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  • Writer's pictureSue Williamson

The still point of the turning world ...

Good afternoon to everyone - all our people; our participants, parents/carers, staff, partner-organisations, supporters and well-wishers. Here are some thoughts about the nature of music, modern-life, coronavirus, and more! After-all I haven't written for a while so have some catching up to do and want to squeeze it all in.

In these strange times, our organisation has its own unique character and role to play. Not quite a school or college even though it does deliver education, it is housed in a public building which serves the community and is managed by a library. Traditionally libraries have been a refuge for people - I imagine they would aim to stay open as long as they can during any kind of 'lock-down' installed from above - whereas schools, with their large numbers of people together in a small space, may be a different matter. So what are we and how do we fit in? On the one hand we do educate and train young people - on the other, we are a provider of programmes that are slotted into our 'recovery through activities model' - and we actively engage with people who are really up against it, socially marginalised - and who come from care-homes, and homeless hostels. We have a variety of different roles which I have to consider when responding to direct advice from the government - and am keen to ensure our contingency plans maximise the impact of anything Tang Hall SMART can do . In short, I do not take our responsibility lightly!

My policy over the next few weeks where things seem uncertain is to enable some continuity for people because without connectivity, the human touch (both literal as well as metaphorical), a bit of music, laughter - well ... life can get very bleak very quickly. So, each day, after reading the government directives, I will ask myself, right .... now what is the best we can do given the existing restrictions due to Coronavirus- and then each day if needs be, will regroup with the THS team, to see what we can offer. At present it is looking like 'Business as Usual' but with better hygiene, and a slight shift in policy that involves people with certain symptoms (a new persistent cough or fever) staying off and self isolating. Not that different - not that big a deal.

If we end up with a smaller staff than usual, we will do whatever we would usually do, and maintain our offers as far as we can by covering for each other. If we lose our school-based pupils for a while, we will still try to deliver everything else for as long as The Centre@Burnholme is open. And if we can't stay open in our usual physical space, well, like schools, we are already looking at how we can support our THS community, by a range of packages that include online tutoring, phone/email contact etc. Basically - we will continue to be here, changing and adapting day-to-day to offer whatever we can, the best possible model in response to whatever happens - and that is because life goes on. This time will pass. And as musicians, writers, artists and creatives - I imagine many of us will document this time expressively! - All the best, Suex

(PS - I will use this blog space and our Facebook page to provide updates when needed -

Oh and does anyone recognise the quotation in my title?) Sue 📷

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