Update from our CEO

Good afternoon,

Like many of you I’m excited that our beloved adaptive snowsport programme could well return to normal much earlier than we anticipated in 2021. I wanted to share our plans for the rest of the year and give you a sneak-preview of our new activities.

Given our incredible supporters, volunteers, and staff team, you won’t be surprised to hear that we have not been quiet during this period of downtime. Many of you have supported our Urgent Appeal and I’m so grateful for your support. We have raised almost £35,000 to date. Thank you! Of course, we have also been reducing costs wherever possible. As a very lean charity this is very difficult as we don’t have much room to cut expenditure without reducing services, and so staff have graciously accepted a reduction to their hours or have been placed on furlough. I’m so proud of their unwavering commitment to our members. It is not an exaggeration to share that staff’s priority and primary focus is our members. Even when faced with reduced paycheques, our skiers and snowboarders are their first priority. I’m sure you’ll join me in thanking them for their commitment and understanding.

In order to begin 2021 on the strongest possible footing, the majority of staff will again be on furlough for December. This means that we will not be delivering lessons or taking bookings throughout December. This was another tough call to make. We simply do not want to keep letting our customers down and the unpredictability of local restrictions and snow centre/dry slope availability means that this is still likely to happen despite our best efforts. Each time we are forced to cancel a lesson at late notice we let down an excited skier and lose charitable funds. It’s never an easy decision to turn away lesson bookings but in this circumstance, it seems to be the best one. We will begin taking bookings again on January 4th and begin delivering lessons from 11th January, (subject to local restrictions).

What can you expect in 2021? (a bit of good news!)

Holidays

If you pre-registered for one of our holidays, you’ll already be aware that we are no longer running an overseas programme for winter 2021. We are planning some exciting trips to new destinations though so watch this space. These includes a summer programme offering new experiences, as well as trips to overseas indoor centres like SnowWorld!

Adaptive Snowsport schools

We have some exciting new small group lessons and development sessions ready to offer early in the new year. These 3-hour sessions include Mono-ski sessions, challenging terrain, women’s only sessions, and more.

Local Groups

We have been working with Local Group committee members to enable them to return to their slopes as soon as they’re able to do so. You’ll appreciate that volunteers need to receive up-to-date training and familiarise themselves with the Covid-19 risk management programme etc. before they’re able to do this and I’m pleased to share that many volunteers have already found the time to complete this training. Your Local Group Slope Organiser will be able to share their plans with you. You can contact them via the DSUK homepage.

I’d like to thank you again for your support throughout 2020 and look forward to creating more happy memories with you in 2021.

Best wishes

Mark

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Update from our CEO