It was with joy and anticipation that we returned to some of our favourite workshops in August. With restrictions still in place, we have been forced into the 21st century and for the first time in YPWD history, we delivered our workshops via Zoom.
Since April, we have been using the Zoom platform for our virtual choir, exercise sessions and the Together at Leisure groups, with a great deal of success. And so, it was the natural next step to get back to what we all love.
Whilst we cannot shoot arrows, paddle a boat, or grow vegetables in cyberspace, we can certainly meet with our friends and take up some activities. So this is a flavour of what we have been up to……
Mondays have been about getting out and about into the back garden. As we are unable to do that together we’ve been exploring Phil’s garden through Zoom to be able to understand more about the insects, animals and plants that live just outside the back door.
Joining Phil have been external speakers from the natural world who have been contributing on chosen weeks to provide unique perspective on specific things in and around the garden. We have been joined by Bridget Parslow, Licenced Bat Worker from Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire Bat Group, talking about Bats and creatures of the night and Niki McCann, Education Officer at Waltham Place, Organic and Biodynamic Farm near Maidenhead, talking about Moths and Leaf-cutter bees.
We spent Wednesday mornings in our art group. Each attendee received a hand-delivered art pack so they had everything that they needed to join in the projects. Over the six weeks, we used acrylic paints, pastel crayons and artists’ pencils to produce some really lovely pieces of work. Using a step-by-step approach, we followed the instructions and found our way back to the world of creative expression.
It was a privilege to be able to offer an invaluable new workshop entitled, “Book of Our Times” on Thursdays. Since we were unable to meet up together in the ‘real world’ we launched the five-week workshop through the magic of ‘Zoom’, where we were able to share fascinating insights into our lives through conversation, photos and other mementoes. So many incredible stories and memories were recounted as we chatted about our childhoods, working lives, life events, our interests and later lives.
All of the participants’ precious memorabilia that they kindly shared with us is now being safely stored at their homes in folders - in readiness for when we can once again meet in person - and then work together in developing each of their personal books of memories to publish – hopefully before too long and I’m sure you’ll agree, an exciting prospect.
All of our online discussions shone a bright and enduring light on some most treasured memories – filled with life-affirming, adventurous, loving, happy, humorous, proud and poignant recollections … as Esther Rantzen might say, “That’s Life!”