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Beyond lockdown- the opening of a physical venue in Kilmarnock

Thank you to my local clients who completed the review of how the service operates in Ayrshire. We have been a digital first service since COVID so how the service looks after that has been something I have been working on for a few months. After a lot of negotiations with many organisations I now have an answer.

Today I signed the lease to rent suite 3:7 in the Ingram Enterprise Centre, 30 John Finnie St, Kilmarnock, KA1 1DD. This will be Progress’ first physical venue and will be used to fully restore in person sessions, replacing the limited home visits system. The most common questions have been answered below.

How does this change the service?

Progress will end the digital first policy and move to a policy of accessibility where an in-person visit or a video/phone call are offered as equal options. This gives clients the choice of what model works for you (note: associates are allowed to deviate from this policy based on their needs and currently only I am taking up the physical space). See the updated organisational policy document in the documents & tools page for details.

How does this affect Robert’s clients who are far away from Kilmarnock or don’t want in-person visits.

Not much will change. Progress will maintain the Google Workspace subscription that gives us unlimited videocalls at no extra cost to you. Robert may host these from the new venue which has business fibre broadband so the calls might even be of better quality.

Will you keep the no price rise commitment?

Yes. When we began looking at how to make the service more in-person again I said I would not go ahead with anything that forced standard session pricing beyond the £30 barrier in the 21-22 financial year (until April 2022). This will be achieved by me making a £5,000 investment into Progress to cover all costs, such as bills and office furniture. Progress is the best investment I have ever made and placing more into it’s future development will be more than worth it.

How will the visits work?

You will attend at the centre and I will meet you in the lobby. We have to sign in for fire safety reasons (I can give you an anonymous client code of you prefer not to have your name written) and wear masks in the public area and hallways due to COVID. The office is on floor 3 but there are lifts for those who may struggle with the stairs. The public area has toilets and a kitchen that is shared with other businesses. My office is private and my neighbours can’t hear anything at normal talking volume. After the visit I can show you out and sign you out.

This next step forward will make the service even more effective and accessible. I look forward to seeing you there starting in September.


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