The Trustees held their latest quarterly meeting on Friday 13th March. One of the topics was Coronavirus and the effects it may have on both our plans for the year but – most importantly – our volunteers. We decided we must keep an eye on developments on a day-to-day basis and react accordingly. This Monday’s Government update – introducing significant guidelines on social distancing – has lead us to look again at whether we can continue to open the ship on both Wednesday and Sunday to volunteers.

People volunteer to help on the ship for many reasons – they may have skills they enjoy using, they may like working in an outside environment and they may enjoy the social interaction and camaraderie of being with others. It is important that we do not lose sight of these reasons. We have therefore decided to continue to open the ship to any volunteer who wishes to attend, but we will be introducing further hygiene facilities and encouraging ‘safe’ interaction at all times. We will review procedures and processes on an ongoing basis and in consultation with our volunteers.

We intended to re-open the ship to the public over the Easter weekend, but whether this will happen or not is anyone’s guess at this stage. It is clear that there is a long way to go before Coronavirus and it’s effects are behind us. We will be reviewing our approach to reflect the advice of the Government at any time, as this is the only responsible route to take, and we will provide updates as often as necessary.