Updated: Jan 30
The year 2020 has been a challenge for so many. MAV UK management had our last face to face meeting in March 2020. We had our first online management one month later. I don’t think we really appreciated and valued the pleasure of greeting each other with hugs and kisses, as much as we do now. MAV UK were due to celebrate 10 years of charity status, with a volunteer day to the Maritime History Museum, in Liverpool. This was the first of many things cancelled without the ability to reschedule. One of the things which we were able to complete, due to starting the process in 2019, was the creation of our final Looking Back & Moving Forward Hulme history wall photograph presentation, which documented 50 years, from 1970 to 2020. The photographs documented the changes made in the area. It also mark the achievements of MAV UK over the final 2 decades. We had also planning to produce a book, documenting MAV UK in photographs. This was due to be published and shared free online. The project was being led by Michael Kelly. Michael approached us and offered to do photographs, which would capture the living life of the charity. Michael was not aware of the significance of the year for MAV UK. However, the management team felt it was perfect timing, and agreed to working on photograph which celebrated MAV UK in action.
We were not to know what 2020 would have instore. In April we were shut down with the rest of the country, services were closed, and many staff needed to be in isolation to ensure their safety. Like many services, MAV UK had to think fast. We decided while services were reduced and MAV UK community Hall closed, we would look at what we could do, rather than what we could not. Ian Swanston and a small COVID-19 Response Team (CRT) reviewed the needs of the charity. With the continued support of the MAV UK management, the CRT used closure to ensure staff and services managed new risks. The CRT then focused on ventilation issues and creating a covered outside space. They also looked at IT systems, ensuring staff and vulnerable members of our community, were able to continue to engage with services online. Three of the management team received new laptops. Two new areas were created for single room access to computer space. This meant there was never two members of staff sharing a room. To reduce foot fall in the office, we are now providing counselling services online and by phone. We also invested in home working, allowing counselling services to have a long-term plan of working from home. This would help reduce cross contamination when we gradually return to face-to-face therapies.
The closure of hall space allowed us to complete new outside area, reduce numbers indoors and increase the access of services outside. It would not have been possible to complete services adjustments, without the financial support given by the Heritage Lottery through the Government COVID-19 Pandemic Support Fund for charitable services.
The transformation in the main hall has been completed by some great local services. They all ensured the implementation of safe working conditions, while adhering to COVID-19 guidance. The building is ready for us to open to local activities as soon as it is safe to do so. MAV UK are keen for this to be the start of further renovation of the property, as we look to extend our lease of hall beyond 2022.
To everyone who has contributed to the transformation of MAV UK's Hall Renovation. We extend our thanks and appreciation.