So this week, we are trying something a little bit different. This week our blog comes from a member of the ValePlus staff team. Sarah is our office administrator and works in the Chapel Monday to Friday. Find out how Sarah has been using the resources to help others. