Coronavirus – How does it impact Wimblecomm

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Coronavirus – How does it impact Wimblecomm 
by David Hall, Chair of Trustees, Wimbledon Community Association/Wimblecomm

It’s at times such as this you start to assess your own position against those of others and realise how interconnected we all are economically as well as socially.

Here at Wimblecomm we are fortunate that we do not (yet) depend on an income stream from sales of products or services, or even grant income or donations. For now, anyway, we can afford to continue paying our staff (one of whom is away until 20 April). They both already work from home.

Our focus in the last year or so has been to focus more on posting events and reporting on them, but given the freeze on so much external activity at the moment we have temporarily decided to refocus some of our current efforts on connecting the local communities with whom we work.

We want to hear your stories about how your organisation and the people who you work with and support, are managing.

On the financial side how have you dealt with a significant loss of income arising from any events cancelled at your venues? Do you need help in accessing government and bank support in order to pay staff and meet other costs?

How has your local community rallied round to support the older and more vulnerable members who are being encouraged to stay at home? How is social distancing being translated by people in your communities?

Many of us volunteer in different capacities already (look out for a future article on that) but is the current crisis focusing that voluntary activity in a different way?

We also want to hear and post positive stories about how your centre has been used in the past through our ‘I Miss My Centre’ feature.

And if you are in the position of having more time on your hands at home how are you using that? Is this now creating an opportunity to connect to people differently?

Given the likely improvement in weather, is now the opportunity to embrace outdoor space – parks and commons – at a safe social distance – if you have access to such space?

The WCA lost its venue several years ago and since then we have sought to embrace the virtual world. You may not have access to your physical community space right now, but we’d love to welcome you into our cyberspace to share your thoughts.

We now have an on-line forum for members and are encouraging people to share information which may help other centres and other communities. We are also reworking our online survey to focus on these issues during these unusual times so please do respond to that if you have a moment.

Looking forwards we also want to use this time to encourage other Merton venues that have not registered on our site to become members. So that once we are through this, we have a site which covers the vast majority of community spaces across the borough. It’s absolutely free to register for any not-for-profit organisations.

In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and your neighbours. We all want to arrive safely on the other side!

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Wimbledon Community Association Limited
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