With life as we know it changing dramatically following the initial threat and now the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are working extremely hard at Thomas’s Fund to make the necessary changes within our service to enable us to offer continued support to those we serve; some of the most wonderful, but equally the most vulnerable and isolated individuals and their families. Flexibility is one of Thomas’s Fund’s great strengths as we have demonstrated with continual changes to our service over the past 11-and-a-half years to meet need.
As of this week, Thomas’s Fund has made the difficult, but necessary, decision to cease all sessions within the home in order to protect both children and families and our therapy team. Our hospital work has also stopped as we have been asked to stay away from the wards. We are conscious that the individuals we work with need our support more than ever at this time to reduce their isolation, and to support the maintenance of development they have made within the course of therapy. We are therefore in the process of moving to online platforms. We have taken advice from our professional association, BAMT, Jessie’s Fund, Suffolk and Chiltern Music Therapy services, and are continually updating procedures in line with government guidance. We are undertaking training and developing the necessary guidelines for use with parents/carers in order to enable us to work in this way, and to safeguard children/young people whilst using online platforms with us.
We are in contact with all the families we support, finding out what we can best offer them in their particular circumstances, and hope from next week to be offering individuals and their families the opportunity to access 1:1 music therapy via zoom, a secure online platform.
Whilst we are aware this will not be accessible or suitable to all, we are also working hard to develop material for our private and generic YouTube channels, and pre-recorded material for children and families to access as, and when they would like. These materials will develop over time to include sensory stories, music activities and a range of songs.
Thomas’s Fund is in touch with current fund providers to adjust spending, and is applying for further funding to enable us to reach out also to families seen previously through the fund and, if possible, to individuals on the hospital wards. If you have previously accessed music therapy through Thomas’s Fund and would like access to our shared resources during this time, please do contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
We are doing our best to maintain the high standards of our service, continuing to work to our professional standards and within the parameters of the current situation, and will continue to do so as it evolves. Our dedicated team is open to suggestions from children/young people and families, and hope that you will feel our continued supportive presence throughout this difficult time.