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MSIG re Covid-19 5th November 2020

Dear All,

The current Government guidance is here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november#where-and-when-you-can-meet-in-larger-groups

This may be changed, so check back if you are wondering, or keep an eye on government Covid-19 updates.

From Thursday 5th November groups can still meet in numbers of 15 people in total.

Your venue may still decide to take the precaution to close.

The Royal Surrey Hospital has decided this.

However many venues will continue to host AA so long as the government permits.

In the last few months the only concerns I have received from members relate to members NOT wearing face covering their nose and mouth throughout a meetings.  If there is a problem for anyone wearing face coverings, online meetings and meeting up 1:1 out of doors for support can be considered.

Please do think of the reputation of AA and the safety of all of us – and especially newcomers.  Please don’t let our Mid Surrey meetings bring AA into disrepute and deter  newcomers.  There is far more concern re not wearing face covering than about wearing them.  Please continue to wash hands, use sanitiser, keep a 2m distance wherever possible (absolute minimum is 1m but do be mindful to let others distance further to fell safe), and keep mouths and noses covered with an effective face covering throughout the meeting and before and after.

Finally – don’t forget there are many wonderful Covid-19-secure online MSIG meetings to choose from where members will gladly share contact details and be willing to meet 1:1 out of doors to support each other to stay sober one day at a time.

NB Public Health England has permitted Sponsors to meet with Sponsees throughout the pandemic.

If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call me.

Alice

Chair, MSIG 07773 369081

Mid Surrey AA and Covid-19 – Physical meetings

5th November 2020

Mid Surrey AA and Covid -19 – Physical meetings

Please find our Mid Surrey physical face to face meetings by clicking on our Physical meeting tab

The link is http://aamidsurrey.org.uk/meetings/

Face to face AA Meetings are currently restricted to 15 people and the meeting will have its own guidance re how to attend.  For current guidance please click here.

We also have many online meetings which are very well run and welcome all newcomers.

Any queries please don’t hesitate to call.

Alice, Chair 07773 369081

 

19 August 2020

Dear All,

I’d like to let you know that the government regulations on meeting indoors were updated on 14th August.

You can find one of the updates here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

The good news is that by adhering to government guidance, each Mid Surrey AA group is indemnified under our Public Liability Insurance.

This is the position of our Insurers:

“In connection with the insurance position, we would expect you to establish effective protocols to implement all relevant guidance and procedures developed by the Government for the prevention of the transmission of Covid-19. The Public and Employers Liability insurance provided by Methodist Insurance church policies would protect the interests of the trustees were they to be found legally liable for bodily injury, which would include contracting COVID-19, subject to the relevant policy terms and conditions.  

In less legalese terms – we don’t impose any restrictions on your activities over and above the Government advice. So at any point if the Government advise that an activity is allowed then your policy will protect you – procedures on distancing should of course be implemented.”

Please also refer to our General Service Office (GSO) guidance:

https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/Members/Coronavirus-News

We all have a responsibility to keep AA as safe as possible for each other and for new members.

Please send me ideas and updates to share with other members as we learn and evolve.

I will let you know when any further government guidance affects us in Mid Surrey AA.

Alice

Chair@aamidsurrey.org.uk   M: 07773 369081

 

29 June 2020

Dear All,

The AA General Service Board and the General Service Office have issued information re how groups might approach resuming their face to face (F2F) meetings.  It includes 15 points to carefully consider.

Please read this through before resuming face to face meetings.

https://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/Members/Coronavirus-News

I would like to add:

As groups are autonomous, the specific guidelines from government and from their venues can be discussed, and plans can be made in their group conscience.

You can find government guidelines for England here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do-after-4-july#gatherings-public-spaces-and-activities

The meeting venue will decide how many attendees they can allow, within government guidelines.  A group may want to consider using a larger room or a larger venue.

A venue may request that: a one way system for entry and exit is used; that extra cleaning is required and/or that they may need to charge extra for cleaning.

Around Mid Surrey many venues are preparing to welcome AA groups back.  Some will take more time to plan carefully for this than other venues.

HYBRID MEETINGS

These are meetings that are both F2F and online at the same time

There will be AA members who cannot attend face to face meetings for health and other reasons.

For these members groups can consider combining online and face to face meetings.

 Ideas for “Hybrid” meetings. 

A laptop in the F2F meeting could access a mobile hotspot to continue online meeting access for those members who do not feel comfortable returning to physical meetings.  A loudspeaker system could be connected to laptop to allow meeting members to hear those only online.  An external microphone to be connected to laptop so online members can hear those physically present.

The online screen could be projected onto a screen at the meeting

This all needs  testing!

HYBRID GROUP

A group could opt for having both F2F and Online meetings – but separately.

 TRACK AND TRACE

We will need to keep a record of contact details of members who have attended face to face meetings – a name and telephone number (and email if offered).  If a member tests positive for corona virus then their recent contacts will be traced and advised how to proceed to protect themselves and their families and society as a whole.  A longer sober member of the group could take responsibility for keeping these records securely for 21 days after each meeting and then shredding them.

I have emailed a sample record sheet to GSR’s.

RISK ASSESSMENT

Your venue may conduct the risk assessment themselves or they may ask you to conduct one.  Your group may well have a member who is experienced in carrying out risk assessments.  I do have a sample risk assessment kindly provided by one of our members from Staines.  Let me know if you need this also.

