Covid19 Safety Measures

Institute Receives Covid-19 Safety Upgrades to Keep You (and our Staff) Safer.

After the outbreak of Coronavirus delivered a shock to the world, we, like many other social facilities, were asked by the Goverment to close.  Naturally, we were very worried about this as we depend on regular customers to enable us to pay bills.

When it was announced that we'd be able to re-open, subject to conditions, at the beginning of July, we were determined that we had to make Shildon Railway Institute one of the safest places to meet people in town. With this in mind we are continually reviewing our safety measures and procedures to gauge and mitigate risk.

This isn't simply about complying with regulations, though they are very important, if sometimes vague and changeable. We see this as being about:

  • Looking after you as our members and customers - we care about you all because this Institute is its membership and we have to look after each other.
  • Looking after and protecting our management, bar and cleaning staff - out of respect for the service and care they provide to us.
  • Protecting the Institute - not being able to operate through being found to be negligent and non-compliant could bring an end to one of the oldest continuous organisations in the grand history of Shildon. 

With that in mind we've followed as much guidance best practice as we can to conduct and review our Risk Assessment and provide a safe environment to come and spend time with people socially. Initial measures included:

  • Providing our staff with PPE
  • Implementing a one-way flow around the building
  • Providing hand sanitising stations at points around the building
  • Clear advisory signage
  • Facilities to enable contactless card payments to reduce transmission of disease through cash handling
  • Protective screens for staff
  • Registration of visitor details to enable 'track and trace' in the event of an outbreak
  • Removal of some tables and seats to ensure social spacing in our bar, hall and lounge
  • Hourly cleaning of toilets during opening hours by committee and volunteers
  • Regular cleaning of table surfaces and seating by staff 

We appreciate that some of the measures involve a little inconvenience from time to time, but firmly believe that in all our interests these things are in the best interest of all concerned.

That's not to say that we won't review things as new ideas and guidelines come to light. For example, we have made changes since re-opening such as:

  • Enabling visitors to play pool safely
  • Adapting the one-way flow system to improve it
  • Implementing a communication system to allow staff and volunteers around the building to communicate with each other to manage risk
  • Installing a full-length transparent screen around the bar to enable us to re-instate bar service.

All of these measures have involved contributions from and by Committee members, staff and volunteers, and we're grateful for their assistance.  Throughout these difficult times, there have been some superb examples of the kind of generosity, community spiritedness and ingenuity that has served this Institute well over its one hundred and eighty-seven-year history, and which demonstrate that we are serious about being there for Shildon for the future.

(30th July 2020)