The specific policy and guidelines for a general reopening of the Barlow is currently being written, will be issued as soon as possible, and we will assess and amend each time government advice changes. Each of our user groups and events will have their own journey out of lockdown and we have been conscious not to have a ‘one size fits all’ approach as circumstances are different for each group. We have also taken a conscious decision not to ask anybody in shielding or isolation mode for their plans as we do not want to put anybody in a position where their safety may be compromised or they feel uncomfortable in any way.
As individual groups have pro-actively come to us we have given advice and help dependent on the position at the time and of course nothing is ‘set in stone’. The only function that is up and running is the snooker table which was felt to be a socially distanced pastime in any circumstances so when we were asked if it could be used and after due advice we gave permission. I think the next step will be getting the Reading Room to the point of providing a takeaway service via a one-way system from the main entrance to the corner entrance to the Reading Room, and I know that Sara, Lynn, and Philip are all supportive of opening as soon as it is safe and feasible to do so. At present we are only taking a very small number of tentative forward bookings and only with a strong caveat of our being open at the time and we have no specific target dates to fully reopen. The Singing for fun group have asked if they can resume socially distanced after July 4 and this is being considered at present.
Some of you may have seen the works done to the Car Park during lockdown and this is now in great condition for parking so we would ask if at all possible you could park on the car park and leave the road for those in need of a short route into the building.
We have had huge amounts of work in keeping our community fed and watered during lockdown and coordinating approximately 30 helpers with around 50 recipients has taken up most of our Barlow time in recent months and we have had a number of ‘pop up’ giveaway days for snacks and drinks both at the Barlow and in Belmont.
We have also heavily supported the Scarecrow Festival and the Edgworth Rocks initiative.
Most of the things that we are doing are well known via various social media bulletins but if anybody feels that you need more information then please do not hesitate to contact me whilst we continue our journey out of lockdown.