There was singing and smiles as Teamwork Trust service-users saw familiar faces during their first ever online music lesson.

The Northamptonshire charity has been working hard to adapt its essential services to run remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic, and was the first organisation in the county to take part in the Workers' Educational Association’s (WEA) brand-new online music programme – one of many friendly, accessible and enjoyable digital courses.

20 autistic adults and adults with mental health needs and learning and physical disabilities took part, singing Beatles classics, Little Mix hits and well-known 80s tunes and benefitting enormously from the fun music time with their friends and tutor.

Victoria Bell, Head of Development at Teamwork Trust said:

“It was such a delight to see so many service-users engaged, happy and interacting with each other on the screen as the WEA tutor delivered this brand-new online course."

“Our members thrive on familiarity, so it’s crucial that we continue our services so that they do not feel totally isolated during these challenging times.

“The WEA have been running a variety of courses in our Teamwork centres for many years, and we were thrilled when they announced they would be adapting some of their programmes to run online, and that we would be the first to experience the new singing session. It complements all the hard work we have been doing as a charity to help our most vulnerable adults during this period.”

Rachel Crofts, WEA Education Coordinator for Northamptonshire – whose role in the charity organisation is to reduce barriers so that everyone has access to educational opportunities – said they have been overwhelmed with requests to provide online courses for people to upskill and stay active.

She said: “Our music course is one of our most popular face-to-face programmes and for Teamwork Trust service-users, it’s a chance to not only practice singing skills, but to learn good breathing techniques and take part in a little movement and exercise too. We are thrilled to have made it our first digital-only class.

“The global pandemic was not going to stop us delivering our WEA courses, and we managed to accelerate our plans to launch our online programme by training up 600 tutors nationwide in just three weeks – dozens of those in Northamptonshire. This was no easy feat, but it now means we can run offer even more options for disadvantaged adults to learn online during the coronavirus and beyond.”

Teamwork Trust was also the first to receive the WEA’s new online exercise class.

For more information on Teamwork's Covid-19 support service click HERE.

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