Latest Update about COVID-19
In response to the current coronavirus situation it has been necessary for LiNX Christian Youth Trust to apply to the Government’s new Job Retention Scheme and place the school workers (Charlie, Jordan, Matt and Philip) ‘on furlough’ for a period of time. The Trustees and I have made this decision as the main roles of these staff members cannot be fulfilled under the current restrictions, and most importantly, school closures. Within the Job Retention Scheme, the Government will refund 80% of the salary of each ‘furloughed’ staff member, and we have made the decision to pay the additional 20% of salary so that their income will not be adversely affected. The situation will be reviewed regularly as the restrictions in the secondary schools will undoubtedly change at some point in the coming weeks. As soon as the job roles can be fulfilled the staff members will be removed from furlough and return to normal duties. Currently, I continue to fulfil my role, communicating with school/church leaders and providing pastoral support wherever possible across these communities, and Chris is continuing from home with her administrational work.
During this time, whilst ‘on furlough’, the staff members in question will not be undertaking any duties for LiNX as per the conditions of the Job Retention Scheme. However, the good news is that in the last few days before furlough, the team created some fantastic resources that schools can access online to be used remotely by students in their homes. These resources include worksheets on topics such as stress, anxiety, panic, calm etc. Also, the team made a number of short videos explaining various aspects of their roles and these have been going out over social media over the last couple of weeks (have a look on Facebook if you haven’t seen them yet!). St Cuthbert Mayne requested videos that are now being used in their online acts of worship, where we share testimony and answer questions like ‘who is Jesus to you?’ and featured in the online Easter service. The chaplain there tells me that these acts of worship are being accessed in homes across Torquay and the ‘hit’ ratio (how many times its viewed online) is much higher than they expected, how fantastic! Finally, it is very good news that although the pandemic prevented us from delivering the GSUS Live sessions in Churston Ferrers, we did still go into the other five schools and shared the good news of Christ with around 2,000 young people – praise God!
Please continue to pray for the young people across our community. This is a stressful and unsettling time for everyone, in all sorts of different ways. I pray specifically for those children and young people whose home lives are especially difficult, or even dangerous, that they would know the protection, peace, provision and presence of God at this time. I also pray that young people, in fact all people, will call out to God and have revelation of Him in this time of uncertainty, when our mortality is brought into everyday conversation.