Previous Covid updates

Update 5th January 2021 In view of England being in a national lockdown, WYO will not return to rehearsals this month.  When the situation changes we will review that decision. If your child can practise their instrument but can’t because of problems with the instrument itself, get in touch with us via email or Facebook and we will try to help. Update 5th December 2020 Following the ending of the second lockdown and Warrington being placed into Tier 2 level restrictions, we are aiming to re-start rehearsals on Saturday 16th January.  In order to trial the systems we have designed to maximise safety, we will do a PHASED RETURN.  That means not all children will return on that day.  Please ensure you watch the website and Facebook page for more updates closer to the time. Thank you. Update 3rd November 2020 The committee met again last night to review our decision to reopen on Saturday.  In light of the announcement to go into a national lockdown from Thursday we have decided not to return to rehearsals at this time. We will continue to review this and when the situation changes sufficiently to allow us to do face-to-face rehearsals safely, we will make another announcement. We thank you for the donations made so far.  They are helpful in keeping the organisation going in these difficult times. Best wishes and stay safe, Warrington Youth Orchestra Update 29th October 2020 You will be aware that we have been carefully planning a return to face-to-face rehearsals for some time.  We are very happy that goal will be achieved and excited about getting together in person next week: Saturday 7th November. In order to achieve that goal we have had to make changes to the way we meet.  For example, groups are a maximum of 15, arrivals and exits are staggered, there are some room changes and rehearsals are shorter for some groups.  These changes mean we can minimise the risk which Covid-19 is currently bringing to our lives, and allow us to meet in the safest way we can. We have attached a timetable which explains most of the timetable changes.  Also attached is a Covid information sheet that explains the rules we must all follow.  We will be in touch with every household over the coming days to check some basic information like contact details. Where there are several slots on the timetable for one group (eg, beginner woodwind), we will explain to each member which slot they attend. Due to the covid upheaval and short winter term we won’t be charging fees for winter 2020. The financial forecast for WYO is that we will just about make it through this year but be left very short of funds by summer 2021.  This is partly due to expenditure for PPE, etc.  If any of you are in a financial position to be able to donate any sum of money to help, please get in touch.  Any amount will help and your donation would be in confidence. We must stress that rehearsals can ONLY happen if everyone follows the attached Covid information.  If not, we cannot operate.  Read them carefully and brief your children. Our risk assessments will be reviewed every week for the foreseeable future to ensure we are operating in a way which minimises risk.  Please keep checking the website ( and our Facebook page before every rehearsal. Very best wishes from everyone at WYO.  See you on the 7th! Update 25th October 2020 You will be aware that the volunteers who run Warrington Youth Orchestra have been working away since September to work out whether it is legal, safe and viable for WYO to return to face-to-face rehearsals.  We have consulted with guidance provided by government, bodies such as the National Youth Agency & Music Mark, our partner music hub Accent, and looked at the practice of other youth organisations such as the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Halle Youth Orchestra.  We have written risk assessments and revised them in line with the current Covid position.  Finally, we have consulted our staff, volunteers and parents.  We have decided that the risk associated with doing face-to-face rehearsals in the current climate can be minimised effectively enough to make it possible for us to re-start and we will do that on Saturday 7th November.  Once we have re-started rehearsals, we will review the risk assessments and guidelines before every rehearsal. To meet safely, we will need to make changes to the way we interact. We need to meet in groups of up to 15 and entirely socially distanced.  We will shortly send out a revised timetable and guidelines which every person entering the school needs to follow.  We need extra precautions for wind and brass instruments and need to have up-to-date contact information for all members.  Consequently, we will contact every family over the next 10 days to check our records are correct. Most importantly, we need patience.  We are very excited to be back and we are trying to trouble shoot every scenario but there are likely to be a few organisational hiccups to challenge us along the way. See you on the 7th! Stay safe. Warrington Youth Orchestra volunteers