Jiraffe statement: COVID-19
Wed 25th March: An update from Divisional Director, Holly Jenkins
In the wake of the extraordinary restrictions in place to limit the spread of Covid-19, we at Jiraffe we have been working hard to ensure we’re still looking after our customers and colleagues, supporting everyone who needs our help through this crisis.
Our Director, Holly Jenkins, has explained the changes that have been going on at Jiraffe, and what they meant to our staff, customers and partners across the country.
In Holly’s statement, which is available in full on YouTube, she first and foremost, on behalf of our team expresses her deepest sympathy to all those who have already lost loved ones during the Coronavirus outbreak, and those who will in the weeks and months to come. Our hearts go out to you.
As Holly explains, the need for us to support vulnerable people in our society has never been more important, and that is why we are prouder than ever to support the children who need us, and their families, through this crisis.
None of us know how long the current situation will last, but everyone connected with Jiraffe and our colleagues at Jenx can rest assured that we are as committed as ever to meeting to supporting all who need our help in whatever way we safely can for as long as risks of Coronavirus sit over us.
That includes a new scheme which is designed to bring equipment which children rely on at school directly to their doorstep, completely free of charge – you can read more on this via Disabled Living here.
Our fantastic and committed team is available to assist in any way they can. In line with Government guidelines, as Holly explains, the Jiraffe team is working remotely where possible – which has been an interesting transition for us and no doubt everybody else, too!
We will also be launching a new, low-cost Emergency Posture Provision scheme in the coming days to help children in our communities who are awaiting urgent equipment or now need something which they didn’t before because planned surgery has been postponed. You’ll hear more on this soon.
Read Holly’s statement in full below or watch the video here.
“As the Coronavirus pandemic evolves, affecting all of our lives in ways we could never have imagined just a few weeks ago, we have of course been giving careful consideration to the work that we do at Jiraffe.
“I will explain the steps we are taking, but before I do, I want to express our deepest sympathy to those who have already lost loved ones and those who will in the weeks to come. Our hearts go out to you.
“On behalf of everyone at Jiraffe, and our colleagues at Jenx, I also want to thank all those working in our frontline services, providing care for the most critically ill and saving lives under enormous pressure. Thank you.
“You may have seen our regular email updates. Thank you to those who have contacted us to let us know these have been helpful, and to ask more questions. Things are moving at a rapid pace and we are working tirelessly to implement each new directive as it is announced.
“Last week the Government published a list of key workers – many of you will have roles on this list carrying out crucial work in the NHS, Social Services and Education sectors. This list also includes those working in the supply chain to the NHS and Social Services.
“We have sought advice directly from the Government and this is clear – not only are organisations in this supply chain not being asked to close, we are being actively encouraged to continue our work so far as possible and where it is safe to do so.
“The needs of those in our society with long term conditions have not gone away while the news is dominated with this new threat. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we support and care well for the most vulnerable in our communities. For us, that means helping children to stay well and importantly to stay out of hospital wherever possible.
“It means ensuring children can still access vital postural care to prevent pain and discomfort, to aid the health of their respiratory and circulatory systems and to prevent lasting damage to their muscles and bones.
“None of us know how long the current restrictions will be in place for, but we are as committed to meeting the ongoing needs of children needing postural care as much now as we are always – and in whatever way we safely can for as long as risks of Coronavirus sit over us.
“I am proud to say we have the most wonderful and committed team who are still available to assist you. Every person who can carry out their role remotely is now working from home – this means we have designers 3D printing in their kitchens, Customer Support Advisors answering the phone in their living room and videos such as this one which I am recording from my own home.
“If you are interested, do follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, where we will be sharing some of our home-working setups over the coming weeks! Moving to home working has given those colleagues working at Jenx the space to do so at a safe social distance and manufacturing of Jenx products is continuing.
“Last week we took the decision to postpone all non-urgent appointments, and I would like to thank you again for the supportive and positive response we have had from those of you affected.
“We also began calling all other appointments to ensure they still needed to go ahead. We will continue to do this for as long as we need to and will continue to attend appointments where you tell us that child has an urgent need.
“Over the last few weeks, we have certainly become more creative – doing setups by Skype, reviews over the phone and even one assessment done with our Product Advisor watching and giving instructions from the garden!
“We are still at the end of the phone, we are still here to help but please help us, yourselves and the children by only asking us to visit those who truly need to be seen.
“Our teams have spoken directly in the last week with many Therapists worried about children not having access to vital equipment at home as schools began to close. Community Equipment Stores are understandably focusing on bringing as many people home from hospital as possible to free up much needed beds.
“This is why last week we announced a new scheme bringing equipment which children rely on at school directly to their homes, so that they don’t have to go without in the coming weeks. This is completely free of charge and we are happy to wipe down equipment and leave it at the doorstep if needed. We can even show parents how to use it through the window if they’re unsure!
“We have also heard from a number of you that processes are not working as usual. Resources have been focused on the most critical needs and your regular funding routes are delayed. We know there are children in our communities now who are awaiting urgent equipment or now need something which they didn’t before because a planned surgery has been postponed.
“To help these children, we will be launching a low-cost Emergency Posture Provision scheme later this week. We will not be making any profit on this scheme which has been designed in conjunction with some of the largest CES providers to get urgently needed equipment to children quickly and without putting additional pressure on stretched community services.
“Of course, as is the way these days, by tomorrow things could have changed again. But we will remain committed to helping you, however and wherever we can.
“In the meantime, hold your little ones tight – these are scary times for them too.
“Help in your community if you can.
“If all our children learn in the next few weeks is that they are loved then surely that is the most important lesson.
“Look after yourselves and stay safe.”