The Bridge for Heroes Response to the COVID - 19 Pandemic
What have we done during the COVID-19 pandemic?
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent 'lock-down' The Bridge for Heroes charity, under the guise of Operation MIRROR, decided to move from a purely 'drop-in' service to one providing a comprehensive 'out-reach' service, with the Welfare Officers, leaning on experience gained from service life, all being trained and equipped for working in a hostile biological environment.
By adapting and using innovative ideas, the charity was able to continue to provide critical support to their beneficiaries both face to face and remotely with the introduction of Webinars and Chat Rooms. Out-reach support included the supply of basic provisions/pet food, hot meals and prescriptions, as well as face to face sessions for those suffering the most from social isolation.
Services provided by the Charity throughout the pandemic include:• Telephone support - A dedicated helpline offering advice and reassurance
• Low-Risk and High-Risk home visits - All conducted by trained and PPE equipped Out-Reach Teams.
• Supply of basic provisions - All supplies having been through a decontamination process prior to delivery.
- Video chat room and Webniar conferencing - Managed video chat rooms for our beneficiaries to socialise and communicate, as well as hosting live cookery workshops, art lessons, religious activities such as Sunday morning church service, mindfulness and more.
• Veterans Community Channel - A dynamic, free channel with news, advice and general information.
ficial statemThe official statement from our founder Mike Taylor:
"The situation we found ourselves in at the start of the pandemic, involving the veracity of the spread of COVID-19, presented us with a challenge like no other.
It would have been easy, like so many of the other organisations including service charities, to have chosen to shut down operations and furlough staff. However, having never been an organistaion to take the easy option and with the welfare of our beneficiaries at the heart of all that we do, it was decided to transition the service from that of being purely 'drop-in' to a fully fledged 'out reach' service, providing those most vulnerble, suffering in self isolation. with continued and indeed even more comprehensive support.
By working around the clock we quickly reorganised ourselves, stocking up on PPE and other basic provisions and adapting being able to operate to a wholly clean and COVID safe environment.
This involved training existing volunteers and staff in Infection Prevention and Control techniques and procedures, configuring the Centre for safe working including decontamination, while equipping the 'Out Reach' teams with full PPE for use on a scaled basis as and when the situation required it.
Our specialised teams of volunteers and staff continue to work in helping protect those most vulnerable while alleviating the pressure already strained public services."