Message from the Scheme Manager
Back in February we were busily planning celebrations for our 40th anniversary this year including a special AGM evening. This month we had planned our annual Celebration of students‘ achievements, but alas it wasn’t to be.
The last few months have been exceptionally busy and challenging at Haringtonbecause of COVID-19. We have faced additional challenges and unplanned costs in our response to the pandemic, but I’m glad to say that so far, we have weathered the storm reasonably well.
Harington Gardeners recommenced their gardening work in June with 'COVID secure' measures in place and most of the young people employed by them have returned to work.
Harington's main training centre has been open for a small number of students since Easter and this week we widened the re-opening with 34 (of 45) students attending in small groups. It’s been great to have them back. They will continue until the end of July doing a mixture of on-site and online learning before the summer holiday in August.
We have completed the building work at our new site in Hornsey and the first groups of students attended classes there this month. We have recently been fundraising for furniture and IT for the centre and today received confirmation of a grant of £10,000 toward this. This will allow us to have the new centre fully functioning and ready for students to attend in September.
Our Hornsey charity shop, next door to the centre, has also re-opened and is trading well. We have put social distancing and extra hygiene measures in place, including quarantining all donations for 72 hours. The Hornsey shop accepts donations from 9.30 am -10 am Tuesday to Saturday and on Sundays from 11 am until 4pm. We are open Tuesday to Saturday 9.30 am to 5pm and Sunday 11 am to 4pm.
We are about to start making modifications to the Archway Road shop which are needed before we can safely re-open. We will need to recruit new volunteers soon as many of our regular volunteers are unable to continue. If you can help please call us on 0203 457 7993.
We need to do some work at the main site too, to make this safe for the autumn/winter. We have bought IT equipment for staff and students to use remotely. All of this is to continue teaching and learning and be prepared for what may happen in the future.
We are always hugely grateful for donations to the Harington and are fortunate to be well supported by the local community. We are thankful for the support that local people and organisations have afforded us during this period, this includes: grants from the Bloomfield Trust; Highgate School’s online concert; the Highgate Festival’s fantastic Community Plant Sale; Friends of Harington making and selling masks on our behalf; allotment holders plant sales; and local people who supported and promoted our online plant sale. This all helps and you have been amazing!
We rely on grants and fundraising to make up the running costs and this year, with the extra COVID-19 related costs which are already over £25,000, it will be hard. We have had to pay for this from funds we put aside for major works which of course will have an impact for future plans. But these changes and modifications were essential and urgent to enable students to return to the Harington which is so important for their learning and social needs.
We thank you for your ongoing support and kindness and hope to see you all again soon.
If you would like to make a donation please do so by either sending funds to:
Payee: The Harington Scheme Limited Bank: TSB Account: 00034401 Sort code 30-14-00 or through Justgiving