COVID-19: An Update

Thank you to all of our valued supporters for your ongoing commitment to helping torture survivors throughout this pandemic. Your support has enabled us to deliver over 15,000 remote client sessions throughout the lockdown and we continue to deliver services this way.

We will shortly re-open most of our centres in a gradual, safe and responsible way to enable us to provide some much-needed face to face therapy and medical assessments too. Our premises in Manchester have unfortunately not met the standards required mainly due to issues relating to the structure of the building and we have been forced to terminate the lease. We are now seeking other premises where we can safely see some clients face to face until a more permanent solution is found.

For some clients face to face services are desperately needed, either because of access problems or extreme social isolation, or because they prefer to receive a trauma-focused therapy with the therapist in the room.

In order to do this we have put a raft of measures in place in our other four centres to ensure they are as safe as possible. Risk assessments have been undertaken at each centre, for each client who is returning for face-to-face services and for each staff member required to return to the office.

Remote services will also continue and those staff still able to work from home will continue to do so. This is to ensure the risk of infection and transmission is kept to an absolute minimum for those who are returning to our centres, creating as safe an environment as we can for both clients and staff.

Our dedicated facilities team have been working hard to ensure our centres comply with social distancing requirements and are fully stocked with PPE. A thorough cleaning and disinfecting regime is in place. We have also sent washable face masks to every one of the torture survivors receiving therapy with us.

Where local lockdowns occur, we will adjust our measures as appropriate and revert to remote services where necessary. Our priority, as it has been since the start of the pandemic, is to ensure survivors continue to safely get the vital support they need to recover and the expert evidence required for their asylum claims.

Everyone at Freedom from Torture is incredibly grateful to our valued supporters for their help in getting us through this difficult time.