We were thrilled to be awarded additional funding from WCVA’s Active Inclusion Fund to build on the skills and training work we have previously carried out. Due to start full delivery from 1 April 2020, of all the things that we thought could affect the start of Take Charge, a global pandemic was definitely not one of them! Our first activity, and event on equal opportunities at the Senedd which also marked International Women’s Day, was a great success, and a really positive way to start things off. However, since then things have been a bit different from what we had planned.
While current experiences are a challenge, there is definitely a silver lining. These new circumstances have driven us to be flexible and to explore working in a different way. We have been finding virtual activities for our participants. For example two people are contributing to a knitting project from the National Wool Museum https://museum.wales/articles/2020-04-03/Create-your-part-in-the-National-Wool-Museums-Exhibition-of-Hope/. Others have been taking part in Innovate Trust’s online tai chi, bingo and quizzes. Two of our participants have started using a computer tablet for the first time in their lives!
We are in regular telephone contact with each participant and this has also helped us to get an idea of their skills and how much support they have (or don’t have) with IT. As well as using this for supporting them now, this also means we can help them in a more effective way once the lockdown eases. We have also been sending out paper-based activity packs which are already proving a great hit! Colouring sheets, word searches and nature spotting sheets are the favourites so far, and it’s great to see that people are still keen to learn even in these difficult times. We are looking forward to continuing to working with our participants to deliver as much as we can to improve their lives.