Published: 26th March 2020

The recent events regarding Coronavirus have certainly been a shock to the community but, having taken the time to fully digest the impact, not only on our Charity but on the wider community and the people we serve, we are in a position now to provide an update on the immediate road ahead. 

Firstly, we would like to wish all of our members, participants, supporters, friends, partners, staff members and volunteers the very best of health for the upcoming weeks and months. Please stay safe and take your own lead in heeding the advice given by the healthcare professionals and the government. 

We took the early decision to bring a halt to our programmes due to the serious health risk to participants, staff members and volunteers; however the Trust is still contactable should anyone require us, however the current situation may impact on the time it takes to get a response. 

This is without doubt one of the most challenging situations in generations and the ramifications of this pandemic both financially and operationally will be felt for some time. We are acutely aware, though, that many of the people we exist to support are especially vulnerable at this time. Many individuals will have their own income impacted and it is for this reason that we have taken the decision to offer a suspension of all membership fees until activities are back in operation. While charities are also vulnerable at times like these, this is quite simply the right thing to do. The Class for Kids system is still working on a method to temporarily pause fees so we will be in touch with more information as soon as possible on this. In the meantime, anyone who would wish to pause their fees should email as soon as possible. Anyone who still pays for the membership by standing order should ask their bank to stop this for them, as we are unable to do that at our side. 

With the traditional Easter School Holidays coming up we had three fantastic weeks of activity planned with a fortnight in Dundee in partnership with Leisure and Culture Dundee at both Gussie Park and DISC and a week-long camp at Birkhill. The popularity of these camps mean we had received a significant number of bookings across the three weeks. Due to the current health warnings in place, we are not in a position to run any of these camps at present and will offer a full refund to everyone who has already booked. We are also happy to move any bookings to a future holiday camp if preferred and this can be discussed with a member of the Trust team. 

It’s not yet clear when our activities will be back to normal but we are working in the background to make sure DUCT can provide vital support to the community in this time of need and have been pleased by the response to our skills challenges and education resources for parents and children. If you have any ideas for ways in which you think we can help the local community in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to email or contact us on social media. 

Finally, we would like to take the time to thank our many supporters and funders for their patience and overwhelming support at this time. It means a great deal.