Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope this letter finds you well as we head in to the winter months. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to ‘touch base’ with you all, and set out how we plan to deal with the upcoming winter season and the added complications posed by COVID-19.

As always, our primary aim is to stay open to provide essential respite to those families in need; we have remained open throughout the pandemic when many other providers have closed and we will do our utmost to continue to do so over the coming months.

We must be aware, however, that the winter months are likely to be tough for us all, with inevitable winter illnesses and the potential of stricter government guidance, and that we need to put in a range of measures to try to enable us to remain open.Here at Cherry Trees we have recruited additional members of staff and have already broadened our food supply chains together with those for all other essential items, including PPE, to avoid supply issues should challenges arise during the winter months.  

To help stop the spread of the virus I must ask that you all follow the most up to date government guidance and if you develop any of the following symptoms that you follow the advice to self-isolate and book a test via NHS111 ( you or your children have symptoms.


The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

We know that children with SEND may not be able to socially distance all of the time, so it is vitally important that families do not put other children, families and staff at risk by sending their children to Cherry Trees if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms, however mild they may seem.  

Please do not hesitate to seek medical advice if you or anyone in your household develops COVID-19 symptoms.  We also ask that you inform us as soon as possible if your child is self-isolating so that we can take appropriate action and fulfil our responsibilities.

Additional stresses and pressures of COVID-19

  • It has always been our aim to avoid the need to cancel visits and this will not change.On the rare occasion that we may have to move a visit, for example if we have significant staff shortages, please be understanding of the circumstances and accept that we will have done everything we can to try and avoid this call to parents.
  • If we have to reduce numbers again, due to changes in government guidance or other unforeseen circumstances, we will be operating a priority list based on those most in need. Please do call or email us and be honest if you are starting to struggle, we are always here to help.
  • As set out in my email on 30thSeptember, due to some very sad stories being shared with us of children experiencing harm and even death as a result of the additional pressures of COVID-19, our Safeguarding duties have increased. As a result you may receive more calls from us seeking information about any bruises on your child, or talking through any changes of behaviour. Thank you to those who have already responded so positively to these calls and who have proactively provided us with information prior to the visit commencing.

 We are doing all we can to keep you, your children and our staff team safe during these difficult times and we very much appreciate the messages of support that we have received. 

I would also like to thank you for continuing to do all you can to help keep Cherry Trees open.

 If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to email or call – my door is always open.

Best wishes

Paula Rankin

Head of Care


 (Published Monday 19th October 2020, 09:36 hours). 



And if you would like to see the latest Cherry Trees COVID-19 policy, updated and amended 04/11/2020, please click HERE.