COVID-19 and ATE – latest updates2020-06-09T15:33:52+00:00

Tuesday 9 June 2020: Summer Superweeks

Last Sunday, 7th June, ATE’s trustees completed a review of the viability of running Superweeks in 2020. They decided unanimously that we cannot responsibly run holidays this summer and as such, we have decided to cancel all of our summer Superweeks.

We are bitterly disappointed that we won’t be able to run our Superweeks this year but it would be impossible to guarantee the quality and safety of our holidays. given the current public health situation.

We have written to all of our customers to offer them a full refund, which we will be processing in July. Our office will remain closed until July, and we will be operating with reduced opening hours from July onward.

Like many other small charities, ATE does not have large reserves to fall back on, and this decision means we will end the year having made no income. If you are in a position to make a donation to ATE, it would be massively beneficial to the organisation and put us in a significantly stronger position to be around and delivering Superweeks in 2021. Please visit our Donations Page if you wish to contribute.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

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Tuesday 14 April 2020: Temporary closure

Last week ATE’s Board of Trustees decided that we should temporarily shut our office in order to help cushion us against the disruption caused by the coronavirus. All three members of our office staff will be placed on furlough from tomorrow (Wednesday 15th April) for an initial period of six weeks. This decision will be kept under frequent review by Trustees.

We are not planning to cancel any of our summer provision at this stage, though we are keeping a close eye on events as they develop. We will continue to take our lead from Government guidance, and the safety of children will always be at the fore in our decision making.

We hope to return to our normal service very soon. In the meantime, volunteers will be collecting post, checking email inboxes, and checking answerphone messages weekly. It may not be possible to respond to every communication. Responses to emails and bookings will unavoidably be slower than normal, but any urgent enquiries will be dealt with as efficiently as the circumstances allow.

Goodbye for now, from Rachel, Charlie, and me. We hope to be back in touch soon.

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Tuesday 24 March 2020: Office closure

As of yesterday (Monday 23 March), ATE’s office staff will be working from home until further notice. This is in order to keep them healthy and to protect the wider community. Our staff are doing everything they can to ensure business will continue as usual, but there will be some unavoidable changes.


You should still be able to reach us on our office phone number (01684 562 400). Calls to this number are now being automatically forwarded to a mobile phone which will be switched on between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Should you be unable to reach us, please try calling 07926 389 376 or email

Outgoing phone calls will most likely come from 07926 389 376.


We will aim to check incoming post once a week. We would encourage anyone contacting us by post to consider sending an email if possible. All of our paper forms are available online – please contact if you are unable to find a form you need to complete.

We will also be reducing the amount of outgoing mail we send wherever possible by sending files electronically instead.

Emails should be completely unaffected, but please bear with the team during any unexpected difficulties as they adjust to their new offices.

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Saturday 21 March 2020: Easter Superweek and Monitor Training Course

This week, we took the difficult decision to cancel our upcoming Easter Egg-Stravaganza Superweek and Monitor Training Course, both due to run in early April. ATE’s Board of Trustees, Training and Delivery Directors, and Lead Instructors monitored events closely as they unfolded, and all worked with the Operations Director to inform this decision. We were also informed by the latest scientific advice. Everyone affected has been contacted by post and email, and offered the choice of a refund or a place on a future Superweek.

This was not an easy decision, but everyone involved felt it was the only responsible path to take given the gravity of the situation facing the country.

We are still hoping to run all eight of the Superweeks in our summer 2020 programme as normal. We will continue to monitor the situation and maintain contact with our centres, and will update all customers affected by any changes to this plan. We want to reassure customers, volunteers, and stakeholders that our decisions will always be driven by the safety of children and our staff.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for bearing with us through this unusual period, and for understanding the difficulties ATE, as a small charity, is facing. All of us at HQ are particularly grateful to everyone who has been in touch to wish us well and to offer help and support in recent weeks. It really makes the world of difference.

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The situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-changing. We will update this page with any news or changes as regularly as we can.