Covid-19 Update – Jan 2021

As we have had more time to think, this update is a little longer than we might ordinarily have done!

Dear friends, wishing you all a Restorative, Healthy and Hopeful 2021.

We thought it timely to update you all about Mycenae House, given it is a new year and now that we may finally have light at the end of the tunnel regards to the unspeakable virus. And, as we have more time to think, this update is a little longer than we might ordinarily have done so, here’s hoping you might have a little time to give it a look over.

If like us, you are still battling hard to remain on the front foot, we salute you. In looking forward you may well be thinking about the great things that could be possible in the coming year. I know we are. Holidays, family gatherings, parties, simple hugs, seeing friends again or just going to work? On these grey, wet, and cold days of January it can be hard to stay that positive but try we must. If you simply cannot and it’s getting you down, then please consider reaching out to others for help. We and many others are here to help.

The good news is that when it is safe to do so, we are all likely to be so grateful to meet in the physical world again and we may never again take for granted the joys of social interaction. We as the team at Mycenae House have missed seeing you all SO much, and indeed missing seeing each other too.  

The lights are on, but almost nobody is home!

Sadly, the house is all but closed to the wider community for now. BUT, our own Bo Peeps Pre-School is still running daily to support the children of Key Workers and vulnerable families. If there was ever any time to be proud of them, it is right now – They are such dedicated and wonderful people working tirelessly to support and develop these youngsters whilst toiling to keep them and their staff safe from Covid 19. Given the lack of clarity from those in higher places, Bo Peeps and other early years initiatives have shown their steely resolve and commitment to our children and their future and we should be proud. We are also supporting NHS organisations to deliver their own staff training at Mycenae House and it has been impressive to see their commitment and their fearless dedication too. We salute you all! Additionally, some of our spaces have been used for several permitted activities over the last few months including filming for tv, online martial arts training, online live music gigs, inset training for teachers, digital and hybrid meetings and also theatre and dance rehearsals.

Strong, Committed and Eager to Get Going Again!

As an organisation, as a business, as a group of colleagues and with the governance that seeks a positive future, I am so proud of how Mycenae House is holding up. Many have asked how long we can keep going in the current circumstances with no income. The honest and simplest answer is that we are doing remarkably well but of course we are under strain. We are strong financially, mentally and in good health so far (touch wood). Sadly, we of course are not delivering anywhere near the levels of social benefit to the community as we would like (given we rely on physical interaction). What is clear though is that we will need to reinvent ourselves and cut our cloth accordingly to be able to deliver the quality of support to our community, as we continue to aspire to and regain a sustainable model.

Our commitment to our members and our community!

Mycenae House has an eternal commitment to serve our community and support you, our partners, and others to help deliver that mission. Nothing changes and it will not change, whatever happens. As a statement, it’s now wearing thin but as we said when this all started ‘we go into this together and we aim to come out of it together’, our aim is still the same. We don’t expect everything to return exactly as it was, but we do hope that you will still be able to and want to work with us again. We are here to support you in any way we can, and we are ready to explore the future and talk with you whenever you are ready. Don’t be shy, the channels are open.

Our hopes for the next 6 months

As the vaccines get rolled out and the good weather returns, and if the NHS becomes less strained, our hope is that we will be allowed to mix as a community again. It may be limited and tentative to start with, but we want to be ready to deliver our best for you again. We have a few things in mind. We think people will be prepared to come into the gardens again before the house. We aim to have a number of exciting but safe events in the garden this summer. We would like to have music, family and young people’s events and arts activities in the fresh air and safe and well-spaced. Just image having fun with other people with the warmth of the sun on your face! We are also thinking of promotional opportunities for you the organisations, users and providers from the Mycenae family (you) to help you restart and rebuild. We are also keen to get the inside of the house up and running in the best way we can as soon as possible. Interestingly the phone has not entirely stopped ringing and people are still asking about parties, weddings and new activities as well as asking about when activities will be up and running again.

Café Bar to Re-Open First

We have agreed that we will reopen the café as a first step as a take-away for the people using the gardens. For the first time ever, we will open over both days of the weekend to serve people stretching their legs and enjoying fresh air. We will promote when this happens through social media channels very soon and feel free to pop down for a luxury hot chocolate or a bag of piping hot chips.

A final word on the staff and trustees

I cannot finish this update without paying tribute to the staff and trustees of Mycenae House. Sadly, many of us are part or fully furloughed but that has not stopped many of the staff demonstrating their commitment to the organization with many offering to come in to work on making the house ready to reopen. May I also pay tribute to the trustees of the VCA (Mycenae House charity) particularly to Jane Stephenson and Sara Whyatt who continue to provide the guidance and confidence to work our way through these difficult times.

Mark Johnson-Brown, Executive Director