Following the Government announcement of a lockdown from 5th November to 2nd December we have discussed the implications for those attending Cherry Tree Nursery and Chestnut Nursery.
The objective of the lockdown is to save lives, protect the NHS and cut infection rates across the UK.
BCP council has the highest rate of infection in the south of England.
The exceptions to the lockdown are essential businesses, garden centres are included this and so are projects providing therapy and support.
We hope the decisions we have made will meet the needs of all in the best way that we can, without losing sight of the need for us to do all we can to reduce the impact of the pandemic in the short and long term.
Our Volunteers will be asked to stay at home if at all possible. We are aware that for some this will pose such a risk to their mental health and wellbeing that it would outweigh the risks of attending the project. We will discuss this with each Volunteer and look at the support networks they have outside of the charity, their home situation, their current mental stability and how the previous lockdown impacted upon them. Those identified as highly vulnerable will be able to attend on their usual days. Those who will be staying at home will have regular contact and the assurance that if they find their mental health is deteriorating, we will look again at their situation and how best we can support them.
No Volunteer Friends are to attend the project during the lockdown.
We are hugely grateful to the incredible support of our Volunteer Friends and the next four weeks will be all the more difficult without them but we feel this is the responsible thing to do.
We are very grateful the Government has included garden centres in the essential retail and we hope very much that our customers will continue to enjoy their gardens and outside spaces in the colder months.
With reduced staffing, it is not possible to open the shop for six days per week. We therefore propose to open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10 am and 3 pm and close Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until further notice.
We will continue to request payments by card only, preferably contactless and ask that customers wear face masks in our small shop and while paying for their plants.
We have been observing social distancing and cleaning and sterilising our trolleys since opening in May and this will remain in place.
We hope that this strikes the best balance possible between the needs of our Volunteers, Friends, Customers and Staff and the safety of all. We have tried very hard to build some safety nets into these arrangements in these uncertain times.
Stay safe everyone.
Cherry Tree Nursery