Community Learning and Development (CLD) response during COVID -19 lockdown
We have been absolutely blown away by the amazing response of the community learning and development (CLD) sector to the Covid-19 crisis. Whilst the lockdown led to the abrupt suspension of most face to face CLD activities, from the start we’ve heard examples of how community workers, youth workers, adult educators and family learning workers in both the public and third sectors have continued to support learners and communities with dedication, creativity and kindness. Across Scotland, CLD practitioners have been supporting community initiatives to deliver food, medicine or provide vital social contact to vulnerable families and isolated people. They have been engaging with young people through imaginative digital youth work; adapting learning activities to be accessible online, by phone or through resources to use at home; and helping to extend the reach of school and community hubs for children of key workers and vulnerable families. Many CLD providers are now playing a key role in helping to develop local and national recovery plans.
We have collected some case studies from the West region that we are going to highlight over the next couple of weeks.
Education Scotland is aware that there is more amazing work out across Scotland. We plan to capture more so that we can keep sharing the fantastic work that CLD has delivered and continues to deliver in the recovery phase and into the future.
South Lanarkshire Council – CLD – Youth, Family and Community Learning Service Activity Packs
Across South Lanarkshire, Youth, Family and Community Learning Teams have been busy creating activity packs to support children, families and young people of all ages, including ASN, during the period of lockdown. These packs are designed to engage with new learners and to maintain well established relationships with our communities. They can help alleviate boredom and improve the mental health of young people by giving them activities that they can carry out on their own and with their families.
The packs are bespoke, learner centred, and are prioritised for young people and families who have limited access to technology or printing facilities. Packs are delivered directly to the homes of young people and families. This allows invaluable face-to-face contact (from a 2m distance) with the community and the opportunity for staff to offer support if required. Over 1000 packs have been delivered to households since the end of March. The activity packs have a diverse content and include resources to enable young people and families to carry out the activities. Themes for packs have included: Health and Wellbeing; STEM; Family Learning; Cooking on a Budget; Music activity; Baking; Gardening and many other fun and educational activities for people of all ages.
Examples of 2 activity pack initiatives below:
After School Club Busy Bag
The After-School Club Busy Bag was developed as a way of engaging remotely with the vulnerable families and young people who would normally access the clubs each week within Glenlee Primary and Loch Primary. The bags are made up weekly by CLD staff and delivered to young people on their doorstep.
The Busy Bags began as large activity packs which included colouring-in sheets, pens, paper and skipping ropes, and have been followed by weekly themed top-ups. These top-ups have included “Make your own Crispy-cakes” and “Grow your own Sunflower” kits. All of the resources and ingredients required to complete the activities are contained within each pack, to ensure there is no additional cost to families.
3 of the After-School Club volunteers have also been a fantastic help developing and researching resources for our packs. One of the volunteers has piloted her first Busy Bag unboxing video this week. This has allowed her to engage remotely with the After-School Club young people and has also given her tasks to complete whilst she is self-isolating due to her being a young carer.
Quotes from Learners:
“ My son is really enjoying the Busy Bags, it’s keeping him off the ipad and Playstation and it’s giving us time to sit together. There is a wide variety of activities for him to pick and instead of playing Fortnite on the computer, he loved filling out the Fortnite word search and activity sheets” –Mum of P5 St Cuthbert’s pupil
“Due to the Busy Bags, my daughter now has something to look forward to each week, she looks out for staff arriving every Thursday. Thank you so much” –Mum of Loch Primary pupil
“I loved making the crispy cakes, please can we have more baking busy bags it’s so much fun!” –P5 Glenlee Primary pupil
Cambuslang Universal Connections (UC) CLD Family Activity Packs
Cambuslang UC CLD have been maintaining links with the families they work with on their family learning programme through the delivery of over 60 Family Learning Packs to these families during the lockdown period.
The packs contain a range of fun activities for families to complete together and links directly to a weekly family craft activity that is uploaded to Facebook (the resources for undertaking this activity are contained in the pack)!
Parents have indicated that using the packs has been fun, has allowed families to do things together, has reduced boredom and that they have enjoyed participating on the linked the activities on Cambuslang UC Facebook!
Some quotes from Learners:
‘The packs are excellent, a good time filler and a good mixture for the different age groups. We are enjoying doing the activities together as a family, my daughter really liked the Covid 19 time capsule booklet.’
‘The packs are amazing. I feel very happy watching my son enjoy using the pack. I also enjoyed getting involved in the rainbow scavenger hunt.’
‘Thank you for the great packs we have received, loved the video
‘They were great, fantastic! The kids enjoyed doing the activities, particularly the dot to dot and the colouring. There was a good variety for different ages’.
‘The activity packs are fun and very good. They provide something different for the children to do other than school work. They are still learning and the variety of activities holds their interest longer. This gives us as parents a much needed time to relax and do other things. My child likes the dot to dots and colour by number using addition as this helps her number work.’