Statement on COVID-19
24 March 2020
During the past two weeks, as the coronavirus crisis has deepened, we’ve taken a series of steps to protect the health and welfare of our participants, artists and colleagues. Music activities, first in the community and then in detention centres, have been postponed or cancelled. We will be undertaking no face-to-face activities until further notice. Our staff are working as normally as possible, from home, and are contactable by phone, email and social media. All meeting are being held remotely.
It’s a huge regret not to be able to continue our music sessions with detainees, at a time when the experience of detention, profoundly difficult at any time, has become even more stressful. The risk of infection and suspension of visits must make detention especially hard to endure, while activities such as MID’s, which support wellbeing, have been ended for the sake of social distancing. We understand there has been one confirmed case of coronavirus at a detention centre, and share the widespread concerns that once the virus enters a centre its spread within it may be very hard to control. So we are deeply concerned for the wellbeing and the health of people still held in immigration detention.
We have started to explore ways we can work remotely, with people who are detained, musicians we have worked with after detention, and people in the community. The constraints of the coronavirus will be a spur to our creative activity, and we hope to find ways of providing creative opportunities and emotional support in this difficult time, using our extensive library of detainees’ original music and our fantastic team of artists.
We will continue to respond and adapt as this extraordinary situation continues to develop. And we look forward to resuming our normal activities as soon as we can do this safely. Meanwhile we wish all our participants, partners, friends and colleagues good health and good spirits.
Photo by Sigmund.