Message from Inspire CEO – Kerry Anthony MBE

As we all come to terms with the current COVID-19 crisis and the impact it is having on everyone at Inspire, I want to reassure you all that the health, safety and wellbeing of the people we support, and that of our staff team, is our number one priority.

We moved early to introduce social distancing across Inspire and all training, face-to-face meetings, visits and events were cancelled. Any staff member who can is working from home and our offices and non-residential buildings are secured and closed. In anticipation of large numbers of staff in our residential services self-isolating or being advised to shield/cocoon for 12 weeks, hundreds of staff from across Inspire have volunteered to be deployed to support our residents and their colleagues in our residential services. Our teams are working to ensure that those who are redeployed have the training and skills they need to do any new role safely. No one will be asked to do anything that may comprise the safety and quality of the services we provide. While purchasing PPE remains a challenge for everyone, we have stocks of the necessary equipment to protect staff and residents and we are constantly sourcing more as it becomes available.

With each day, we face new challenges but I am impressed with the resilience and sense of community of the people who use our services and our staff. In our 24-hour supported housing scheme at Millburn, residents have created food parcels for the local food bank. In our community wellbeing schemes, colleagues and service users are using new and innovative ways of staying connected. In addition, our addiction team is establishing partnerships with other organisations in order to maintain a high level of support and those who use our services are adapting and building an online recovery community together. We have seen a 350% rise in people accessing support through our online wellbeing hub, which has been adapted with new COVID-19-specific support. Though our day-support services in Ireland have been reconfigured, our staff continue to provide assistance to people who use those services, as well as their families. I am extremely proud of the continued tremendous work and flexibility from my colleagues, who are committed to keeping our services going.

Our internal processes to manage the COVID-19 crisis are under constant review by myself and the senior management team. We are meeting regularly, as new developments from the government and professional bodies unfold.

While we don’t know what the future holds, we do know that we are working together, keeping at the forefront of each decision the people who use our services, their families and our staff.

Thank you again for your continued support at this time. Now more than ever… we are Team Inspire.