This page will give you relevant information and updates regarding the Oaklea Group response to Covid 19 outbreak - please bear with us as it is a situation that is evolving nationally hour by hour.

Also click on the TAB on right hand side (desktop) or scroll down on mobile/smartphone for a Gallery page with the human response across our communities in the North.

Corona Virus - Oaklea response and other related updates

We will post relevant updates on Oaklea Group and response to Corona Virus here where appropriate:

14 July - Zoltan knows - Keeping everyone safe is always our top priority

This is Oaklea Support Zoltan - he works across our homes in Ulverston, South Cumbria and was collecting latest load of PPE. He knows it’s the best way to keep our employees and customers as safe as possible.

7 July 2021 - Oaklea & Covid19 on film

For Oaklea’s 30th Celebration (26 June 2021) - a short video was made to mark the response to the Covid19 pandemic - see if you can recognise any familiar customers, employees and stakeholders (Duration 3.50’)

28 April 2021 - Appleby Hub Cafe to re open in May!

We are very pleased to announce that in line with the easing of England #lockdown3 - The Appleby Hub Cafe will re-open week commencing 17th May (keep up to speed with developments via their Facebook page Appleby Hub on Facebook). Also note The Eden Workshop, based at the Hub, has a full programme of events and workshops of interest available now and you can book online via their webpage The Eden Workshop

12 April 2021 - Welcome back!

Our Right2Work CIC retail outlet -The Furniture Warehouse re opened to the public today after having to shut for many weeks thanks to #lockdown3. The team at Mintsfeet were busy getting everything ready -including the new upholstery area. Project Co-ordinator/Job Coach, Scott Reid said everyone was looking forward to welcoming customers back:

8 April 2021 - Doors re-opening…Monday 12 April!

As restrictions start to ease regarding the roadmap out of #lockdown3 by HM Government -we are pleased to let you know that our Right2Work CIC is starting to get back to some normality. The Furniture Warehouse shop and retail outlet will be re-opening on Monday 12 April. Normal opening hours Mon-Sat 0900-1600 will resume.

23rd March 2021 -One Year On - How life has changed for everyone

Joint statement on behalf of Oaklea CEO Clive Wigley, Chair of Oaklea Trustees, Andy Scott & Board Chair of Right2Work, Jane Sullivan:

“Today marks the anniversary of the first Covid Lockdown. It has been a very challenging year for both Oaklea and Right2Work, impacting on the lives of our customers & learners, and employees & Volunteers.We have had to furlough many employees, with those remaining at work, having to work above and beyond to keep both organisations going.We thank you all for your efforts and let’s hope that as we move further into 2021, we move back to a more normal way of living and working. Take Care.” Clive, Andy, and Jane

5th January 2021 England wide lockdown - changes to R2W operations

Dear customers, employees, supporters and stakeholders. Following the announcement by the PM of a 3rd England wide lockdown we have had to make the following further changes to Right2Work operations.

  • The Furniture Warehouse will be closed to members of the public.
  • Bulky Waste collections within the SLDC area will be reduced to three days per week (see yesterday’s R2W website news post for contact info click here
  • Community Works will continue to operate, working externally only
  • Appleby Hub is closed for the duration of the lockdown.
  • The Eden Workshop is rescheduling its workshops for dates in the future when lockdown is over.
  • Day Service Placements will need to be scaled down to reflect changes to our business.
  • Work & Learn activities are continuing according to specific contracts.
  • Youth Futures will be mainly online and on a part-time basis.

R2W Director and Oaklea Group CEO Clive Wigley: “Everyone at Right2Work is sorry for any inconvenience caused by the changes needed to be implemented as a result of the lockdown. During this difficult time we wish all of our customers and learners well and look forward to welcoming you again soon.”

31 December - entering Tier 4

Please note that due to developments regarding wider spread of Covid19 and changes to Tier system the Appleby Hub Cafe will be closed until further notice. The R2W Furniture Warehouse will not be open to the public BUT our work will continue. Keep an eye on our respective social media channels or websites for updates (R2W).

14 December - Community Info update - useful stuff for people in Cumbria over Christmas

An info pack has been produced by the organisations involved in the Cumbria Community Resilience Group, and other key partner organisations (Cumbria Community Resilience Group was established as part of the response to Coronavirus).

Coronavirus in Cumbria - Helping in your local community-20201214110036.pdf

3rd November - England Lockdown2 Update

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 31st October 2020 of a second England wide lockdown coming into effect on 5th November 2020, Oaklea Trust is affected in the following ways:

We will continue to support vulnerable groups in a COVID secure way. This will involve:

  • Safe Visiting during COVID 19 policy (Care locations).
  • Maintaining levels of PPE.
  • Ensuring safe working levels and operating Support Bubbles.
  • Reducing social contact.
  • Working from home for employees where it is possible.
  • Using digital technology.

