On Thursday 31st March, we hosted our first ever organisation-wide online celebration event. Our Spring Party was a chance to recognise the learners, befriendees and volunteers that work with us and celebrate their successes. We sent out a certificate and invite to everyone who had been involved with us in the past year.
Emma Whitelock, our CEO, began the event by recognising the trust put in Lead by the people we work with:
‘When you choose to start learning with us, call our helpline, read our information guides, get matched with a befriender or have a say to change government policy, you take a leap of faith and put your trust in our staff and volunteers. Thank you for taking that leap of faith to work with us.’
In the planning stages of the event, we asked people what would suit them. The majority of people said they’d like the event to happen on Zoom, so they could contribute if they felt like it. It was also important that certificates were posted so that individuals could have a physical copy showing their achievements and participation in a project.
42 people joined us for the Zoom event, where we showcased 12 projects from across Scotland (including 2 national projects). Coordinators from each project shared what people had been doing over the past year, including their achievements and stories. With permission, we shared quotes and photos from the projects which received many congratulations and virtual applause from the zoom attendees!
We enjoyed having the chance to hear first-hand the journeys learners have made: overcoming the barriers faced due to the pandemic, adapting to being supported by phone or online, having patience and resilience to keep going to work towards their goals.
Supported by a fantastic team of volunteers, many learners achieved Adult Achievement Awards. These awards support individuals to increase their confidence by reflecting on previous learning. We also saw huge numbers of learners improving their digital skills so they could stay connected during lockdowns and pursue hobbies online. Some people received devices from Connecting Scotland and others completed our Open University in Scotland course, Everyday Computer Skills.
We asked attendees the question: ‘What is something that you’re proud of?’ and to put their answer on a collaborative Jamboard. Below is the result- a fantastic array of learning, resilience and hard work! Click on the image to see a bigger version.
We want to thank everyone who attended the Spring Party and to everyone who contributed to it- learners, befriendees, volunteers and staff!
Here are some comments from attendees: