What a year that has been!
WHAT WE HAVE BEEN UP TO
During this year of the Pandemic, we continued to offer support to members through the development of online packages, Zoom sessions and our usual sessions at 36/36a Drake Street, when practicable.
The packages were designed by our creative writing, visual art, music, and photography artists/facilitators through contact with members to ensure that the packages were as efficacious as possible in continuing to develop young people’s resilience to the challenges they face. Social isolation can test even the most resilient and we were very mindful of the importance of assuring our members that we were still there for them and able to continue helping them develop their creativity.
We set up a weekly Zoom session that enabled both a general catch up and breakout rooms with facilitators/artists in such as creative writing, visual art, and photography.
VIBE staff kept in regular contact with members across various platforms including such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Text, Email and Phone.
We invited 6 Members to train to become Volunteers in addition to continuing to develop their personal resilience through creativity. They have all accepted and have embarked on their training.
We continually monitored the government advice/instruction around what is allowed/safe and put together a Covid-19 reopening checklist to enable us to welcome Members back to 36/36a Drake Street. We also regularly checked that the premises were secure and acquired the necessary PPE and cleaning/sanitizing products. We sought and received advice in these matters from Hollybank Trust.
Knowing just how important social contact is to the resilience and wellbeing of our members, volunteers, and staff we aimed to be open, whenever possible, within government and local regulations.
We took the decision to rename our organisation as VIBE. This was in response to the preference expressed by our members, volunteers, and staff. [Our constitution, flyers and Covid-secure documentation have been amended.]
We set up a new website to celebrate and share members’ creativity www.vibecreativity.com with links across social media plus regular updates in print media through our AATA Column in the Rochdale Observer and Heywood & Middleton Guardian.
We continued to regularly issue updated flyers to our referring organisations. This continues to lead to the acquisition of new members.
We commenced planning with an artist to provide opportunities for VIBE members to decorate the shutters and fascia of our premises. This is funded by RBC.
We became an Arts Award Centre to give members the opportunity to obtain accreditation of their creativity.
We became GM I-THRIVE Arts, Culture & Mental Health Ambassadors.
We have welcomed and put to good use donations of an electric drum kit and two electric guitars and brightened up our premises with a donation of paint.
MEMBERS’ CREATIVITY – SOME HIGHLIGHTS
Three members have embarked on our design, build, play, own your own electric guitar. This is a legacy of a Youth Music funded project that saw eight members successfully make and learn to play a guitar that they now own.
A member has continued to work with our creative writer to develop her novel and started producing her own illustrations with the support of our artists.
A member has designed and built a photography lightbox with the support of our photographer/digital artist and has produced an exciting portfolio.
A member has embarked on a series of blogs to share his enthusiasm for film that have helped him through lockdowns.
Three new members are forming a band with music and song-writing tuition plus an introduction to the recording studio.
VIBECAST will be a media presentation distributed over the Internet using streaming media technology to distribute content source to many simultaneous listeners/viewers.
Initially we plan to webcast pre-recorded programmes:
• Radio Drama – pony fantasy,
• Fun update [stuff that made us laugh/feelgood],
• Reviews of things we would like to share with others e.gs films, music, books, TV, games etc.
To prepare for live webcasting:
• Short weekly live broadcast to inspire and motivate through enthusiastic updates of what VIBERS are up to.
Membership of VIBECAST is open to all VIBE Members. The current members of the group are Emma, Adam, Will, Jonas and Jack.
1. Set up VIBECAST Studio on first floor.
2. Set up VIBECAST Station on internet.
3. Acquire any necessary hardware/software.
4. Undertake necessary technical training.
5. Workshop pre-recorded programmes
6. Produce pre-recorded programmes.
7. Commence VIBECASTing.
8. Plan and rehearse live presentations.
9. VIBECAST live presentations.
10. Invite people to access VIBECAST and enjoy our programmes.
FUNDING AND FUTURE PLANNING
We have continued to receive funding from Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale NHS CCG and support from RBC in providing accommodation.
We are hoping to improve our accommodation through upgrading our kitchen and toilet facilities with the support of RBC.
We are in the process of applying for Charity status and have two new board members in actress Sue Devaney and filmmaker Parvez Qadir.
We are seeking funding to extend our offer to a 5 days per week mix of real and virtual sessions.