THURSDAYS returned face to face on 29th April. Places are left to book on 20th May. For fairness to members it may not be possible to attend every week until capacity increases and coronavirus and venue restrictions change. NPS will try and get you in as often as we can such as every two weeks. The maximum venue capacity is 10 members and we are seeing how the first sessions go before reaching this capacity.
Face to face meetings Thursday 10am-12pm.
These meetings are face to face in the city centre. You must book before going as places are very limited. The venue is closed and this is a private rental for a support group allowed under UK coronavirus laws. There are very strict room numbers. See the table below.
The venue has had an indoor simulation of what it would be like to have 9 people in a session and had two sessions so far on 29th April and 6th May. We believe it is safe, but it is not risk free. We estimate on the cautious side that only around 25% of those present in groups will have been vaccinated initially in the April and early May sessions, rising rapidly by June. The rooms are well ventilated, if you come to a session it is advised to wear extra clothing or bring a blanket. We need the cooperation of all members to make it as safe as possible so sessions never stop again.
We ask that members consider taking lateral flow tests in the week of the sessions and have encouraged volunteers to do so to make it even safer. These the the tests being taken for mass event trials such as the Snooker. Venue staff are also taking lateral flow tests. These are available from many pharmacies, some test sites or deliveries. https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
Lateral flow tests are voluntary, but now available for anyone over 18, not just for schools and workplaces. Data we have seen suggests false positives are 2 to 3 in 10,000 and are very effective at picking up cases where people are infectious and have no symptoms or unsure. For that reason we are suggesting people think about using them to make the sessions as safe as they can be.
|Meeting||Topic||Capacity||Member bookable slots|
|Thursday 29th April||Anxiety over the last year||6 members||3 members attended|
|Thursday 6th May||Health Anxiety||6 members||4 members attended|
|Thursday 13th May||Mindfulness||8 members||FULLY BOOKED|
|Thursday 20th May||To be confirmed...||8 members||8 available, bookings open|
|Thursday 27th May||To be confirmed...||Expected 8 members||Not yet taking bookings|
|Thursday 6th June||To be confirmed...||Expected 9-10 members||Not yet taking bookings|
|Thursday 11th June||To be confirmed...||Expected 9-10 members||Not yet taking bookings|
All chairs will be 2 metres apart, in reality most people in the room will be a lot further than 2 metres apart. If you cannot wear a face covering please inform us in advance. It is strongly advised to wear face coverings - we believe this and ventilation reduce aerosol transmission by about 70% allowing us to run sessions. The venue will ask for evidence of exemption on entry.
Please be respectful of other members and of volunteers, they are volunteers and they do not make the 'rules' that is imposed by the venue and mostly as a result of government laws.
You may bring your own flask and takeaway tea/coffee. Please take anything you brought with you and take it home.
This was the experiences of the test of the venue by one of the volunteers:
"I have anxiety myself and really worried about Covid with thoughts along the health anxiety side of things. We had the entire floor to ourselves and it worked really well. Much to my surprise I felt safer indoors than I did wandering around nearby bits of town, even though it was indoors. This is the safest I've felt indoors the last year."
" I just wanted to say that yesterday's face to face meeting was fabulous. The facilitators were very knowledgeable and helpful, as was the input from my peers.
NPS is not monitoring whether members have had vaccines. This may be less reassuring to members, but it is your information. Some of our members will not yet have been vaccinated. Currently those 38 and over before 1st July 2021 are being offered vaccines through the booking system and GPs surgeries may be ahead/behind this. Updates in May suggest that everyone in their 30s should be offered a vaccine in May, with greater uncertainty but some age groups in their 20s in June.
The chance of getting the virus once vaccinated reduces by around 65%, around 3 weeks after the first vaccination. It's believed the vaccines may decrease transmission by around a half.
By 12th May 75% of 40-49 year olds had received a first vaccination (Public Health England). By 11th May 67.8% of over 18s in the UK have been vaccinated with one shot. In Sheffield 85% of over 40s had received one vaccine by 13th May.
The NHS app from 17th May will allow users who've had both vaccinations to show covid status. Members are free to use the app to show to other members or volunteers they have been vaccinated if they wish.
Some of the reason why we think it's relatively safe to have face to face sessions now are the rates of virus. Below is a graphic from Public Health England for Sheffield. The bits until last July are inaccurate as there wasn't mass testing, but we're not at levels similar to early September. By the time Wednesday sessions return which has a younger age range on average, many of those members will have been offered a vaccine or about to be.