COVID 19

Options 4 Change’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement



While the last year has been considerably difficult, we recognise that the pandemic has raised many challenges for not only Options 4 Change but for society as a whole. However as always, we continue to prioritise the wellbeing of our service-users and staff and we have been doing our very best to contribute to the efforts in reducing the transmission and impact of the virus. 


In March 2020 we had to make the difficult decision to temporarily close our office following the Government’s guidance at the time, but we have been doing everything we can to continue to provide our services at the same level of care as usual. As we move towards the end of lockdown, we must prepare for the possibility of prolonged need and increase in demand for our services. We have been able to adapt to the trying circumstances by moving our services to alternative platforms, such as telephone consultations and virtual meets & workshops. We have been providing additional support to our service-users to match the additional need that has arisen in these unprecedented times. Earlier this year we initiated a Relief Programme in which we offer extra support to families by providing regular parcels of essentials such as food and household items. In addition to this, although the lockdown and quarantining have forced people to isolate themselves from one another, we have been able to create and facilitate thriving virtual community of service-users. The establishment of this platform has extended our service, and has allowed service-users a space to engage with each other and staff daily between the hours of 9 am – 9 pm. This virtual community allow our service-users an opportunity to chat with each other, share experiences, access advice and relieve boredom and isolation. These communities have become a significant source of support for many of our service-users and the overwhelmingly positive response we have received has shown us just how important it is for our mental health to be able to stay socially connected with one another. 


In the last year, the pandemic has posed particular challenges for our Education Sustainment Project (ESP). The closure of schools in March 2020 and the subsequent tightened practises adopted in the wake of their re-opening has meant we have had to completely transform the way we deliver our services. We continue to work closely with our schools and families, but we have had to change our approach in engaging the service’s users and partners. While the closure of schools created difficulties for our ESP and its service delivery, it’s the children who primarily suffered by this drastic shift in everyday life. Many children lost established routines, were socially isolated from their friends and became at risk of falling behind. The Every Child Matters ethos guides much of our work at Options 4 Change, and we have made it our mission to make sure the children we work with have still been enabled to reach their full potential and that their parents are equipped with the skills and resources to guide them to do so.


Fortunately, during the lockdown we were awarded with funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. It allowed us to make many changes to the way we operate (including, but not limited to):


  • Purchase new equipment for staff, to enable our team to effectively perform their roles from home
  • Undergo an office refurbishment to create a space that allows for better social distancing and sanitising practices
  • Appoint a Family Welfare Officer to expand our reach in the community to meet the increased need for support
  • Implement an ESP Team Leader to guide the ESP team in efforts to further engage our pupils & families and create new partnerships in the community
  • Enforce a mask policy
  • Review and update our safeguarding policies to take Coronavirus (COVID-19) in to account


We currently have plans to re-open our office in June 2021, but as we live in uncertain times we will keep doing our best to ensure our staff and service-users’ safety. We will continue to monitor & review the situation, observe the Government’s advice and apply good sense to do what is best for our community. 


As our office remains closed, please do not try to visit us in person. We are operating from home Tuesday – Friday, between the hours of 09:00 – 21:00. If you have any queries, require our assistance or if you are interested in supporting us, please do not hesitate to get in contact: 


Mobile – 07861 471 502 (Tenisha) / 07402 542 588 (Kimone)

Email – info@options4change.org.uk 

Management Support Officer 

We have stayed commited in providing support to our service users during these challenging times

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Do you need any support during the coronavirus pandemic?

OUR FAMILY WELFARE SERVICES 


Our family welfare services were extended during the Covid 19 Lockdown. Our application to The Office of Civil Society Covid Response Fund was successful and increased our financial capacity to employ a Family Welfare Officer (FWO).

This new area of operation has helped us respond to the doubling of service user families  contacting us to because of lockdown hardships. The families wanted help for welfare hardships affecting their families. Hardships including loss of home schooling unemployment, homelessness, housing, mental well-being, food/fuel poverty and isolation.

The FWO supports families across the borough of Lambeth with children in primary or secondary schools. Our education sustainment team officers and the FWO work in their separate areas of expertise to ensure that the children and families are able to better cope as individuals or whole families with the sometimes multiple hardships they are facing.

The FWO works alongside numerous community partners  providing virtual and safely distanced community outreach contact to give practical support in the community and education settings.

The Family Welfare Service and Officer is at the heart of the organisation and critical  in our response to the substantial increase of service users seeking our help to deal with significant issues linked to home schooling, back to school, homelessness, employment, wellbeing food and fuel poverty.  The service offers easier accessed help to service user families who would have to wait much longer to access the help they need. Our service and support needs assessments often identify priority needs issues that we’re not previously identified and very important to the welfare of the families. Thereafter we are able to sign post, mutually refer advocate and ensure that the families get the help they need in good time to remedy challenges and improve lives.

Please contact Tenisha Lewis on: 07861-471-502 or by email: n.lewis@options4change.org.uk