Hope in Tottenham Director Rev. John Wood MBE acknowledges the changes HiT have made in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 16th the Trampery, who manages the building on Tottenham High Road where our HiT office is located, told all its tenants they were shutting down the space until further notice. Four days later schools closed for the rest of the term and have not properly re-opened since. Lockdown measures the following week only compounded how the way we live and work changed out of all recognition.
The most immediate challenge was re-creating HiT’s face to face counselling project with children in the 23 Haringey primary schools where we operate for 24.5 days per week.
The response of HiT counsellors has been imaginative and innovative with a new remit to work remotely by phone, online, cards/letters or texts in collaboration with whole school communities – parents, carers, staff and the children themselves.
This has all been done within their professional code of ethics, the safeguarding policies of the respective schools, and HiT’s own safeguarding procedures. As a result, there has been virtually no need to furlough any counselling staff, a tribute to their adaptability and the respect in which they are held.
Due to the current crisis and the mental health challenges it generates we have also just been asked by Haringey’s Clinical Commissioning Group for Vulnerable Children to bid for an expansion to our work in new and existing venues from September. So if the ‘new normal’ has changed the way in which we work it hasn’t deflected us from HiT’s core purpose of serving the young people of Haringey or responding to fresh opportunities.
Other stories on this site explain how our Mentoring and Engagement work has moved to face this challenge to evolve to survive and the health of the charity will depend on our continuing ability to do so.
Rev. John Wood MBE
Director, Hope in Tottenham