COVID-19 and returning to TDS groups
From the 17 May 2021, we will be returning to our face-to-face delivery and getting members back into groups. This page will contain the most up to date steps we are taking on our safe return to face-to-face activities.
This page was last updated on Friday 16 July.
Together Dementia Support owns two buses that can be booked to transport members from their homes to groups and back again. We have a Peugeot Boxer minibus and a Ford Torneo.
From Monday 19 May, we will have the following guidelines in place:
All drivers of both vehicles are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They wear appropriate PPE and observe the relevant health & safety procedures for social distancing and hygiene to ensure the safety of our service users.
Only members who have been vaccinated will be transported together on either of our vehicles.
Numbers of passengers on our transport will be limited. There will be a maximum of 5 passengers in the Peugeot Boxer minibus and a maximum of 3 passengers in the Ford Torneo.
Our driver, Gwenneth, happy to be getting back out and about in our minibus!
There is a slight increase in the running costs of our vehicles due to the reduced capacity for more trips. In order to make the maintenance and running of our transport feasible, clean and safe, the charge for use of transport is now £5. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if the cost of transport is prohibitive to attendance at groups.
Groups will be starting back from the 17 May 2021 with reduced or limited capacity. As a standard guideline, groups will have a total of 12 people – 8 participants, 2 volunteers, 1 lead volunteer and 1 Dementia Group Leader.
The maximum capacity for groups may vary due to venue considerations.
To ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, and service users, we will be using a bubble system to try and keep friends and groups together. Some groups with larger membership may have two bubbles that meet on alternate weeks, and your Dementia Group Leader or volunteer that knows you will arrange this with you if you are affected. Please stick to your arranged week as we may not be able to accommodate attendance at groups on other days.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Hygiene
We will have PPE guidelines in place that will be followed as closely as is feasible.
Venues will be checked for cleanliness and hygiene before each session. Staff and volunteers will maintain a high level of hygiene, cleanliness and infection control throughout the group and risk assessments are in place and ratified for all groups.
Lateral Flow Testing
Staff and volunteers are all taking part in our Lateral Flow Testing scheme in partnership with the NHS so that we can be as sure as we possibly can be they are not going to introduce the virus to our service users. Participants are taking tests within the 24 hours preceding meeting face-to-face to be as safe and secure as possible.
COVID-19 Vaccination Statement
The take up of the vaccine is an entirely personal choice, and we have put in place stringent measures to ensure that unvaccinated people are kept as safe as possible during our activities.
The vaccine rollout continues across the UK, and more and more people are taking up the vaccine to protect themselves and others from the more harmful symptoms of COVID-19 infections. Due to the high risk categories the people we work with fall into and the increased likelihood of serious illness or death, Together Dementia Support are strongly encouraging all staff members, volunteers, members and carers to take up the vaccine when it is offered. The vast majority of our service users have fed back that they would strongly prefer volunteers to be vaccinated before they return to groups, and that this is a deciding factor in whether or not they take part in face-to-face activities.
We are currently running a scheme of lateral flow testing for volunteers so that we can be as sure as we possibly can be they are not carrying the virus into our groups.
Continued social distancing and regular testing for volunteers will be temporary, and is subject to change depending on local public health advice, health and safety advice from the Government, and guidance published by the NHS. Eventually all people will be able to return to face-to-face group activities – and we can’t wait!