If there is one thing the coronavirus crisis has proved, it is just how much guardianship organisations, their staff, host families and taxi drivers want to help. We have heard a lot of gratitude and praise over the weeks – we wanted to share some of this and highlight the positive stories.
100’s of Rearranged Flights & Grateful Overseas Parents
After we helped our student and his friend to buy flight tickets to China when they were having difficulty finding any we received this message: “I am so grateful to you. Otherwise I wouldn’t know what to do. Also Tom said that it was you who helped his friend buy a ticket too. He is so touched! ” Mrs Li
We had a young boy who could not go on a flight owing to his age so we organised a member of staff to take him to Amsterdam and drop him off to his parents who then flew with him to Hong Kong. His parents were super grateful.
Living Learning English
Maksym managed to get on a rescue flight for Ukrainian citizens and travelled all the way down from Yorkshire to London overnight – we are also ever so grateful to the great support we have received from our taxi companies. Maksym’s agent from Ukraine, said “thanks a lot for the arrangements and readiness to help in this complicated situation, she was so lucky to find you as guardians.”
“Roger has already arrived at Shanghai airport. Many thanks for Quest’s help and arrangement, especially during the past a couple of weeks. I also would like to give my huge thanks to Ken for his positive and prompt responses and considerable arrangement. Take care everyone.” Roger’s mother, Kowloon
Bright World Guardianships
“I am very happy to revert with the good news that Tom landed safely in Shanghai this afternoon. He will spend the next fourteen days in a designated hotel for quarantine before returning home. My family is very grateful to you all for taking good care of Tom in the past several days when the Covid-19 outbreak became a matter of great concern for many parents. I sincerely hope that all of you and your families will stay safe and healthy in this unexpected global crisis.” Bright World parent
London International Agency
I was approached by a Russian family whose daughter is studying on the Isle of Man. Their daughter usually flies to City Airport in connection with Heathrow. The regular flight was cancelled so she had to fly a day earlier, spend the night with the family and fly the next day. Unfortunately, nobody could accommodate the girl in London. Her parents were desperate and I decided to help them, even though the child was not under my care. The girl was able to fly back home to her parents, despite of all the difficulties.
“This has to be one of the biggest challenges to beset our industry and whilst exhausting, we have been so grateful for the support of AEGIS, the schools and our wonderful host families who have shown themselves to be flexible, caring and dynamic.” Suzie Mackie, UK2Learn
Amazing Host Families
“The host family looking after our children is truly incredible. We are so appreciative that they have even purchased extra provisions to help keep their immunity up. I asked if they could make some ginger water for them and the host family happily did so, I am truly blown away. They have had Chinese meals prepared for them and have been given face masks to protect them even further. I am so moved that this host family is taking such good care of my children.” Mother of Siyuan & Yile
I have had many students staying with me over the holidays or transiting to airports. We try to give them a warm and loving home with some normality in these troubling times.
White House Guardianships
“I couldn’t use the language to show my thanks and appreciation under such situation. The two girls are very happy and excited to live with you. And we still try to get the flight for them, but we are not sure of the exact time.We ask you about applying them secure-care. You are the last thread under such situation for the teenage long away parents. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued kindness.” WHG Parent
Guardians & Schools Working Together in the Face of Adversity
Guardians International Support
The staff at Gresham’s were always supportive and responsive. There was a mutual appreciation that we are all in it together, a real partnership between school and guardian.
Bromsgrove school were very good and followed on from their excellent approach to half term. Proactive leadership, pragmatic approach, sensitive to the needs of the students.
St Mary’s Calne were very understanding of the AEGIS policy and even gave us an extra 36 hours to try and find a host family. The student in question had a temperature and was feeling unwell. They updated us on the pupils progress and were honest and holistic in their approach. The nursing team showed exceptional care and dedication in a difficult situation.
Malvern College and RossallSchool, both of which gave the message that children can stay as long as they needed to, that the school is their home from home, and if they could not travel back – they were welcome to stay.
One of our schools in particular, Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools have worked very closely with us and have been totally flexible and understanding, sending sensible and measured information to parents, regularly updating them on the situation and looking at various options and scenarios as the circumstances changed.
Cardiff Sixth Form College has been highly praised by several guardianship organisations, other schools commended include: Berkhamsted, Felsted, Kings Taunton, Mount Kelly, Old Swinford Hospital, Royal Russell, Sevenoaks, Wells Cathedral and Wycliffe. We are sure there are many, many more and we would like to say a big thank you.
GatewayGuardianship UK Ltd
We have had offers of equipment from parents: “Although the situation in China is now better, the situation in UK is only getting worse. Could you send me your address? I can send over face masks and other medical equipment to you and your family and friends.”
I received an email from a host family a few days ago to tell me: “We have just received a package from China, some face masks from K—–. What a lovely gesture! ”
Instead of our usual tea from China we have been receiving face masks and lots of messages of support! One Japanese student’s family even posted a host family a ‘care package’ including a toilet roll! We feel very much loved and valued by all our grateful families.
Nikita, Brentwood School – UK Study Centre Guardianship
“I am thinking about the old days when I was looking at the school sights with fascinating views or when I was attending a variety of clubs and societies, some of them led by students. Now it all seems so old and forgotten. I hope my school will recover from these awful circumstances, in which all of the schools are trapped, as quick as possible. I’m so grateful to my amazing teachers that are still keen on continuing working and contributing to our lives. I just want to say thank you to them, to what they had already done, are doing every day and are going to do in the future to give us the best education possible. Also, a great thanks to my guardian who was with me all the time during this tough period of my life. I’m so happy that despite all the bad things that had happened, I can still enjoy the school’s top education and be at home with my family. Another thanks to everyone, thank you for all of your support.”
Jamaican Carlene is staying with one of our hosts for some time as her mum works for the UN in Mali and can’t get out. Her infectious enthusiasm is catching and she brightens up her host’s self-isolation – they’re both up doing Joe Wicks in the morning!
“Thank you for these updates. I can imagine you doing this for all the families. Love to you and God bless you for connecting families. And blessings to the host families.” Carlene’s mother
English Country Guardians
Adam was working hard for his GCSEs and, like many, was upset when he had to pack up and leave on an earlier flight within 24 hours. He was also quite scared as the virus is now in Africa. His dad works away from home, setting up humanitarian relief operations. The sudden change of flight meant that Adam and his father were both at Dubai airport at the same time. Adam was on his way home to Tanzania and his father was on his way to work in Afghanistan. It was an unplanned but welcome meeting. They spent a precious 2 hours together. Two days later Dubai airport closed.
James, a student under our guardianship at Rossall School, is safely back home in Hong Kong. His mother has made a very generous donation of 100 face masks to Rossall School to protect them against COVID-19.