This blog was written by our Director and Senior Instructor, Terry Harris-Ellis.
"Nearly a year on from the first appearance of COVID-19 in the UK it has dramatically changed the world we live in. For us here at The Adventure Service, COVID-19 has made us rethink how we deliver the service and has had a dramatic impact on the activities we are able to offer.
The first lockdown last March saw The Adventure Service close its doors to all our Adventurers and go online to deliver sessions. This was an incredible learning journey for us, as you can imagine, as we are more used to being outside than using information technology. As a service we learnt how to deliver online sessions using Facebook Live. This was a great way of interacting with our Adventurers and helping keep social networks strong. While we were undertaking these online sessions, staff members were also meeting Adventurers that needed the most support for socially distanced walks.
In June 2020, we were able to do a limited re-opening with Adventurers just attending for one day week in socially distanced bubbles, these bubbles ensured that there was no chance of transmission across groups and if there was a problem, we could isolate that specific group.
We were then able to steadily grow our service back to its pre-lockdown numbers, with Adventurers attending multiple days across the week but remaining in daily bubbles to prevent cross transmission.
We have continued to use social communication networks to remain in contact with those Adventurers who where not able to re-join the activities due to vulnerabilities to COVID-19.
The lockdown restrictions and social distancing have had a dramatic impact on the sessions we can offer at present. As you are all aware, we like to spend time in the countryside using our minibuses, we have been doing this where safe to do so with small groups accessing the Peak District, Girton Sailing Club, and our bushcraft sites where possible. However due to recent lockdown measure this has again severely restricted the activities we can offer at present.
The largest impact that COVID 19 has had is on our Adult Short Breaks, this unfortunately has been on hold since March 2020. We are hoping that this will restart again in the not-too-distant future.
While this has been a difficult year with many challenges, we seem to be finally able to see a speck of light at the end of the very dark and difficult tunnel we have been in. Our staff have recently received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and we are very positive about the future of our service. We continue to learn and develop new and exciting activities for the Adventurers to experience and I for one am very proud of the excellent and passionate staff team we have here, who have risen and surpassed all the challenges that have been thrown at them and still deliver fun, quality sessions with a learning and development theme."