Sustain's approach to Coronavirus

Latest update: 16 March 2020

Our thoughts and sympathy are with all those impacted by the current COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. Sustain is approaching this with the utmost priority and taking a number of steps internally to minimise risks, whilst keeping our trustees and key stakeholders informed.

On 16th March 2020, official Government advice has changed. Everyone is advised to avoid unnecessary travel, limit social contact and work from home wherever possible. Sustain is respecting this advice, so in the immediate future we will either cancel public events or postpone them. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will hold meetings via teleconference or online meeting platform wherever possible. We will start to consider what to do about events planned for later in the year on a case-by-case basis, and in response to Coronavirus news developments. We will update this page as we find out more.

Externally, Sustain runs meetings and training, as well as specialist and public events. The health and safety of all those who attend our events - and the vulnerable people who they may go on to have contact with - are of primary concern and priority. We continue to monitor the evolving situation closely, guided by information from the UK government, Public Health England and NHS. We are also following advice from ACAS for employers.

We are taking extra measures to minimise risks to the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and attendees.

  • As of 12th March 2020, anyone with a "new, continuous" cough or high temperature - or who lives in the same household with someone with this condition - is now advised to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • We are proactively monitoring the UK government and Public Health England advice, ensuring we are able to respond to changing advice swiftly and decisively.
  • We are reviewing our event planning to ensure our events reflect the most current guidance on infection prevention and control measures.
  • We are asking staff, volunteers and delegates who are in the official travel risk categories not to attend our events and - where recommended - to consider social distancing or self-isolation.
  • In future, when we are again working with our event venues and caterers, we will ensure that they are following the latest hygiene guidance.

For people coming to our events

For the moment, since 16th March 2020, public events run by Sustain are suspended. However, the following guidance will continue to apply in future:

  • If you are registered to join an event run by Sustain or one of our projects, but are included in one of the travel risk categories we ask you to follow the guidance for isolating yourself, and not to attend the event.
  • As of 16th March 2020, if you have a "new, continuous" cough or high temperature, or live in a household with someone with this condition, we ask you to  self-isolate for 14 days, and not to attend the event.
  • If you attend an event, please be aware that some people might choose not to shake hands, and we ask that you respect that choice. We will encourage friendly greetings by other non-contact means.
  • If you are registered to join an event and have decided to no longer attend please let us know by cancelling your registration, usually via Eventbrite.
  • If you can’t attend the event, please contact us and we will ensure that you receive relevant content, if this is readily available.

We are also reviewing all our planned meetings, trainings and events, with a view to offering the best alternative option should an event need to be cancelled. This includes considering whether we can offer a digital version of the event (e.g. via phone, Zoom, Skype or a webinar), or rescheduling to a later time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Sustain. Many of our staff are working from home, so we may take a little longer to reply than usual. Apologies.

We will update this statement as and when official guidance changes, and as further good ideas come forward that can help with sensible risk minimisation.

About Sustain

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

Find out more

Sustain
The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777
sustain@sustainweb.org
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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2020
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