An adult disability charity has said it is running on "skeleton staff" after asking people to remain at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Watford Workshop, which carries out packaging orders for retailers, provides supported employment, work and life skills training to adults with disabilities.

It has insisted service users should stay at home if they have underlying health conditions or use public transport.

Others have been given the option to stay at home or to continue to come into the workshop if they think it will support their mental health.

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Watford Observer:

People who use the service help to fill out packing orders. Photo: Watford Workshop

The charity said they made the decision in the "health and wellbeing of our service users, staff, volunteers , tutors and customers".

It also said it is keeping up with strict social distancing, along with personal hygiene, and it has enforced a no visitors rule.

Only a few members of the team are in the workshop now and they are working in separate parts of the building.

The charity said its workload has decreased as a result of the crisis.

Watford Observer:

Watford Workshop team and service users. Photo: Watford Workshop

Partnership manager Gill Nightingale said "We're calling our service users regularly to see how they are, giving them someone to chat to and provide support when we can."

The charity is also posting online when it finds any resources which might be helpful to keep people busy, raise spirits and support mental health.

Watford Observer:

Gill Nightingale. Photo: Watford Workshop

She said: "At the moment, with no commercial orders, paying wages is our immediate challenge, along with finding every possible way to secure the survival of the workshop to get through this unprecedented event.

"We also hope and pray that all our people remain well and that we can do all we can to support them remotely during the time."

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