.

Since the last email update, I sent out, there have been two sets of changes to government guidance for coronavirus (Covid-19). In response to rising numbers of new cases, the rules on mixing and social activities have been tightened. The first change was introduced on 14th September and is commonly referred to as the ‘rule of 6’ (no more than 6 people can meet up indoors or outdoors, unless they are a part of a family/support bubble or involved in an exempt activity). The second development took place this week, with the official Covid-19 alert level being raised from level 3 to level 4, and a number of additional restrictions being added 

What does this mean for the use of the Settlement? 

Firstly, it means that any activity that cannot be classified as educational – or that isn’t covered by the sports and fitness exemption – can only be take place in groups of 6 people or less. So all courses can continue with class sizes greater than 6 people because they fit the educational exempton. We’ve discussed this with all of the groups that are potentially affected, and would like to thank all of these group leaders and hirers for their cooperation as we try to find safe ways to continue to operate and host as many community activities as possible.

Secondly, the rising number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the UK and increased alert level have also driven us to review the recommendations we are making to everyone whilst they are on site. A key recommendation regards the wearing of face coverings (masks, visors). These are an important part of our risk mitigation measures when indoors, in rooms where 2 metre social distancing is not possible (due to the size/ shape of the space). Therefore, we request that not only do you wear face coverings at all times when on site, but also that you also keep face coverings on whilst in classrooms as far as is practically possible. We appreciate that this takes some getting used to – but we’d rather we minimise the risk, keep our members and users safe, and keep the Settlement open for as long as possible.

A couple of final points to flag – we’ll be re-launching the Settlement on social media very shortly. We’ll have new Instagram and Facebook accounts, and will also be using twitter and YouTube to bring news and videos to you. Please ‘follow’ us and share with your friends and family. And we’d be delighted if you could continue sharing our fundraising appeal too. 

Thank you for your continuing support,  

Hilary Kemp, Chair of Letchworth Educational Settlement

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