COVID-19 and Barnstondale
Everyone at Barnstondale – Trustees, Staff and Volunteers – are hugely committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all of our visitors. The problem of COVID-19 means we need to do even more and we’re making this happen, making physical and policy changes to how the centre will run and how we are able to provide adventure activities and residental stays for the forseeable future.
These changes and the assessments that have been made that informed those changes are now detailed in our new COVID-19 Risk Assessment that you can download here in PDF or DOCX format, but do keep checking back as we keep this page updated with the very latest information.
You can also read our FAQ below, if you just have a specific question or concern that you’d like answered.
We’re aiming to keep everyone safe and well, residential guests, staff and day visitors, just as we always have at Barnstondale. We’re doing everything we possibly can to enable you to visit Barnstondale once again.
How will you ensure that no-one visiting the site has COVID-19?
We will ensure that contractors and visitors are limited to essential services only, and that their operations are aligned with the Government’s ‘COVID-19 Secure’ guidance
Party Leaders will be asked to confirm that everyone is in good health and not showing any signs of COVID-19.
All visitors (staff, guests and contractors) will be temperature screened prior to being granted access to the site. Those found to be 37.5°C and above will not be permitted access and encouraged to go home and self-isolate.
How will you ensure that groups arriving at the site will be able to do so safely?
We will liaise with our customers to establish staggered arrival and pick up times. There will be a one way drop off process enforced and managed by site staff to ensure compliance and reduce bunching and possibilities of social distancing being breached.
How will you arrange the accommodation safely?
We will allocate rooms based on 2 young persons per room and accompanying staff in single occupancy rooms, noting this will reduce our site capacity considerably.
We will ensure there is no communal use of corridors, showers etc.
These strict pre-occupancy room cleaning and sanitising protocols are in compliance with health and safety procedures, using specific products as recommended (disinfection, frequent and thorough hand washing for our staff, step by-step cleaning instructions, etc.).
All guests are to bring their own bed linen, including a pillow (Barnstondale will only provide a laundered mattress cover).
For your health protection, room cleaning is not carried out by Barnstondale staff during your stay.
How will you enable us to maintain a safe distance from anyone else on site?
We will limit the number of staff you have contact with by ensuring your dedicated group leader is your primary point of contact. At other times, you will be provided with a phone number (and radio if required) in order to contact duty staff. At no time will you need to travel within the centre or visit reception or the kitchen to contact a member of staff.
How will Barnstondale staff act differently to ensure safety?
We have implemented a number of policies, in line with Government guidelines.
Barnstondale staff will stringently wash their hands and follow NHS and Public Health advice. Furthermore, staff will be reminded on a regular basis about the importance of properly drying their hands with disposable towels where available.
The following policies have also been implemented and will be subject to continual review to ensure that we are always doing the maximum that we can to ensure visitor and staff safety:
- Have staggered arrival and departure times at work to prevent crowding into and out of the workplace.
- Are health checked every morning (temperature screening) and reminded daily only to come into work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.
- Are provided with access to additional facilities, such as bike storage, to help people walk, run, or cycle to work where possible.
- Are encouraged to take precautionary measures if using public transport (noting the Government requirement to wear mandatory face coverings from 15 Jun 20).
- Are split into dedicated work teams, where possible, to keep the number of members interacting with others as small as possible (1 AT instructor per group, no rotating).
- Are aware of their obligation to report any illness and are reminded of the importance of good personal hygiene.
- Have been trained in preventing the transmission of COVID-19.
- Will avoid using hot desks and shared spaces. Where this is not possible, cleaning and sanitising will be undertaken between different occupants.
- All workspaces will be ventilated with windows opened to allow fresh air circulation. Public access doors and fire doors should not be kept open.
What workplace changes have you made for staff?
We have reviewed and, where appropriate, designed our workplace and our working practices to ensure social distancing is in place where it is practical for us to do so. We will continue to review and manage our arrangements on a regular basis to ensure we remain compliant with government advice and our staff remain aware and diligent.
Will Barnstondale staff have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and what rules are they following on using it?
All our staff will follow the very latest Government/Public Health guidance on the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) to protect against COVID-19
We will follow all government guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings
The current Government guidance is that ‘wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended’ except if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home. A face shield will be worn by the supervising adult if 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then gloves, an apron and a face mask should be worn by the supervising adult.
