Good News Stories – From a Partner's Perspective – Emerge Community Arts07-May-2020
Covid-19 and the changes it has brought about to our learning are being felt across all of our course provision. One of our partners, Emerge Community Arts, provides music and performing arts workshops and projects in the community for those who experience Autism Spectrum Condition, Mental health issues, learning and sensory, physical difficulties or differences. Children, young people as well as our adult learners are actively encouraged to take opportunity to learn and get involved in a fun, relaxed and friendly environment.
But of course, the environment for all of us has changed. Emerge Community Arts’ Creative Director Anna Davies, tells us how Covid-19 has brought digital technologies to the fore.
“We are committed to tackling loneliness and we understand that everyone is unique and respect peo-ple for who they are no matter what their circumstances in life. All of us now face a ‘universal circum-stance’ and more than ever there is a need to support people in their well-being through building con-fidence and communication skills.
“We’ve re-appraised our position and adjusted to this new world. Following two full weeks of re-organization and adjustment prior to the start of Term 3, our engagement with learners is going well.
“Emerge did not officially take an Easter break! We spent all of Easter training and supporting staff, adapting our policies and procedures and setting up our on-line provision so we would run smoothly into Term 3. This has really paid off.
“It was time consuming engaging with learners and their families/ carers and supporting everyone onto the platforms and to get familiar with the technology, often for the first time. But the outcome has been really positive.”
Anna and Emerge Director Jamie and team are teaching 1-to-1 with all learners on the timetable throughout the week. Learners take part in singing, writing plays, improvisation, practicing lines, drumming, guitar riffs and working on elements of work usually done out in the community.
Says Anna, “We have very good attendance levels – we’re engaging with nearly all of our learners. And even though there are still technical issues for some this is becoming less and less as the weeks go on. It appears for many learners we are the only people they see all week apart from their carers – which from a loneliness and isolation perspective presents ongoing concern.”
It’s great to hear that the steps being taken are having such profound effect and positive benefit in this new world. We hope our Emerge partner gets their Easter break next year!
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