YMCA Lincolnshire has been in early discussions with emergency planning teams in the city to offer its currently out-of-action Showroom as a potential nightingale hospital or other community requirement during the coronavirus crisis.
The recent opening of the coronavirus testing centre for NHS staff in Lincoln prompted Caroline Killeavy, CEO at YMCA Lincolnshire, to offer the charity’s large building and car park on Tritton Road after staff moved out last month.
She told The Lincolnite that she has contacted all emergency planning teams, alerted police and been in discussion with the blood transfusion service about possible options.
The plans are still in early stages and she said: “It is such a fabulous facility and it would be good to make use of it while it’s not being used for its purpose.
“It is important not to hinder the emergency planning process, but we wanted to let them know that we’re there and have a facility available.”
To emergency planning teams who may be looking for a large, versatile, accessible, serviced building (and car park) on a main arterial route into the city, @YMCALincs @TheShowroomCC is available and vacant. @LincsPolice @EMASNHSTrust @lincolncouncil @NHSLincsCCG @LincolnshireEP pic.twitter.com/iOhuNu2Fji
— Caroline Killeavy (@CKilleavy) April 7, 2020
However, the coronavirus outbreak has also presented challenges to the charity, including a loss of income and furloughing staff, but plans are in place for staff and residents to keep them as safe as possible.
The charity is appealing for donations to help it to continue running and also for books and games for the residents to keep spirits up – click here to make a donation.
The Showroom and staff
Of YMCA Lincolnshire’s 130 employees, 50 have now been furloughed due to the coronavirus crisis.
Only three of its areas are still currently open – The Nomad Centre and hostels, two nurseries (Lincoln and Gainsborough) serving key worker children, and work with the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum to serve vulnerable people over the phone and digitally.
Nomad Centre and hostels
YMCA Lincolnshire has nine houses and larger hostels in the city and all 170 beds at the Nomad Centre are full.
No guests or visitors are currently allowed to the hostels.
The crisis has caused a big increase in calls and demand for the service. The charity is working with partners and the city council to tackle the situation.
Caroline said that it is very difficult for people to self-isolate and do social distancing in a hostel environment, but they have put a lot of policies and robust plans in place to ensure government guidance is followed. This includes moving anyone showing symptoms to an allocated house.