Kerrie, our Clinical Director and Founder, shares her thoughts on reopening our London clinic and welcoming our clients back to face-to-face treatment.
6 months ago on a Sunday evening in March, I sat down at my laptop to write the email I had been hoping I would not have to write – that Orri at 14 Hallam Street would need to close its front door for a period of time whist the country fought Covid-19. On the 23rd March we closed that door, and set off on our new mission: get Orri online!
March was a difficult time for the UK and for many around the world. Covid introduced previously unimagined fears and realities for so many people, and within that, specific challenges and feelings for those who were waiting for, needing or accessing treatment for an eating disorder. Inpatient and outpatient settings closed leaving people feeling uncertain and alone. Life in the bubble of lockdown felt very lonely and frightening, but with the added complexity of an eating disorder, for some, it felt unmanageable.
I was, and still am, beyond proud of the team and the clients who worked with Orri to get the fantastic day programme up and running – in 6 days! Orri Together has been a huge support for so many during the last 6 months, and has offered treatment to lots of people who would not otherwise have been able to access the support of the Orri programme, and of course, access the very special team and community at Orri.
Many important steps have been made in recoveries during this time, some people completing treatment, others continuing in their process, but steps – all the same – have been taken. From the team’s perspective, it has been a privilege and a gift to be alongside those of you who have been with us online.
I am so pleased that that we now have the chance to expand what is happening at Orri: continuing to provide online programmes, and now evening programmes too. This is of course due to the teams extraordinary efforts during this time, and without any doubt due to the incredible and inspiring clients who have shown up, shared, experienced, embraced and owned their change – and of course offered ideas and feedback each month to ensure that we provide a meaningful and useful programme online. Thank you to you all.
Today I sit, once again at my laptop, 6 months on, older and wiser (naturally!), and I am humbled, excited and relieved to be able to say that we are looking forward to welcoming you all to Orri this week. I think we all agree, this couldn’t have come soon enough! I know there will be some trepidation as we embark on this phase, and I would just like to reassure you that this is totally natural – and it will pass.