In challenging times, the spirit of Prior’s Court always shines through. Despite the difficulties posed by Covid-19, our teams are doing an amazing job of keeping life at Prior’s Court as close to normality as possible for the young people in our care.

Prior’s Court school, children’s home and adult care home all remain fully open and we have no plans to close. We are fortunate that at present none of the young people are experiencing any symptoms, although we are continuing to monitor this closely and have isolation plans in place should they be needed. While we do have a number of staff members self-isolating as a precaution, staffing levels remain stable and we have robust staffing contingency plans in place.

Many of the young people live at Prior’s Court 52 weeks of the year because living in their family home is not an option, so continuing to provide care here really is essential. We have tried to maintain as much consistency as possible for our young people but, as with all of us, they are having to become used to some different ways of doing things. For example, school learning is now being delivered across the whole site and in much smaller groups and contact with family members is via video call. We are also all getting used to social distancing – this week, one, non-verbal, young person approached me in the grounds with his arms outstretched to the side and insisted I did the same when we passed each other!  

The coming weeks will no doubt pose challenges for us and the rest of the country – but we are doing everything in our power to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the young people in our care and that remains our absolute priority.

We simply could not be where we are now without the efforts of our staff members who are doing a remarkable job of maintaining a safe environment for our young people. Their dedication and positivity has ensured the young people remain happy and healthy, and we are truly thankful to each and every one of them for the part they have played.

A mention must also go to every organisation or individual who has been in touch to offer support; Downe House School is providing accommodation for staff who may need it, Newbury Showground have offered additional outdoor space for our young people to use for exercise and activities, while former staff members and parents have all offered to come in to lend a hand. We are truly humbled and grateful for all your support; thank you from the Prior’s Court family.

Mike Robinson – Chief Executive, Prior’s Court