Dear Big Brothers Community,
As we enter the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well. We recognize the immense changes our world and community have faced in the past few months. Please know we are here to support your matches. We remain committed to our mission of enabling impactful mentoring relationships where children and youth can discover their power and potential, in collaboration with our local communities.
Since the last update to the pandemic restrictions, Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver has continued to monitor how the new restrictions affect matches in the Community Program. With yesterday’s newest order from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), we would like to address our current plans for Community matches. Until December 7, 2020, at midnight or until further notice, Community-Based Mentoring matches (Big Brothers and Big Sisters) will continue to be permitted to meet in person, with alternate means of meeting strongly encouraged. The use of non-medical masks during in-person outings are now mandatory until further notice.
What does it mean for matches to meet in person? The PHO has limited interactions to those in your immediate household or core bubble. A core bubble may include others of a different household to a maximum of two people outside of those living in your immediate household. Matches are encouraged to use their best judgment and comfort level to make the safest decision for their match.
- In-person meetings during the pandemic remain completely optional at this time.
- ALL MEMBERS of a match (mentor, guardian, and mentee) must feel comfortable with the choice to meet.
- If a mentor and mentee will be in the same vehicle together for outings, ALL MEMBERS of the match must feel comfortable with the choice to transport together.
- If match members are not comfortable discussing outings with each other, they are strongly advised to contact their Mentoring Coordinator for support.
With alternate means of meeting strongly encouraged, we recognize that Big and Little relationships continue to be important. A weekly phone call or virtual visit can help maintain connections and support the children and youth in our community. Our staff has put together some activities for matches to enjoy safely at home. Please find a full list of activities at this link: Mentoring During COVID-19
Guidelines for Alternate Meeting/Communication:
- Phone and virtual calls are permitted during the current pandemic or until further notice.
- These calls may only take place with the approval of the guardian and the Mentoring Coordinator.
- Mentee participation may only be through the use of the guardian’s phone/computer/device.
- The use of a mentee’s phone or device for contact with a mentor is NOT
- Phone and video contact should be limited to 2-4 hours per week.
- Texting and messaging are not permitted.
- All other Agency rules remain in place.
As your Mentoring Coordinator, I remain available to support your match during regular office hours through my cell phone and email. I will continue to conduct match support calls and meetings through phone and virtual meetings wherever possible and will be in touch with you on an as-needed basis for these important check-ins.