Corona Virus Update

12th May 2020

Dear Grasshopper,

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well in these continued uncertain times.

It is difficult to provide you with any meaningful update in terms of timings when there are so many unanswered questions across all walks of life.

I welcome today’s announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the Employee Retention Scheme (furlough) is to be extended until the end of October. As you will be aware, all of our staff, with the exception of grounds man, Mark Woodward, have been placed on furlough leave. It remains a priority of the Executive Committee to do whatever is viable to protect the livelihood of our staff whilst securing the future of the club.

I am sure you will understand that we have gone from a scheduled very busy summer in the clubhouse to a position where we have zero income. We have reduced outgoings to an absolute minimum and taken advantage of Government and RFU schemes to enable us to maintain a cash flow that will enable us to get through this and come out the other side.

I think that it is clear that the Club, either socially or in a sporting context, will not be operating any time in the immediate future. The earliest possible change to our circumstances is the 4th of July, but likely to be much later. Even then I believe that we will be operating in a very different environment given the social distancing measures that would appear to be with us for some considerable time. The Executive Committee are formulating plans as to exactly how we can operate both in the clubhouse and in a sporting environment in these circumstances. The reality is though that we will have to operate for a period at a much reduced capacity.

All of this is of course dependent on Government and sporting body guidance. Both Juan Murray for Rugby and Alma Hemmings for Netball have their plans in place for a resumption of those sections as and when we are given the green light.

The Executive Committee have made the decision to delay the Senior Rugby and Club Annual General Meetings to a date that will be set later in the year. All of the existing elected officers and co-opted officers will continue to serve on the committee until that time.

You may have seen on social media that for a couple of days in each of the last two weeks our facilities have been used by the British Army to operate a Government drive through mobile Covid-19 testing centre. A big thank you to Chris Coakley, Matt Gilmore and Jerry Boyles who volunteered with me to manage the traffic in varying weather conditions! The Army return again this week on Friday and Saturday.

Please keep safe and I look forward to seeing you all as and when we return to some form of normality.

Kind regards

Gary Cunningham

RFU Accredited Club