A very warm welcome to the all new newsletter from LATCH! We know just how important it is to keep in touch with our supporters, and we hope that this new newsletter will be a great way for us to keep you in the know.
This is the first issue of what we hope will be many, and our aim will be to adapt and improve the newsletter so that we can give you as much recent news and updates on future events as we can. We hope you like the layout and content of this new format.
Welcome and thank you for your support!
Susan's Update- Hear from LATCH'S Chair
Welcome to the seasonal update from LATCH, the first of many which I hope you will find informative and reassuring.
This first year as chair has been quite a roller-coaster of experiences and emotions for me, including
- learning so much about what is at the heart of LATCH, its core values, aims and objectives
- meeting the amazing medical team and UHB personnel that supports our patients and families
- witnessing the devotion and care of our parents for their children
- working with our staunch board of trustees, who show total dedication to the charity and our families
- listening to the views and experiences of Helen, Katie and Rachel, our highly valued social workers, who work tirelessly to ensure family wellbeing and support. Contact with families has been maintained for those in the hospital and with outpatients during these difficult months
- observing the enthusiasm that Chanai and Natalie, our administrators, and Janet our bookkeeper, bring to their roles and in ensuring the LATCH office has been manned since lockdown from March
- sharing the experiences of Jade, our committed general manager, as she undertook her role and sharing in her joy at the birth of her son. I am sure supporters will join me in sending our warmest wishes to Jade, Andrew and baby Alex at this very special time as a new family
- welcoming Iwan as our interim general manager, who has fully immersed himself in LATCH
I doubt that any of us could have predicted that 2020 would be the year when the world would face a global pandemic, which has attacked everything that is important to people of all nations. Humans are resilient, adaptive and compliant to the approaches that our leaders, scientists and medical advisors deem necessary for social safety and welfare. Whilst, for a period of time, we can go without features that we enjoy, what we miss most is meeting friends and family, having a gleeful chat or coffee catch up in relaxed surroundings and sharing in the lives of those we care for. For me this is what I miss most.
My plans to meet with our branches, volunteers and supporters had to be put on hold from February, as the situation intensified, and with the escalation of Coronavirus since the summer, it has proved impossible to hold face to face social gatherings with all those that support our charity. It was due to the national situation, that the Board of trustees was unable to host our annual public meeting in September and present the annual report. The annual report for 2019 is now available on our website and provides a clear update on LATCH’s progress and achievements during last year.
It is my intention to hold a series of virtual meetings, to learn more about your activities, and share ideas from our supporters. As soon as we have some confirmed dates, we will get in touch to let you know when these meetings will be held. I certainly hope to meet as many of you as possible - even if this is not the way I had originally intended!
The negative impact of Covid-19 on all charities cannot be underestimated and there will be many serious challenges in the next few years to address. As you can see from our annual report 2019, the prudent management of LATCH by the Board of Trustees holds us in good stead as does the outstanding fund-raising actions of our supporters.
On behalf of the Board and the LATCH team, may I take this opportunity to thank you all for your passion, your unfailing commitment and your total support for LATCH patients and families.
With my warmest wishes
Mrs S A E Gwyer-Roberts, DL
Iwan's Update- Hear from LATCH'S General Manager
My name is Iwan Jones and as Susan has already mentioned, I am the General Manager covering for Jade's maternity leave. I have been in post since the end of August and I've had a very busy few months getting to grips with everything and learning everything there is to know about LATCH - which I have to say is an amazing charity - which I am sure you will agree with.
There have been many changes to the personnel at LATCH in the last 18 months, and so I wanted to apologise if we haven't been in touch as often as we would like. Now that I have had some time to get up to speed you will hopefully see more from us on platforms such as our Social Media, but also in the form of updates (like this newsletter!). Both Susan and I are well aware of the great work and support we have from so many of you and we want to make sure we continue to give you regular updates and information about how things are going with the charity.
It would be impossible for me to have an update at this time without mentioning the current Covid-19 pandemic. This has of course had a big impact on everything we do from access to the ward, not being able to run events for our children or run fund-raising events. It's not all doom and gloom though as I'm very proud to say that the LATCH team has adapted brilliantly and has managed to continue to provide the support and services that our children and families need - which is why we are here.
We are currently gearing up for what will be a very different Christmas this year, but we are making plans to ensure that we do our bit in making Christmas as special as it should be for our children and their families. There's a bit more information on the impact of Covid-19 and our plans for Christmas in the next section.
Finally, I want to thank you for all of your ongoing support and efforts on behalf of LATCH. I have been lucky to hear from some of you already and look forward to getting to know you all over the coming months. If you need anything from me or from the team, then please just get in touch - we'd love to hear from you!
Take care and speak soon.
It has been an incredibly difficult year in so many ways for everyone, and our families and children have felt the effects as much as anyone. Since the start of the pandemic, restrictions have meant that only one parent has been able to stay with their child on the ward and in LATCH's accommodation, which must make an already difficult time even harder. We haven't been able to run our regular events or have our external play therapists attend the ward to give the families a much needed boost, and we haven't been able to speak to our families as much as we would like. All in all it has been a difficult time but it is credit to the hospital staff, LATCH team and the children and parents themselves, that have all reacted in the best way possible to try and make a difficult situation as friendly as caring as it has always been.
We will continue to follow guidelines as required, and we look forward to when It everything can return to whatever the new normal might be - and that includes welcoming you all back to the office and ward when the time is right!
Because of these restrictions, Christmas 2020 will be a very different one. However, we are currently planning how we can still give our children and families a good time - providing them with presents, decorating the ward, office and accommodation. We will still be delivering presents to the children as well (as long as rules allow this). The restrictions also mean that we still won't be able to have visitors to either the office or the ward, which I know is disappointing, but hopefully this will only be for this year. We will still be taking donations (such as toys etc.) but these will need to be quarantined for 72 hours before we can then give them out.
Our aim is to make the festive period as enjoyable and special as we can and we will continue to work with the hospital and plan how we can make this happen.
As you will no doubt know, last year GDPR came into force which meant that the way your information is kept and managed by LATCH has changed.
As part of our own process to ensure we manage your data and details responsibly we will be looking to update our records with all of our regular supporters and contacts' details. We will send you a brand new form to provide us with your information and some other GDPR requirements. This will come to you either by e-mail or post in January 2021 - so this is just to let you know in advance.
In the meantime, if you no longer want to hear from us in any way, or if you'd like to change your details or anything that relates to us getting in touch with you, then please just get in touch with the office and we'll be happy to help.
Phone - 02920 748858 E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
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