Yesterday, 16th March, the Prime Minister issued advice for people to stop all non-essential contact and travel because of the Coronavirus pandemic. During this announcement, it was made clear that the situation has not yet peaked, and therefore it is probably safe to assume that these restrictions will only tighten (possibly before the weekend), before they are removed.

Our HADRA committee were already discussing contingency plans in relation to our activities and therefore we can advise you today of changes we are taking in relation to our day-to-day operations.

HADRA will continue to operate, albeit from a more online perspective, rather than having face-to-face meetings. This will be the case for our internal meetings and also external meetings that HADRA representatives attend. Currently we have one committee member self-isolating as a precautionary measure.

We have decided to cancel our next committee meeting (scheduled for Monday 6 April) and will instead conduct our business via email, so that there is still a written record of any decisions made. We will continue to review our future committee meetings on a monthly basis with the aim of reviving face-to-face meetings as soon as possible.

Our Spring edition of the “Hartley News” newsletter was due to be printed and delivered next month. We have decided not to proceed with its publication, in order to protect our road stewards, editorial team and our members. We have no wish to put our team at risk and have no intention being responsible for the spread of illness through our door-to-door contact!

Membership subscriptions will also be due shortly, however these will not be collected by Road Stewards in April. Our committee are currently discussing this. In the interim, to support our financial situation, last week we were forced to take steps to transfer funds from our emergency savings account, a position we have not had to do for a number of years.

Our AGM, scheduled for 17 June will, at this stage, still go ahead, however we shall review this in a couple of months. It may be prudent, or mandated, that we postpone the AGM until later in the year and if that becomes necessary, details will be communicated online.

If you have not already joined our online communities (Facebook/WhatsApp/eBlast), we would encourage you to do so as we will continue to use these to communicate important information to our members:

HADRA also supports the postcard initiative which has gained so much prominence over recent days. We’ve designed our own version which you can click on here and print. Please consider completing these and putting them through your immediate neighbour’s doors in order to offer help should they need it.  Just click the “Download” link underneath this picture, then you will have the cards on your PC ready to print as you would normally.  If members wish to verify that a card they have received is from a legitimate HADRA member, email and we will attempt to verify the authenticity of the helper.

Finally, and most importantly, we need to support the more vulnerable in our community, especially at this critical time and we would therefore ask you to please check-in (phone or email) with the elderly, poor, or self-isolating to ensure they are well. It is the neighbourly thing to do.