Dear archery community, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support over the last few weeks. The archery community continues to face a difficult and uncertain time, but together we can come through this.
Our guiding principles during this crisis are; firstly, keeping our members, participants, volunteers and workforce safe; secondly, working in partnership with clubs, the wider archery community and funding partners to protect the future of our sport; and finally, playing our part in keeping the nation active from home and promoting positive mental well-being.
Update on financial implications
I would like to update you on some of the steps we are taking to mitigate the financial losses we are facing in the midst of this sector wide financial crisis. We are making these in order to safeguard the future of the organisation and the sport, whilst continuing to provide essential support and critical services to our clubs, members, volunteers, suppliers and stakeholders.
With anticipated reductions in membership income due to club closures and the suspension of all workshop, course and competition income; we need to take steps to protect our ability to provide essential services and ensure there is a sustainable organisation once this is over. We are therefore reviewing all costs and cutting back on non-essential activity during this period. Now more than ever, we need to pull together during these unprecedented times to ensure we can at some point can return to the sport we all love.
In order to reduce our overhead budget for the year ahead, we have had to make some difficult decisions regarding our paid workforce, one of those measures is that I have volunteered to take a 20% pay cut during this period and we have decided not to award the April 2020 planned pay increases.
We have also reviewed what essential work needs to continue during April and over the next three to six months, and where activity has reduced significantly, we have made the difficult decision to furlough staff. Ten members of staff will be furloughed effective from the 13 April for an initial period of three weeks, which will remain under constant review. Our decisions on who to furlough has also been influenced by funding streams and is no indication of the value those individuals bring to our organisation. These difficult decisions have been made to safeguard jobs in the long-term and ensure there is an organisation in the future.
This furloughing enables us to make use of the government support available to businesses, more information on furloughing can be read here. The rules of the scheme mean that furloughed staff are unable to work for Archery GB whilst they are off. Remaining staff will continue to cover the critical workload including preparing for the restart of the sport, keeping you informed and supporting our clubs, coaches, volunteers and members during this difficult time. Our safeguarding team will remain in place to continue with DBS checks and provide valuable support on safeguarding matters.
The telephone numbers of furloughed staff will be redirected to remaining staff. All furloughed staff will have their out of office on their email from 5pm today (9 April) - if you have an urgent enquiry then please direct it to email@example.com and we will make sure it's directed to the most appropriate person. Please bear in mind that it may take us a little longer to come back to you.
We continue to review financial forecasts based on a number of scenarios of the sport recommencing. We'll continue to take action as necessary on the basis of these forecasts, which may include further staff being put on furlough or being asked to work reduced hours. We continue to work on ways to make further savings. We do unfortunately have fixed costs which cannot be reduced, the leadership team and Board are monitoring the ever-evolving situation closely and we will keep you updated on progress.
I'm pleased to confirm that we have now transferred or refunded all fees associated with Archery GB workshops, courses or competition entries. We are not currently taking future bookings for any activities and we'll let you know via our usual communication channels when this changes.
We have received a small number of comments and requests for membership fee refunds. We are not considering refunds at this stage due to the bleak financial implications we are facing. We are working closely with the other sports bodies to make sure there is a consistent approach across the industry. We also need our clubs to be with us at the end of this, so we are working hard with our funding partners to share information on grants and government schemes. To find out more on some of those initiatives please click here. Some of our sport team are still available to support clubs with their applications, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We are also mindful that any options we might consider regarding membership will set a precedent, and many clubs may not be able to weather the financial implications those decisions would bring. I hope you appreciate any decisions need to be carefully considered and worked through.
Your membership fees cover a whole range of benefits for you and the sport, they ensure that we can run the sport safely, they ensure our coaches are DBS checked, they allow us to support our clubs in a number of areas, they enable our teams to compete against the best in the world, they allow us to support our volunteer workforce and they allow us to attract more people into our enjoyable sport. If you would like to see where your fees go then please take a moment to read our Yearbook, which gives you a breakdown and offers an update on some of the programmes your membership fee helps to support. We are in the process of producing this year's Yearbook, which will be ready in time for our AGM.
Helping to keep you active at home
We appreciate the frustrations that being unable to shoot brings, so over the coming weeks we will publish lots of informative content through our Improve Your Game series of how-tos and explainers, sharing knowledge from our regular contributors, performance coaches and athletes, you can find out more about Improve Your Game here.
Please keep an eye on our website and follow us on social media for the latest information.
If you have any topics you would like us to cover then please email Sophie.email@example.com
We will be working hard over the coming weeks to make sure we keep you updated in a number of ways.
Looking after your mental health
It is more important than ever to look after your mental health, below is a list of links which offer advice on looking after your mental well-being during coronavirus:
It is still really important to keep in touch with your friends at your club and we are working with clubs to share ideas on how they can help facilitate the social side of archery we all love, albeit virtually.
Shooting from home
I would like to remind you that we do not endorse shooting from home, our insurance does not cover any ranges that are not registered with Archery GB. We do not recommend members purchasing their own insurance for the purposes of shooting at home, we cannot guarantee you are safe to shoot from home, from a skill, equipment or home range perspective. We have already received a number of enquiries from worried neighbours, please consider the wider community in your decision to ignore our guidance. We are all experiencing a time of heightened anxiety, where social distancing means we are confined to our own homes, please consider the impact of your actions on others. There are people who have let us know that they do not feel safe to spend time in their own gardens because of people shooting in the garden next-door. We do not want this period to have a negative impact on archery's reputation as a safe and enjoyable sport.
We have sent out a club survey to understand the impact coronavirus is having across our community. We are in the process of analysing the initial results, which will allow us to make sure our support is focused on the areas our clubs and members need most. If you would like to contribute to the survey you can find out more here. We will also be consulting with home nations, counties and regions over the coming weeks, as well as following up on the survey results with our club network, this will ensure we have a collaborative approach to tackling this for the whole sport.
Finally, I would like to thank you once again for your support and understanding, we are doing our very best to work our way through the implications this unchartered territory brings. Our teams and volunteers are working incredibly hard, while also balancing the implications this virus has had on their own families. We need to come together to ensure that we come through this period ready to make the most of the exciting opportunities the rescheduled Tokyo 2021 Olympic and Paralympic games will bring. To keep up to date please visit our dedicated web page: www.archerygb.org/covid19
Thank you, stay safe, stay home, protect our NHS and save lives.
CEO, Archery GB