At the end of March, we hoped that we would be able to offer exciting and adventurous opportunities for teams to serve here in Ireland this summer.
Sadly, with the lockdown and social distancing set to last longer than many of us could have imagined, the only safe, and appropriate response is not to proceed with any placements for teams this year.
This is a hugely disappointing moment, for us, but also for many of you who have endured the loss of so many activities, opportunities and connections in the past 2 months.
We also know that you will have questions around team meetings, team money and future teams, and we want to bring as much clarity as we can.
We have been hearing what an encouragement the online meetings have been for many of you, and we want to finish these well.
All teams will now wrap up by the 6th June but before that, your leaders will be running our brand new Leave a Legacy session and, if you haven’t already received your team t-shirt we will get it to you as soon as we are able to distribute them.
We know that many of you are wondering about the money you have paid so far. Thank you for your patience. As a board and leadership team we want to handle this well and be as open and honest as possible.
We have a ‘force majeure’ clause in our terms and conditions but we will not be applying this and so every team member is eligible for a full refund.
However, COVID19 has had a siginficant financial impact on Exodus. We are doing all that we can; cutting expenditure, utilising the furlough scheme but this will not be enough. Exodus is still vulnerable and so we would ask you to consider supporting us, as we navigate this major challenge.
Excluding staff time, we have spent £83,000 on flights or flight deposits, insurance, ATOL licences, team leader training and resources such as journals, videos and t-shirts. We may be able to recover some flight costs but we anticipate a loss of £45,000 to £70,000 linked to the teams alone, that’s between £80 and £130 per team member.
We would love you to consider, as a team member or parent, whether you would be able to leave some or all of your personal contribution refund with Exodus as a gift to help us cover some of this loss.
We appreciate not all are in a position to do so at this time, but we want to thank you for considering helping Exodus in this way.
Whatever you decide, it is important you let us know by visiting exodusonline.org.uk/2020giftsandrefunds for more information and to complete the online claim form by the 28th May 2020.
We recognise that you have missed out on a great summer experience and we want to give you the best chance of going away with Exodus next year.
Therefore, when God willing, our teams for 2021 are opening for application, we will create an early application window for all our ‘Leave a Legacy’ team members.
This will give you the opportunity to choose and be accepted onto a team before they are opened to a wider audience.
Finally we want to say thank you, to our team leaders for your commitment to your teams. Thank you to parents for trusting and supporting us along the way and thank you to our team members for giving your all to your teams.
Do not despair; God is faithful and good and in Exodus we are determined to continue to serve young people and we hope you will continue to join us along the way.
If you have any further questions please email [email protected]