We want to say thank you to our team, tutors and participants for making the switch back to online classes run so smoothly in the wake of the second Covid-19 lockdown.
Planning began in the summer for a tightening of restrictions. Following last Saturday’s announcement, the learning and participation programme teams and venue supervisor spent last Monday and Tuesday prepping, with classes ready to go for 10am Wednesday.
Thanks also go to Norwich Consolidated Charities, Anguish’s Educational Foundation and Norwich Town Close Estate Charity (The Norwich Freemen’s Charity) for their support.
Learning manager Beth Norman said: “We’d learnt a lot from our experience of going online last lockdown and were prepared to quickly switch. We know what works and what doesn’t and were able to give tutors who hadn’t taught online before a lot of hints and tips. We were also prepared with systems and channels of communications with participants and tutors, so it was a quick and efficient process to switch over and notify everyone.”
The trust feels in these uncertain times that it’s important to offer consistency, social connection and a creative outlet, even while at home. The relationships that have built up since our studios reopened in September – be that between groups of new friends taking a class or the important familiarity of a friendly and encouraging tutor – should continue uninterrupted.
With classes running the same day, same time and same length it’s been like business as usual. Attendance continues to do well. It’s helpful that many tutors now have experience of delivering on Zoom and many participants have used it not only to keep up with classes but also stay in touch with family and friends.
We’re hopeful of a return to the studios as soon as possible, but for now it is glad to be able to see participants’ smiling faces and continue the great work it’s been doing together this term.
Here’s some of the feedback from online participants so far:
“Thank you so much for this morning, my son had an amazing time and four hours later is still working on his storytelling for next week. Thanks so much for organising this, it made me quite tearful watching him have that link with normality and for him to have contact with someone other than me and his dad is so important for him. You guys are doing an incredible job and we can’t say how much we appreciate it”.
“The class today was really good. It broke up our day nicely and I could hear my daughter challenging herself. So, thank you to the staff and yourselves for getting this all in place”.
“I’ve just thoroughly enjoyed a Zoom ballet session for over 50s. Such a treat to exercise and see everyone again. Good for the body and mind. The session lifted my spirits and helped me connect with people and exercise again. Definitely I can recommend joining a class with The Garage Trust on Zoom”.
“Thank you so much… I loved my adult street dance class. It was great fun. I was nervous about signing up but I needn’t have worried. The teacher was brilliant, he put me completely at ease and was very encouraging”.
“Weird to be doing classes from home, but worth it to keep structure and sanity. Amazing initiative.”
“I really enjoyed the last online classes I did and I’m excited to do the next classes. I always try my hardest to join in with everything”.
Adam Taylor, executive director and head of centre for The Garage Trust, added: “It’s disappointing we can’t run classes in our studios for now, having gone above and beyond to make the venue Covid-19 secure. But we’re extremely happy with the quality of our online provision, delivered by our first-class team of tutors. Our participants have been amazing and we look forward to welcoming everyone back soon.”