Hi, everyone, I thought I would share with you how COVID19 is affecting MOJO:
The scariest thing has been how quickly decisions have had to be made and acted upon.
3 weeks ago, we had to stand down our wonderful volunteers, many of whom are law students, due to the Universities making the decision to close.
2 weeks ago, my staff and I made the decision to have no personal interaction with our clients, so that we could keep both them and us safe.
1 week ago, due to the instruction from the Government that if you can work from home then do, we are now working from home.
MOJO did not have anything in place to allow my staff and I to work from home. In the past week Euan, our in-house Solicitor/Legal Officer really stepped up and has created a virtual office whereby we can work confidently from home knowing all confidential and sensitive data we share is done safely and securely. Thank you Euan and you will now officially be MOJO’s Tech Guy. This also comes with a new telephone network, and all details on how to contact us are on our MOJO Facebook page and our website:
Being able to work from home is so important as it allows us to continue to support our service users who are struggling with the changes, restrictions and isolation which have been enforced due to the virus.
Some are having flashbacks to their time in prison as they feel that their homes have now become that prison.
Most, if not all, are suffering extreme mental and emotional anguish, having to isolate themselves from their world and their routine which has been their coping mechanism since their conviction was overturned.
Most of our service users need to be able to get out of their homes every day to walk, to come into the MOJO office for a cuppa and chat, or just to watch the world go by. This is their freedom. This is their interaction with society. They are not coping.
The country has been isolating for 1 week and we are already struggling with the impact. This is so much harder for our service users.
We at MOJO are in constant contact with our service users, both in prison and in the community, supporting them through their mental and emotional anguish.
They know that we are on the end of a telephone to speak with them anytime, that they are not on their own and that we care about them.
Due to people hoarding food our service users have found it difficult to find even the most basic items. They are on benefits, paid weekly, so they do small shops every week. They have also found it difficult going into supermarkets that are crowded with people acting aggressively whilst shopping. We at MOJO have a membership with a cash-and-carry and were able to buy enough non-perishable shopping to make care packages for our service users, which we delivered to them. We were able to do this thanks to the donations we receive.
MOJO is having to adapt and develop our service due to this challenging time. However, I want to assure you all that our objective is still the same. We aim to do the best we can to ensure that all our service users are supported in any way they need.
I’m finding it difficult not seeing our service users and not being able to offer them reassurance and support face to face. I miss giving them a hug not only when they need it but when they pop into the office. I miss my volunteers. I miss them coming into the office, giving them a hug and finding out what’s happening in their lives. I miss my staff Scott and Euan, giving them a hug and blethering whilst we work…….as you have probably gathered, I’m a hugger and a nosy beggar. I miss my MOJO FAMILY!
You can help too, by writing a letter or sending a card to either a client in the community or a client in prison, helping to boost their spirits. You can also go to our website and sign up to our newsletter.
I ask that you do not put personal details such as your address or any contact details when writing.
You can post them to:
All mail is being redirected to me and I will make sure that they get to our service users.
I want to finish by thanking you all for your continued support.
Stay well and stay safe