First, our thoughts are with you and your loved ones and everyone affected by the Coronavirus. We wish you the very best and hope that you all stay as healthy as possible.
Since September 2019, over 200 individuals, who are seeking asylum or have refugee status, have stepped onto our yoga mats to find a safe space to breathe and heal. In addition, we have also been providing yoga to survivors and directly bereaved from the Grenfell Tower fire, funded by the NHS. The photo here is of one of our team members packing-up antiseptic cleaner and hand-wash to distribute to our yoga programmes last week.
At our charity, the safety and health of our people always comes first. This includes those we exist to support (our beneficiaries) as well as our volunteers, staff and freelancers (our team), partners, colleagues and friends in our community.
We are committed to taking all actions necessary to prioritise the safety and health of all we serve and our team. We are also committed to delivering our charitable objectives to the best of our ability throughout the time we are responding to the Coronavirus risk.
Last week, we decided to close early for Easter
Our Yoga and English programmes and welfare support are all paused for now. We are looking into whether it may be possible to continue some of our yoga classes online. Yesterday, our office team started working from home.
As a charity, it was a hard decision for us to close our front doors, even for a short time, but we are in no doubt that it was the right one.
Many we serve have underlying health conditions, making them significantly more susceptible to catching whatever is going around than the average person. Their journey time to / from yoga can be long so they come into contact with many people.
Isolation and loneliness are well known for reducing the robustness of immune systems and leading to health issues and unfortunately many who step onto our yoga mats at OURMALA are incredibly isolated and have little or no support.
Our plan is to resume programme delivery as soon as we are confident it is right to do so
We have April 20th penciled in the diary but will take our lead from the government’s advice and let everyone know here, whenever there is an update.
Keeping in touch
From now until we open our doors again, we will aim to post a blog every Tuesday to keep in touch and share good news and tips for health and peace of mind based on our yoga practice.
Behind the scenes, we are continuing to work hard and will also be keeping in touch with the refugees and asylum-seekers in our network. This will include checking-in to see how people are by text and phone and also communicating simple yoga techniques by text.
The response of our beneficiaries and team to the situation we find ourselves in has been fantastic
We are deeply grateful for all the efforts made by our team and the attitude of those we serve. Thank you all for taking care of yourself and your loved ones, keeping perspective, remaining calm and staying positive. We look forward to being in touch next week.