We’ve heard today that one of the biggest problems we will face when the Covid health risks diminish and social distancing measures relax is fear. Many people will have lost confidence to mix with other people, being suspicious of strangers, resulting in higher rates of social isolation, anxiety and depression.
So this week, I’d like to shine a spotlight on the Council’s Adult Learning Service, with a large customer base including many older learners, with a big thank you to Jenny, Marlis, Veronique, Sam, Maria and Teresa who have been working hard to co-ordinate and communicate new arrangements for classes with tutors and learners.
Believe it or not, there are 38 adult learning language courses running online, and 34 other courses in Arts, Health, Gardening, IT and Special Interest, with over 50 more scheduled from May until July. I was particularly interested to see the one off history talk being delivered by Rosemary Caldicott about the Black Death in Bristol between 1348-1349! Just imagine has fascinating that will be, considering how the local population reacted then, and their process of recovery. link to programme
Our tutors have been amazing, getting on board with zoom and editing their programmes for the new style of delivery. I’ve heard that one of the Art tutors who has only just started delivering online, happens to live near one of her learners so popped by to look at her painting and give advice from the end of the garden path so she could see some of the finer detail!
The team have been asking tutors for some #CoffeeBreakClass activities that we can post online and on social media. So far they have received offers of pasta making, gentle exercise, Italian prepositions and a Stoke Lodge quiz and there are plans to keep adding to these short activities.
Of course there are some disappointed learners and some who have chosen not to participate but the team have received some wonderful messages of encouragement and support following their emails and in the loop updates:
“I appreciate how very difficult all this must be and your efforts to maintain the courses using alternative delivery techniques is laudable and much appreciated.”
“I am delighted that some of the courses are carrying on online and many thanks to you and the team for helping to set this up.”
“I for one am very grateful for all that you are doing; and personally I applaud you, your colleagues in the Council and your hardworking staff.”
“I think you are all doing an amazing job in very trying circumstances. Hope you all stay well and thanks for all the links.”
“You never stop learning. With thanks for all you do at Stoke Lodge. It is a life saver for many folk. I’ve worked in the N.H.S. for forty years. So I know how great it is to keep the brain working.”
So a massive thank you to Jenny and the team – well done for doing an amazing job and playing your part in helping keep Bristol residents connected and learning.