The Coronavirus crisis is impacting on the UK and the world. The situation is changing daily, indeed hourly. The Group’s Committee met on Monday 16 March to decide how we would respond insofar as the Group’s activities are concerned. In the event, the UK Government’s advice changed while we were all driving home from the meeting and we had to change things again! The following is being sent out to all members today (17 March) by email/post.

Text in red/italics is amendments to the statement prepared at the Committee meeting.

Dear Member

Normally, we would now be sending out Spring and Summer Newsletter to you but, as you’ll know, things are not “normal” at the moment. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation is developing rapidly and this has a  major impact on our programme for the coming months.

The Committee has met to consider how we can deal with the situation, particularly given the likelihood of restrictions on circulation being put in place for an extended period.

Group Meeting on 21 March

The Committee had originally decided that this meeting should go ahead as the likely risks were very minimal. However, in the light of the Prime Minister’s statement in the late afternoon of 16 March, THIS MEETING IS NOW CANCELLED.

April Group Meeting (including AGM)

This is CANCELLED. We will look to arranging a September meeting (we usually start out Autumn programme in October) if circumstances allow when Julian can speak to us and we can hold our AGM.

Annual Plant Sale

This was due to be held in Cowbridge on 23 May but is now CANCELLED. We will consider arranging a similar event in the Autumn. (The Committee is now looking to holding a members’ “bring and buy” type plant sale at our  October meeting.)

Coach Trips

The two planned coach trips for the summer are both CANCELLED as they would fall within what we expect to be the “isolation period” which will affect a large part of our membership. Deposits already paid by any early bookers will be refunded, of course.

Away Weekend

This WILL NOT TAKE PLACE as planned. We are looking at the possibility of postponing to a later date but if this is not possible then we will have to cancel it altogether. We will be contacting those who have booked for this event to let them know what we will be doing and how we will be handling the return of deposits paid.

Members’ Garden Visit

Claire Jenkins has invited the group to visit her garden at the beginning of September which may be within any “isolation period” announced by the Governments of UK and Wales. We will look at this event once we know the likely situation.

Subscriptions

We are collecting membership subscriptions as normal (bills still need to be paid!). We hope you will agree to pay by standing order (further information enclosed). These documents are available on the web site by clicking HERE.

Communications

We will update our web site (www.southwaleshps.org.uk) with any developments and will also inform those for whom we have email addresses by email.

If you receive your newsletter by post, we are unlikely to hold an email address for you. Unfortunately, time constraints may mean that we are unable to get information to you by post when we might need to. It may be that you have an email address or a family member or friend may agree to receive email notifications on your behalf and pass them on to you.

So if you receive your newsletter by post we would ask you to send (or arrange for “whoever” to send) an email FROM THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU WANT US TO USE to contact@southwaleshps.org.uk. There is no need to type anything else in the email (though the email client may insist on a subject being entered) and if you do type anything, it will be discarded so please do not use this address for any purpose other than to subscribe to update emails.

We will continue to send newsletters to you by post and will not use any email address we collect through this process for ANY purpose other than to let you know of developments as we respond to the Coronavirus situation.

Thank you for reading. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Yours sincerely

The Committee