Our post lockdown plan 

As the nation continues to emerge out of lockdown, our Chief Executive Dalton Leong looks back on the last 12 months and explains why he’s feeling optimistic about the future.

Last updated on 15/04/2020

As we start making arrangements to safely lift our own restrictions here at The Children’s Trust, we are filled with a sense of optimism for the future. And we have exciting developments in the pipeline, which I would like to share with you. Before doing so, I wanted to reflect on what has been a tumultuous 12 months. 

Our response 

Collectively, we have done everything in our power to ensure stability in the care, support and education we provide for the children. Our response to the Coronavirus was, and continues to be, a careful balance of keeping the children safe whilst ensuring we still deliver our essential services. 

Additional resource and extra measures were put in place so that parents could remain with children during their residential rehabilitation. Not only is this a human right for children and their parents, but we know that this will also improve the outcomes for children receiving rehabilitation. Our charity funded family accommodation has made this possible. 

At times some of the children and young people in both rehabilitation and the school needed to shield and their care was delivered by specific staff – often working holistically across education, health and therapy. The staff quickly adapted by using technology to offer education and therapy sessions remotely or took advantage of good weather to offer them in the garden and grounds. 

The school children have limited verbal communication, therefore we reacted to their non-verbal responses to ensure that they had been heard and were supported to make sense of the sudden changes.

In some cases we sought support from psychosocial professionals to address emotional and mental health needs, the team formulated sensory stories that introduced children and young people to new Covid-19 practices such as hand washing and the use of PPE. The School also introduced happiness profiles and increased access to the school council for children to share their thoughts and concerns. 

Our team 

From the onset of the pandemic, and with each new lockdown and change in restrictions, our staff have been unwavering in ensuring the children’s care is their first priority. Staff have adapted brilliantly with the changing circumstances and been extremely willing, flexible and collaborative in carrying out their roles. 

They have shown agility, adaptability and innovation to get through everything thrown at us and I firmly believe we are better and stronger for the experience. 

Their response throughout has been admirable and I'm very proud to work alongside such a dedicated team who have enabled our services to continue.  I would like to pay tribute to our staff and remember those who have been directly impacted by Covid 19. 

Fundraising 

The generosity of the public and our corporate partners and trusts has been incredible during this time. 

You, our supporters, and our fundraising colleagues have adapted to changing fundraising techniques, enabling us to continue to raise vital funds to support our services and give children with brain injury and neuro-disability the opportunity to live the best life possible. 

 So, on behalf of The Children’s Trust, I extend a heartfelt thanks to you all.  

Our plans for the future 

Whilst this year has presented challenges, we must acknowledge the realisations it has also presented for The Children’s Trust. It has accelerated our plans for the future and set the wheels in motion for developing new services, improving our facilities and working more efficiently. 

Our strategic ambitions, set out in our Hope & Ambition strategy, launched just pre-Covid, is now back on track in terms of planning and programme management. 

We feel empowered by the use of technology, which we have all become more proficient with over the year. This rapid adoption of technology extends to the evolution of our service provision too. Our plans for the use of robotics and other assistive technology will help to improve the outcomes for many of the children we support. 

We will soon be sharing exciting news of infrastructure developments which will mean we can help even more children with a range of needs. So, watch this space! 

We are in the process of developing the Brain Injury Community Service through online delivery of training to schools and other professionals who care for children with brain injuries. We’re making leaps and bounds in ensuring that all children who need our support, regardless of where they live or their socioeconomic background, will have access to our services. 

Whilst nothing will distract from the loss people are experiencing, we look to the future with optimism as we continue to follow our roadmap of growth. We’re an organisation on a mission, focussed on reaching and supporting many more children with brain injury and neuro-disability.