Dear Sporting Memories Volunteers and Partners 

At Sporting Memories we are keeping a close eye on the evolving situation regarding Covid transmission. 

We fully appreciate that the political landscape is very different in Scotland, England and Wales, as are the Sporting Memories models, and therefore we are taking a slightly modified approach for each of the nations. 

In England and Wales, the vast majority of the Sporting Memories clubs that are running are delivered through partners.  We can therefore make recommendations but we cannot stipulate operating models which includes whether clubs should open or close. 

The safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers, partners and of course members, and their families and carers is our absolute priority.  It is so important that we use what little evidence is currently available on the Omicron variant and its transmission to make the best-informed decision we can on the level or risk that is posed by meeting face to face versus the impact on mental health and wellbeing if we were to close clubs.  

Yesterday the Prime Minister held a press briefing announcing that England will be moving to plan B, while continuing to work closely with the Devolved Administrations. The measures announced include:   

  • The re-introduction of guidance for everyone who can to work from home. This will be introduced from Monday 13 December. 
  • From Friday 10 December, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising. 

The Prime Minister also outlined that as Omicron spreads in the community daily tests for contacts will be introduced instead of isolation. People are being advised to test using a lateral flow device, particularly before entering a high-risk setting involving people they wouldn't normally come into contact with, or when visiting a vulnerable person. Lateral flow devices remain free of charge and can be collected from local pharmacies.   

We therefore recommend the following guidelines with immediate effect across all countries: 

  • Continue to monitor daily updates from the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments respectively 
  • If clubs are meeting in the next 10 days, please risk assess each session and this includes attending Christmas parties and lunches. 
  • Ensure if clubs do meet, face mask are worn, social distancing is adhered to and hand sanitizer is available 
  • Please plan to cease face to face meetings from 17 December 2021 
  • Consider offering virtual clubs to replace face to face meetings and if you do this, please let us know so we can promote them 
  • Delay confirming a date to reopen face-to-face clubs in January until due consideration of the situation has been made* 
  • If any clubs have insufficient volunteers or staff available to run the club safely then the club should be delivered virtually 

We will host a zoom meeting on Wednesday 5 January at 2pm for all partners and volunteers to assess the current situation and decide the best course of action for the New Year.  If you would like to attend, can you please email me ([email protected]) and we will send you a link and an agenda on Tuesday 4 January, which is our first day back in the office. 

We will also be hosting weekly virtual clubs that all members are welcome to attend, regardless of their location.  Further details can be found here: https://www.sportingmemoriesnetwork.com/online-clubs and more will be added. 

In the meantime, for any enquiries relating to our response to the coronavirus pandemic or Sporting Memories in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Many thanks.  

Susie Brindley 

Chief Operating Officer