A Message from Mette Le Jakobsen, Managing Director – Wednesday 20 May

With most lockdown precautions ongoing, Surrey Choices is continuing to support disabled and vulnerable people across Surrey. Our greatest priority is the safety and welfare of the people we support, their families and the fantastic teams of people who work for us.

Our Shared Lives Carers are providing ongoing care and support. Our Shared Lives respite services have largely been suspended but if you or someone you know requires support, please do get in touch. We have Carers available to support those who need it.

Our Short Breaks service in Banstead is continuing to support those in the greatest need, and is currently operating at 50% capacity in order to maintain safe working conditions. We are accepting new referrals and hope to increase our usage soon so that we can support our people and families again more regularly. Please get in touch with the service if you or someone you know requires urgent support

Our EmployAbility colleagues are providing remote support to those affected by changes to their employment and supporting key workers in important roles such as the healthcare sector and supermarkets. We are continuing to accept new referrals for both EmployAbility and for Future Choices so please do get in touch; we know this is an important time for year for young people in particular.

Our day service activity hubs have closed for the time being, but we are supporting everyone with activity boxes, remote and online support through a wide schedule of activities including recorded sessions which you can see here.

We are also providing direct support to individuals and families at home to help them cope during lockdown. We recognise that it can be a difficult time at the moment so if you, or someone you know, is in need of alternative support to their normal day service at the moment, please call your usual service lead or the mainline number 01483 806 806.

In collaboration with the wider adult social care sector in Surrey, and in collaboration with Surrey County Council and the Surrey Care Association, Surrey Choices is also providing support through a ‘mutual aid’ programme. This means we are supporting people who haven’t used our services before in their own homes and in supported living and residential care settings across the county to make sure the sector has the support it needs. We are also providing logistical assistance to the Local Resilience Forum on behalf of Surrey County Council to ensure Personal Protective Equipment is available to the care sector in Surrey. In addition, our staff are volunteering through local community hubs and we are pleased to be able to help support the local care community at this difficult time.

Safety is our number one priority for all of us, as we look after ourselves and each other. I would like to reassure everyone that Surrey Choices employees have access to the right PPE for the work they are doing and we are taking every precaution to make sure the people we support are safe.

In response to the Government starting to ease restrictions, Surrey Choices is planning for the recovery and reshaping of services going forward. Further details will be available soon however it is important for us to reiterate that the safety and wellbeing will be our main priority at all times. For some services this will mean a return to something resembling normality but with very different ways of working and heightened sanitation precautions in place, whereas for other services, it will mean that we need to find different ways to provide support.

We continue to welcome referrals, whether for short term support during the pandemic, or for ongoing support. If you or a family member are already receiving support from us, and you have questions or concerns, please do contact the team on 01483 806806 or via email talktous@surreychoices.com

We are thankful for all the support and well wishes we have received during the pandemic and wish all our customers, families, friends and associates good health and wellbeing. Please take care and stay safe. Thank you.

Mette Le Jakobsen

Managing Director