I hope you had a happy Christmas and as we enter 2021 it is with the hope that vaccinations will slow the spread of Covid-19.
It is a testament to our staff, in particular our manager Gary, volunteers, and trustees that TAB has been able to continue supporting the young people of Abingdon and surrounding area in 2020. The staff adapted to working online and gradually, as lockdown came to an end, the staff came back to the Charter working face to face. Due to this third lockdown only our Healthy Lifestyle youth workers are working face to face, and they are seeing their most vulnerable clients who are unable to work online. The Charter premises has been Covid-safe and masks, hand sanitiser and daily cleaning became the norm. TAB started working in schools again in the autumn term. TAB is not able to work in schools but is currently conducting group work online.
During the last 5 months TAB has started 2 short term projects with funding from Children-in-Need and Oxfordshire County Council. The Next Steps project (CIN) provides counselling for young people affected by Covid-19 and runs for 18 months. This started in November. The Youth Intervention project (OCC) is a 2-year project aimed at young people who are “hard to reach” and this involves some outreach work in North Abingdon and nurturing youth ambassadors. To cope with the rising demand together with these projects we have employed an additional 6 part-time members of staff. The outreach work has been temporarily halted due to lockdown restrictions.
Our premises news is a tale of 18 months of negotiations with the Coventry Building Society (CBS) and fundraising. We secured a 10-year lease for 3 Market Place above the CBS in September and Total Projects Ltd have refurbished the 2 floors to meet our needs. This provides us with 6 rooms for 1 to 1 work, a large meeting room, office, kitchen, toilets, and reception areas. We are hopeful that we will move in at the end of January. Our official address will still be 19 Bridge Street. We are very grateful to the CBS for enabling us to utilise their premises and to the Trusts and individual supporters who have contributed to the work without detracting from the core work of TAB.
There have been huge challenges in 2020, but, with your help, we have supported hundreds of young people with 1 to 1 support, group work and workshops.
I would like to share with you one of the feedback comments
“Thank you so much. I really appreciated the time given each week. It was comforting to talk with you listening in a compassionate and caring way. I can manage my emotions better, don't get so down and feel more motivated and hopeful about the future.”
Our challenges in the coming year include looking in greater detail at the feedback from clients, groups, and workshops to learn from and improve our service. We will also be training more youth ambassadors.
Thank you so much for your support in 2020 and I look forward to welcoming you to our new premises soon.
Stay safe and healthy,
Gill Dean Chair of TAB Trustees