Please see our Right2Work website in relation to the impact on our sister company right2work (R2W Corona update) -and stay in touch via our social media channels

Clive Wigley (CEO)

12 July update - Care campaign goes national

Oaklea have been invited to join in a national campaign to generate positive coverage of care homes and the amazing work staff and carers are doing in the face of Covid-19. The aim of the campaign is to restore trust in care homes as safe places to live and make choosing care homes a positive choice, recognising they are places where people thrive. We will keep you informed on how this develops.

6 July update -risk assessment amended:

The assessments published in May (see below) have now been updated:

OS-093 Risk Assessment - Exposure to Covid-19(coronavirus) Rev 5 06.07.2020-20200706153930.pdf

OS-093 Risk Assessment - Working Safely During Covid-19 Rev 1 06.07.2020.pdf

28 May - Update from Oaklea HR Team - Covid Testing

COVID-19 testing is available to all our employees whether or not they have symptoms of the virus. Current Government guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms are a new dry persistent cough, a fever or loss of smell or taste. If our employees have any of these symptoms or live with someone who does they should contact a member of the HR team who can arrange a COVID-19 test for them or their family (If you they do not have symptoms they can still also be tested) Tests can be booked through the Government website via the following web link:

Meanwhile for essential Key workers the Government has launched an app, which provides up to date Government information on COVID-19 and provides support and guidance for Key Worker’s health and wellbeing. The app is optional and if you wish to download this onto your phone, laptop/tablet you can do so by following this link: You will be asked to register your email address, your name and region you work in. This is a good tool to access wellbeing information for yourself or family, your nearest COVID-19 test site and also up-to-date information on the Corona Virus from the Government.

22 May - Update from Oaklea SMT (Senior Management Team)

“At the recent Senior Management Team meeting there were many examples given of how dedicated, hard working and positive our employees have been during this time of lockdown and uncertainty. Every Team Manager we spoke with confirmed how proud they are of their teams and how they have continued to work positively with all of our customers and learners. There are examples of employees who have dramatically changed the nature of their work to help our customers get through this difficult time, from collecting and delivering food and medical supplies, to providing delivery of essential supplies to vulnerable people within our communities. The Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn posts and comments confirm just how supportive and giving each of you have been. We therefore hope that you will accept a big thank you from all of us to you, and we hope that we can recognise some of this outstanding work at our up and coming 30-year celebration event in October 2020.” Clive Wigley, CEO Oaklea Group.

18 May - Statement on PPE and testing

The BBC contacted Oaklea (and other providers) regarding testing of customers. The BBC asked: “Nationally it’s being reported that those with learning disabilities are not entitled to tests unlike older care home residents. Do you feel you’re being supported through this? Have you had any help getting PPE from Cumbria County Council (CCC), I know they had a good spell sorting out gear for Adult Social Care but wasn’t sure if that was still getting through and if that extended to yourselves?”

In response CEO Clive Wigley said: “We are able to access testing, and we have had weekly meetings with CCC to make sure we are okay. Whilst PPE has been a problem to access, CCC are promising to meet the extra costs associated with this.”

15 May update -risk assessment:

“We have created a new policy and completed a risk assessment which has been reviewed and “signed off “ by our risk management support, PIB. According to the government guidance we should publish the risk assessment (see attached) .We also have a “covid secure declaration” draft signed by CEO Clive .”

Alex Wolfenden, Oaklea Operations Director

Covid Secure Declaration Signed.pdf

OS-093 Risk Assessment - Working Safely During Covid-19 13.05.20.pdf

R2W Bulky Waste Collections - back in business in June

R2W Furniture Warehouse - Bulky Waste collections for South Lakeland due to resume on 1st June - pending no Government changes. You still need to book your collections through SLDC 01539 733333 or go to R2W Furniture Warehouse

Community Works - returning May 19th

Our R2W social enterprise for property maintenance and groundworks, Community Works, is returning to the new ‘normal’ from Tuesday May 19th To contact them 01539 735025 E: Community Works More info here Community Works web page


We have established an Emergency Response Team. Clive Wigley, CEO: “The team will be for emergency response care to ensure we maintain safe working levels. Those that have the necessary experience & qualifications may be asked to lone work. Those without experience will provide support as second person supporting. Where job roles are deemed as non-essential and/or those that have been limited due to current circumstances, our Managers will discuss with and put forward names of colleagues who can join the Covid Response Team.”

Message to all Oaklea Employees March 27 from CEO Clive Wigley

“I would firstly like to offer a massive thank you to all employees for the excellent work you aredoing in ensuring that our customers continue to receive the care and support they desperately need at this time. From employees supporting people who are showing symptoms of COVID-19; employees working flat out to make sure our customers are not let down; employees who are being flexible and working across different projects; individuals/teams that are providing back-up or covering when a service is struggling; for those going out delivering food and goods to our homes or people in need within the community and those who are working behind the scenes making sure the organisation is able to continue and provide the answers to the many questions and concerns being raised. It is times like this that Oaklea and Right2Work step up to the mark and it makes me very proud to be part of the Oaklea family and associate with each of you.”

