At Gateway Burnley, we’ve been working hard to rapidly re-shape our service to meet the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support services within our Gateway building have been overhauled to ensure residents and staff remain safe. While safety is paramount, it has also been crucial to maintain a consistent level of support for our clients, many of whom struggle with additional needs including mental health and substance addictions.
The number of support sessions we’ve delivered at Gateway has actually increased as a result of the pandemic, helping to reassure our residents at a time of heightened anxiety. These sessions are now delivered in a staggered manner, allowing smaller groups of participants to follow strict social distancing guidance throughout.
Our breakfast club has been able to continue through generous support and donations from Tesco, Morrisons and the Burnley Together community initiative. The breakfast club forms an important part of our support service, allowing us to touch base with clients regularly and begin to build relationships and trust. Breakfast club has been adapted to run as a takeaway, ensuring this beneficial interaction and support continues.
To help educate our residents on the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve introduced informational sessions to cover common symptoms, the threat posed & how to help prevent the spread of the virus. We’ve also been working with residents to devise individual action plans, helping them prepare for a range of scenarios such as self-isolating.
With our main building at capacity, we’ve been supporting wider efforts to provide emergency accommodation during the pandemic. Our team of navigators are working alongside Burnley Borough council to maintain contact with individuals housed in temporary accommodation. Ongoing emergency housing measures are proving hugely successful, with over a dozen properties already repurposed to provide safe accommodation for vulnerable individuals throughout the borough. This success is owed, in no small part, to the team at Calico Homes who have worked tirelessly to make empty properties available for our service.
The ability of our staff to meet the ever-changing challenges of the ongoing pandemic has been nothing short of incredible. We owe all our staff a huge debt of gratitude for their continued efforts during these challenging times. – Kate Cunliffe, Homelessness Service Manager, Gateway