Hello and welcome back to our world!
Our website is now being updated with the new classes and activities we are offering coming out of the lockdowns of the last 12 months!
We expect most of our groups and classes to start again from mid-June onwards (assuming no changes with the roadmap out of lockdown). Most of our tutors will been working through the summer holiday this year, rather than stopping for a break the way we normally do. Lots of you are keen to come back and not have to stop within a short time and then wait again until September, so we are encouraged this support.
Until September we will still be encouraging Covid safe activity though – facemasks, hand sanitiser and social distancing with some number restrictions on how many in a class or group. Until everyone has been vaccinated twice, we are following the advice not to encourage Covid to come back! Even after that, we will be trying to keep everyone safe and will be carrying out safe practises.
Great changes under foot!
During the lockdown, we haven’t been sitting on our laurels..
Our rear garden has been re-laid out with new (flat!) turf with some little jobs still to do.
So, it should be COVID friendly to anyone who wants use an outside space – we just need the weather to warm up a bit more! With new hanging baskets, bird boxes and a hedgehog hotel in place, new lighting is going to be added during the summer to make the garden more comfortable into the evening. It will also make the car park better lit through winter time. We are pleased to announce that a new tree has been donated by the Dolphin WI group – more about that to follow. These works were assisted by a Grant from local Councillors from Braintree District Council.
Inside the Centre, we have managed to achieve even more! Do you remember our plans?
The new sliding doors have been installed and a new access into the Hall is in hand. The works are not quite finished as we ran into unexpected problems (when do you not, when changing an old building?) Once complete, we will have two Halls available instead of one, so we can be more flexible for users.
We have also overhauled our heating and ventilation system so that it keeps the building at a better overall temperature, with improved ventilation (which will help beat COVID as well) and some extra moveable lighting.
Using another BDC grant, we have been able to purchase some special IT equipment which will enable electronic meetings and classes. Hybrid meetings with some people at home and some in the Hall are going to be possible – the wonders of modern science! A programme of Zoom/Teams talks is going to be developed.
And we now offer Gift vouchers!
So much great news!
There will be a chance for everyone to come and have a look round once all the works are completed in mid-June. In the meantime, there are a couple of support groups already using the space but with only the upstairs kitchen available.
Fees remain the same and if we are holding any advance payments from last year, these will, of course, be honoured. Please do look at the website and drop us a line to confirm which classes you wish to join!
A very few classes are moving time or day due to change in tutors or give extra room, so please don’t assume everything will be the same – check and sign up. Classes will be added as we agree them, so do check that we are offering what you want!
Art is the biggest subject to change, so watch out for those changes especially!