It is hard to believe that just over a year ago we had to close our physical service at Open Wings which is based within the beautiful Sherwood Community Centre. At the time we had no idea that we would be working from home and that running the service would change entirely into a whole different way of working.
A whole year of being isolated from friends, family and loved ones. It is with great appreciation that we can say a grateful thank you that we all live to tell our story. How a group came together everyday come rain or shine. The tale of how a group supported one another virtually. The tale of how a group were always there for one another and helped to make each one of us smile. How a group supported one another with their mental health to get through their good and bad days. Supporting one another with their keeping well and wellbeing. Celebrations of special times and birthdays together that could not be celebrated in person. How our work supporting families became vital, to give structure to their day for the people that they were caring for and how so many families and carers/support workers have been so appreciative of the work we have been doing.
And we could write on and on.
As difficult as the last year has been there have been some inspirational moments. Things we never thought we could ever do we have done.
We have all had to become more tech aware, pressing buttons we never knew what they were for, fixing cameras up in our homes, learning to google at all hours and becoming sound technicians.
Some have learned to share their voices openly which they would not have done a year ago.
Some have had a go at new things which they would never have tried.
Some have dressed up had fun had a dance sang a song and had the confidence to do so and just for a time forget all about the virus.
We did return to offering a very small sterile service in November 2020 but we were only able to operate for a very short time before having to lockdown again. Here are some of the members making handmade Christmas Decorations. It was a nice time. People were glad to be able to be back so it was sad when we did lockdown again.
Over the last year we have had some amazing moments of great achievement. However, the most amazing aspect has been the resilience, the commitment, the enthusiasm, the loyalty and the willingness of our team members. They have truly been inspirational and we have learned much from them.
Some new skills I have developed are: lip reading – had to get much better at this as you may know I am deaf and use hearing aids but watching people’s mouths is really important to me so that I can hear them.
Our week consisted of: –
On a Mondays we became a comedian and a bit of an exercise guru as we learned new dances from around the world and had some Monday Motivation fun. We have zoomed around the world in 30 minutes, we have been celebrities in I’m a Celebrity Zoom me out of here workshop and we have zoomed around the house looking for items we can use to keep fit.
On Tuesdays we became a game show host as we played many online games and activities
On Wednesday we became a Nurse advisor all about keeping well, getting our injections, and exercising
On Thursday we became a DJ at our regular online disco slot
On Friday we became a singer at the wonderful Music for Everyone Open Voices choir.
Some weekends we became a member of ABBA, dressed up as a Vintage woman for VE Day, and a mermaid for an online fancy dress, others we were just ourselves, but what a great time we all had together with the others, from pirates, to Where’s Wally to monsters, ghouls and witches.
We have continued individual learning online, and those sessions have encouraged the use of many skills whilst learning about History, Geography, Arts, and Basic Skills. We are continuing these sessions, so anyone interested in private one to one tuition please get in touch.
We have formed strong bonds with various organisations and have also ran 3 motivational and fun workshops for Transform Training as a thank you to them for running their Lockdown sessions for us last year.
This year we ran the following workshops: –
Zoom around the world in 3o minutes
I’m a celebrity zoom me out of here
Zoom around your home – House Scramble
These were all fun workshops designed to enhance wellbeing, give a sense of a group belonging, therefore reducing isolation and a chance for people to have some fun and laughter in these very trying times. It was an opportunity to forget about the pandemic for a short time. We cannot re-iterate how wonderful it was to work with Transform Training and we will most definitely be sharing and collaborating in the future. To find out more about Transform Training click here http://www.transformtraining.org.uk/
This sharing of ideas and resources has been invaluable and created a strong positive relationship between our organisations. If you know an organization that would be interested in any of our Zoom workshops, please ask them to get in touch or indeed if you have any other ideas for workshops which you may wish us to run, please let us know.
We are nearing the end of this dreadful time and we can see through the darkness a light shining which is getting stronger each day. Spring is finally here, and the world is starting to feel a little different, more open, brighter, shinier, more accessible.
We want all our team to keep walking brightly with us not long to go now and anyone else who would like to join us on our journey to the end you are welcome to join in with any of our online activities.
As Sir Captain Tom always said, “Tomorrow will be a good day”. Let us embrace it together and all the days ahead.
Please share the blog with friends, family, supporters, and carers. Please ask them to get in touch with us if they are interested in any of our services. Here’s to looking forward to a brighter year ahead.