Please remember to check our website www.aamidsurrey.org.uk regularly for information.  As face to face meetings resume, they will be listed under their usual tab.

Please update MSIG AND GSO with information re opening of F2F meetings, and any closure of online meetings.

Meeting details – email eclo@aamidsurrey.org.uk and cc. me.

Remember to read through the update from GSO (link above)

Please send me ideas and updates to share with other members as we learn and evolve.

Alice

Chair@aamidsurrey.org.uk   M: 07773 369081

 

MID SURREY INTERGROUP – SUGGESTIONS FOR ONLINE MEETINGS

There are many online AA meetings around. We refer only to those being hosted by our local groups. Other Intergroups and our national website have lists of further AA online meetings.

A Mid Surrey meeting was invaded by non- alcoholics last week and half the participants left as they found this extremely upsetting.

This is an evolving situation and this document will evolve so please check back.

PASSWORD Protect your AA meeting:

Zoom have now added an extra layer of security and every meeting has to have a password. We understand this is a difficult situation especially for newcomers. However, we wish to protect our members. Newcomers rely on us sharing the message now more than ever.

Since groups are autonomous, it will be up to them to decide on whether they want the password to be shown on the MSIG website www.aamidsurrey.org.uk. Zoom have now enforced passwords, so please submit the new details of your online meeting via the form HERE.

If your group conscience decides not to have your password shown publicly on the MSIG website, we suggest that regular group members are informed of the password and may then pass it on to known alcoholics and newcomers carefully. Newcomers and visitors can also ask for the password via the generic email address for the meeting.

Please ensure that your meeting has a regularly checked generic email contact available.  

ADMIN for MEETINGS

We suggest meetings use well-informed Admin/Host service members in addition to a Secretary.

WAITING ROOM

Zoom has the option to enable a ‘waiting room’ and the host can verify the attendees before allowing them into the meeting. Regular members can be authenticated, so that they won’t have to go through validation each time.

USE OF VIDEO

Some groups are requesting that all members use live video to participate in meetings to protect us all. However if this is not possible, your group conscience could suggest that the secretary and admin/host will ask those non – video participants to introduce themselves to the meeting.

There are many links available offering suggestions for online AA meetings from AA Intergroups around the globe. Here are a couple to have a look at.

ZOOM SAFTEY SETTING GUIDE
https://www.nyintergroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/NYIG_Zoom ProtectionGuide_040320.pdf

https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2019/12/04/hosts-admins-secure-zoom-meetingexperience/ zcid=1231&_ga=2.126329613.1448272335.1585485822- 550536262.1581260212

FINALLY
GSR’s- please get in contact with us to share any experience and suggestions you have for neighbouring groups which could be included in this document.

Karla – eclo@aamidsurrey.org.uk
Stef – secretary@aamidsurrey.org.uk
Catherine – vicechair@aamidsurrey.org.uk
Alice – chair@aamidsurrey.org.uk 07773 369081

Updated 05/04/20

Tradition 7 donations to Mid Surrey Intergroup

Please don’t send any more cheques to Ian, our MSIG Treasurer, for the time being as this poses health risks.

Groups can make their Tradition 7 contribution by bank transfer direct to Mid Surrey Intergroup (see bank details below).

Please identify your payment with your group number.

For the account of :

Mid Surrey Intergroup

Sort code: 40 08 13

Account number: 71118870

Each group can ask for donations in their online meetings.

For example by giving the group’s account details in the chat section of a Zoom meeting and/or via an attached WhatsApp group.

Mid Surrey AA and Covid -19

Please find enclosed documents with information about the current COVID-19 situation as it applies to AA in Mid Surrey.  We have also posted a document re setting up online groups.

The most important thing is to ask members to check the website for information.  Especially to check whether their face to face (F2F) meeting is on.

If it is not listed, then it is temporarily suspended

MSIG re COVID -19 18.03.20

https://alcoholics-anonymous.eu/suggestions-for-groups-moving-temporarily-online/

Suggestions for safer AA meetings – MSIG_COVID-19 16.03.20

While more of our members cannot attend meetings there is a phone list available for men and women who need another alcoholic to talk to.

Message or call me for these  contacts who are happy to talk.

The 0800 helpline will remain dedicated to newcomers looking for AA.

Have a read through and get in touch with any concerns/ideas/group news.

Alice N

E: chair@aamidsurrey.org.uk

M: 07773 369081

Mid Surrey AA and Covid -19

Please find enclosed two documents with information about the current COVID-19 situation as it applies to AA in Mid Surrey.

MSIG re COVID -19 16.03.20

Suggestions for safer AA meetings – MSIG_COVID-19 16.03.20

The situation is evolving fast and we aim to keep our website updated more than once daily.

Please check our website for meeting information – to date 3 meetings have closed..

While some of our members cannot attend meetings there  is a phone list available for men and women who need another alcoholic to talk to. Message or call me for these  contacts who are happy to talk.

The 0800 helpline will remain dedicated to newcomers looking for AA.

Have a read through and get in touch with any concerns/ideas/group news.

Alice N

E: chair@aamidsurrey.org.uk

M: 07773 369081