We’ll be heading off to Spring Harvest Minehead on Easter Sunday, ready for the start of the event on Monday – leaving our regular house sitters in charge of the ‘estate’ once more! (Some student friends)

Kay will be the onsite disability consultant again, with Steve working as her beautiful assistant. This role covers the whole site and every age group!

It’s a long day, starting at 7.30 with a prayer meeting and lasting until late into the evening – often 11pm.

Day one is the busiest: We need to check venues (Many new or refurbished ones, so it’s like starting from scratch this year), popping into all the different groups to introduce ourselves, and in some – giving some training.
From early afternoon we need to be available for disabled guests and parents of children with additional needs to iron out any access issues. We also need to be available to assist some of our autistic guests who need to see venues before the programme starts to run.

Day one in the evening is usually busy with ironing out the glitches in the accessibility systems and overseeing access in the two main venues.

Going to Spring Harvest has been a difficult decision to make, because it ‘could’ be dangerous for Kay, but the Spring Harvest team have done everything they can to keep her safe – from the allocated accommodation to allowing her to work with a strict covid safe risk assessment.

The biggest help is: the largest venues now have an amazing anti virus filtration system, although – Kay never stays in one venue for long anyway and has a team of people who carry out any thing that she feels needs doing for any disabled guests.

All the kids and youth teams know her and are happy to make sure she stays safe by chatting on the phone or in open/ventilated spaces rather than in venue (One of the kid’s venues has the fancy filtration system, so popping into the back of that one is fine).

So, yes it’s risky, but it would break Kays heart not to go having been involved with SH for nearly 30 years, plus advising on disability matters thoughout the year.

Those who have seen how Kay is ‘doing’ church (‘The Nine’ or online – depending on how she is on the day), or are just worried about Kay’s safety, may have questions – so Kay has prepared some answers that might help! But it’s boring detail, so feel free not to read any further.

But please do pray for:

  • Safe journeys.
  • Good sleep.
  • Remaining free from any infection.
  • Relationships with team and our disabled guests.
  • That Kay’s pain levels are low for the whole week.
  • That Kay’s wheelchair doesn’t have any issues.
  • Plus all the obvious things you would pray for Spring Harvest itself!

The Questions and Answers:

Q: But I thought you were clinically vulnerable to covid?

A: Yes, I am – on three counts. My two conditions don’t like infections, including covid so I’ve always been at risk of catching something. But, Covid gives me a much higher risk of developing Long Covid and extra, long term complications with my current disabilities.
I also have unstable asthma.

There is a small percentage of people with my conditions who don’t get lasting effects – please pray I would be one of them if I do catch Covid.

Q: Isn’t Spring Harvest high risk?

A: Yes it is. But I have good medical advice on keeping safe – plus Butlins now have superb filtration systems in place in the big venues.

I also have some rather amazing new multi layer masks that give extra protection. Plus, I have a lanyard and badge that warns people that I’m vulnerable and why.

A Lanyard with 'keep your distance in black writing. On the lanyard is a badge that reads "Impaired Immune System, vaccinated but still vulnerable. Please keep your distance.

The advice I’ve been given is:
– Avoid enclosed spaces with more than a few people if they haven’t done an LFT or haven’t been vaccinated, and if you can’t do that, then wear a multi-layer mask.
– Avoid children, they are the super-spreaders. (Yes, they really did say that!)
– Wear a multi-layer mask where large rooms are crammed with people, with no ventilation and try to distance where possible.
– Avoid places where large numbers of people are singing, or sit at the back wearing a good quality multi-layer mask – near a window if possible.
– Then there’s the advice about social distancing and not allowing people to hug me – but all my friends know that and want to keep me safe.

Now here’s the boring technical bit! ‘Viral load’ is the key. The advice given is to keep the viral load minimal in each situation. For example – a room with lots of people singing without masks is a high viral load, but that can be mitigated with good ventilation (or filtration), the room being very large with high ceilings and me wearing a mask at the back (That’s why I sit at the back when I go to The Nine, and with a window open).
Walking past someone in a well ventilated area or outside is a very low viral load.

I hope that helps you understand the risks to me – and how they can be mitigated.

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