How we reactivated our lettings with BookingsPlus: St Mary’s Community Centre…

St Mary’s Neighbourhood Centre is a youth focused community space in Islington, London, that uses its space to provide preschool and exercise facilities. The Centre also lets out much of its space to over 50 other health, support and extra-curricular organisations including self-help groups, staff training, language schools and birthday parties.

St Mary’s has used BookingsPlus for almost four years to organise and facilitate the variety of groups that utilise the space.

We spoke to Melodie, who manages St Mary’s community programme about how the centre has found reopening during this difficult time, including the challenges the centre has faced, and how BookingsPlus has supported them.

Tell us about St Mary’s approach to reopening

St Mary’s plays a central role in supporting the community, from our preschool to our support groups, the pandemic has made the importance of what we can offer very clear. While we were keen to reopen the centre as soon as possible, it was important that we did so safely, which is why we chose to stagger our reopening following lockdown.

What challenges have you faced?

The first complexity we faced was coordinating groups and use of space, where BookingsPlus was able to support the centre as it organised and staggered its reopening, including supporting a new risk assessment process and providing clear guidelines which could be shared with our users.

How has BookingsPlus helped you during this time?

BookingsPlus has provided very clear communication throughout the course of the pandemic, supplying a user code of conduct that we have been able to use as a foundation for our own terms and conditions in our user agreements. With some staff on furlough, the clarity of guidance has been invaluable to staff who have been faced with busier working days and BookingsPlus has helped to streamline our operation. Meanwhile, the marketing tools that BookingsPlus provides, via its integrated website, have enabled staff members to continue to look to the future of St Mary’s, despite the challenges we have faced during lockdown.

Planning to reactivate your own lettings?

If you’re thinking about how you can reactivate lettings at your venue, check out our helpful COVID-19 specific documents, helping you to reopen your facilities safely:

Sample COVID-19 Risk Assessment template

Sample COVID-19 Hirer Code of Conduct

Sample COVID-19 Terms and Conditions of Hire

Sample COVID-19 Cleaning Protocol