In other settings, such on in our offices, we will support our staff if they choose to wear a face covering.
What are you doing about catering?
Initially it will be necessary for visitors to bring their own meals as we will not be providing food on site when we first re-open.
We will still provide eating areas to groups, ensuring that groups have designated meal and break times. We will minimise any queuing and mark out 2m spacing for when queuing cannot be avoided.
We will ensure one-way flow of diners in and out of the facility.
We will increase spacing between tables and limit the number of diners per table.
All cutlery provided will be disposable and single use only.
These rules will also stand when we reintroduce catering again at some point in the future. Further rules at this time will be:
- Ensuring all staff must wash their hands every 30 minutes with antibacterial soap.
- Enforcing social distancing measures amongst staff.
- Minimising contact between kitchen workers and front of house workers.
- Removing self-service from catering provision, including trays, cutlery and food (all cutlery provided will be disposable and single use).
- Ensuring strict disinfection and sanitisation measures (e.g. daily disinfection of drains and pipes) are in place.
- Wedging doors open, where appropriate, to reduce touchpoints. This does not apply to fire doors.
- Providing only disposable condiments or cleaning non disposable condiment containers after each use.
- Minimising access to walk-in pantries, fridges and freezers, for example, with only one person being able to access these areas at one point in time.
- Minimising contact at ‘handover’ points with other staff, such as when presenting food to serving staff and/or receiving deliveries.
- We will remove all unwrapped confectionery from the shops.
How will you ensure that the communal areas of the site are thoroughly cleaned and maintained as such?
We have reinforced cleaning and sanitising procedures for communal areas, for areas of high congregation, frequent touch points (using current Government advice as our reference):
- Door handles / push plates in and around WCs, Dining Rooms, Communal Offices, Reception, tuck shop, Keypad Door Locks.
- Entrances to buildings, activity sites, classrooms, accommodation corridors.
- Dining room tables, chairs, trays, counters and equipment.
We aim to ensure that only 1 person uses our welfare facilities (including changing rooms, toilets etc.) at any one time. Signage will be used where appropriate. Toilet facilities are provided with all appropriate hand washing facilities.
Touch free bins will be available in all areas.
Government guidance will be adhered to for the handling and disposal of all waste.
Checks/inspections will be carried out to ensure cleaning procedures are being followed and these are documented where appropriate.
How will your adventure activities change?
We have a system of fixed teams/bubbles to reduce the number of close contacts between different employees in the workplace where this is possible.
- We will ensure groups are not sharing the same equipment / venue.
- We will prevent the sharing of activity PPE (i.e. safety helmet) if there is a risk of transmission.
- We will ensure strict maintenance of hand hygiene using hand sanitiser before, during (where appropriate) and after activity.
- We have a clearly defined disinfecting routine in place to disinfect relevant equipment and contact surfaces before, after and at pre-set intervals as defined in activity risk assessment.
What will you do if someone falls sick?
If anyone develops symptoms of COVID-19 (a new, continuous cough, loss of smell/taste and/or a high temperature) whilst working for us or whilst on any of our premises, they will:
- be sent home to self-isolate immediately.
- If they are unable to make their own way home they will be isolated in a ventilated room until they can be collected.
- be advised to avoid touching anything.
- use a separate toilet from others, where possible.
If any employee or any other person on our premises presents themselves with serious symptoms, we will call the emergency services. We will ensure that all areas that may have been contaminated are thoroughly sanitised before re-use.
What other changes have you made to ensure that it is safe for Barnstondale to re-open?
Where appropriate we use posters, signs, barriers, screens, floor markings as well as other physical/engineering controls to ensure that our social distancing arrangements are maintained.
We have redesigned some layouts to include 1-way systems, entry and exit doors to reduce people passing one another where this has been possible.
We have redesigned the layout and removed surplus seating and other furniture to facilitate more space in our workspaces and communal rooms (e.g. dining room).
All of our staff are reminded to follow the latest advice regarding ‘Staying safe outside your home: Annex A of the Our Plan to Rebuild Guidance‘.
Posters and/or information that demonstrate hand washing techniques are available on site.
We fully support the Government’s Test and Trace system.
We will continue to maintain regular contact with all our staff members (by a variety of means) whilst they are at home during this time.
If a member of our staff lives in a household where someone else is unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 we expect them to stay at home in line with latest guidance.
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