Read the latest blog from our Chief Executive, Sarah Jane.
“This was the first week where it felt like things were settling into a new routine and no new adaptations were required.
The arrangements that we put in place when the restrictions to create physical distancing came into force are still holding.
Staff who work on the yards, which is the majority of our staff, have been separated into smaller groups and work a shift of four days on and four days off. They practice physical distancing at work and everyone is staying well so far.
Thankfully the dry weather means that horses and ponies are out most of the time. Once they are into their rehabilitation routines, they become very relaxed. The ponies’ moods are never a worry; they’re just getting on with healing with our support.
Due to very high numbers of horses and ponies coming into sanctuary at the end of last year, all our fields were in constant use over the winter, so grass is limited and we’re still having to put out some hay, which makes extra work for the staff.
Our charity shop staff have been furloughed. Shops have been cleaned and a plan is in place for how staff will reopen shops when restrictions are lifted.
The staff from the central support teams of Fundraising, Supporter Services, HR, Finance, ICT have been working above and beyond from home.
Many of our staff have children at home. Some have partners or family members who are key workers in health and care services. Everyone has felt the pressure increase over the past four weeks.
Like most charities, we’ve seen our income drop alarmingly since mid-March.
I’m feeling concerned that we’re going to have to furlough even more staff to be able to manage our cashflow position until there is more clarity about when restrictions are likely to be lifted.
We have some small reserves, but this is our fund for winding down, which is not the situation we are in yet – but for the first time in years we’re having to consider our emergency options.
Before the restrictions, we were a charity that was doing well and in a stable position, no pun intended!
However, our thoughts are also with everyone who is ill or who is isolated at a distance from loved ones.
We hope that our pictures and posts of the ponies bring a moment of welcome distraction and reminder of the beauty of the land at this difficult time.”