(Clive can be seen with Sarah Coates from Appleby Hub getting a delivery this week - he’s actually handing over some much needed yeast -at the time the Kitchen Team had run out!)

Oaklea Children’s & Young People’s Services - all on hold -see statement below

This is a statement issued on Friday 20 March (from a letter being sent to customers and those who we support through our Young People’s activities) from Regional Manager, Pete Bradbury - who has lead responsibility for CYP offer: “In light of recent events re Covid 19, Oaklea have been closely monitoring the situation and continue to follow the lead guidance provided by Public Health England to minimise the impact on our employees, customers, learners/partners. Therefore I regret to inform you that we have taken the decision to suspend all of our afterschool clubs and holiday activities (Easter activities have now been cancelled) for the foreseeable future. I apologise for the inconvenience but the safety of both our customers/members and employees is paramount to us as an Organisation. Many of our customers/members are classed by Public Health England as being in the ‘at risk’ groups. I will of course offer updates as when we get them.” Thanking you in advance, Peter.

Please share this information or register with our CYP FB page CYP FB Page

Team Supervisor Alex Corrie-Williams about to head off to our Kendal properties to help distribute PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

R2W “Work & Learn” Team - support still available

The R2W Work & Learn team - on Government guidance are working from home, so the office maybe closed but we are still here to assist you. Are you seeking work? Perhaps you have recently become unemployed, or your self-employed business has dried up due to Coronavirus. We are here to help. Get in touch for FREE help and support to find new employment.

We can offer FREE:

  • CV writing/updating service
  • Help completing application forms
  • Assistance finding job vacancies
  • Help to secure further training
  • Support once you are in work for up to 6 months to ensure you settle into your new role.

Please contact Amanda Andrews on 07483 172074 or or Ann Williams on 07734 162983 or OR get in touch via Oaklea HQ Customer Team and they will forward Get in touch

Hub on Wheels - Appleby Hub now has a delivery service

Appleby Hub is now offering a wholesome take away and delivery service for more information click on this link Appleby Hub On Wheels - you will find the menu (Weds-Sat) and can book via Oaklea HQ E: Order food (M) 07435 970633. The service is for everyone but especially aimed at those who are isolated & confined to their home.

Keep your distance! -Some of the Hub team ready for action as the new delivery service started this week

Bridging the food gap -The Hub has also been delivering freshly made bread each day to local shops and a fellow social enterprise - “Vista Veg” in Crosby Ravensworth


Excellent directory put together by Cumbria CVS for hekp in your community& how you can assist -click here

Coronavirus in Cumbria - Helping in your local community.pdf


“Keeping calm and carrying on” says Liz Lomas the Oaklea Deputy Head of Care is out supporting our Homecare team in Carlisle. This shot taken early doors on 24 March. Go team Oaklea!

Staff of life

West Cumbria Team Manager Tracy Haughin has just told us some very tasty news: “Greggs the bakers have called me and as they are closing down due to Covid 19 they want to give us what they can from their Clay Flatts branch, this will be pasties, milk, bacon….etc. I will collect this and distribute it to all our customers in the Workington area and surrounds. This is an extremely kind gesture by Greggs and is greatly appreciated.”

Different ways of working in challenging times -video conferencing pays off for R2W “Work & Learn” Team + Sarah!

Some positivity from Right2Work Employment Advisor, Grant Huck in Furness: “Despite all the rubbish news bout Corona virus, a client of mine, Sarah who is on my Furness-Supported Employment Pilot Scheme, secured a new job on Friday with Home Bargains. I helped prepare her for the interview by video conference devising questions, covering basic interview techniques etc. It’s safe to say she aced the interview as she was told half way through she had impressed them so much they offered her the job there and then. She called me in tears and of course extremely excited and emotional. It just goes to prove that there are no barriers we cannot overcome at R2W. Working from home is just a new way of working, rather than get frustrated about. Respect to all my Right2Work colleagues who are also working from home right now. “

The craze that is sweeping the lockdown nation -Joe Wicks lunges into Durham Team Supervisor Nichola Bainbridge: “Its Exercise time in Barnard Castle. Customers tuned into You Tube with Joe wicks.”

Plus on the day everyone was preparing to clap for the NHS and care workers - “We have been busy writing letters to our family and painting rainbows in supporting the NHS.When our letters are ready to post Pauline and Caroline will walk to the post box to post them with staff.”

CLICK on the TAB on right (Desktop) or below if on smartphone/Mobile to see more stories in our Gallery

Would you like to find out more? We can call you back.

Simply provide us a few details and we’ll call you at a time to suit you.

When is the best time for us to call you?

Contact us.

Second Floor,
East Wing,
Station House, Station Road, Kendal
Cumbria LA9 6RY

Telephone. 01539 735 025