As you will no doubt have seen in the media, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a worldwide impact on everything from travel to everyday working.

The safety of the young people and women we work with is our absolute priority and we do not want to take any unnecessary risks when it comes to their well-being. As such, and in light of the Government announcement for schools and colleges to close, as of Friday 20th March, we are currently closed for face to face learning.

Unfortunately one of the learners at our youth programmes site in Poplar has had a confirmed case of the virus and is therefore self-isolating at home. The learner in question was last in on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th March. If you were in on either of those days we suggest you take the precaution to self-isolate until Wednesday 25th March (the 14 day isolation period).

/   what next? i am on the route to work traineeship

From Monday 23rd March all English and maths lessons will move online and learners will be contacted by their tutors with further details of how this will happen. Sessions of learning will run at usual times (as per your timetable) via email, google hangouts and google classroom.

• If you’re currently on the 8 week Route to Work Traineeship Programme you will transition into our Gateway programme and be supported to move into further education, employment or training.

• If you’re currently on either the 3 month or 6 month Route to Work Traineeship Programme you will be offered an intensive employability programme once you have completed your English and/or maths courses and face to face teaching has resumed.

/   i am in the gateway

If you are already in the Gateway, we will support you from an online platform and again, you will be contacted directly with details of how this will happen and how you will be supported to find employment or further education and training.

/   coaching support

Coaching support will now be offered via phone. The coaching team will contact you on an individual basis to arrange time with them so they can continue to support you. We understand that this is a concerning time and we are here to support you, so please do talk to your coach about any concerns you may have about how this might affect you.

/   i am part of the women’s programme

Your tutor we will be calling you over the next week (from Monday 23rd March) to confirm what the next steps will be. If you have completed your exams we will give you your results and complete assessments with you.

/   i have applied or wanted to apply

Unfortunately we have had to pause recruitment onto our courses and will be having to push start dates back to a later date. We will continually review when we think the next courses may be able to start. In reality that may mean we cannot begin our next enrolment process of Introduction Days until July.

You are very welcome to apply for our courses now and we will keep in contact with you with updates on start dates, as we know more.

Please bear with us and keep an eye out on our website and social media channels for further updates.

/   and finally

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time for everyone. We are committed to doing all we can to help the women and young people we support succeed.

Rest assured any contact between staff and learners will only take place using staff equipment and will be monitored as always to ensure there is robust online safety for everyone involved.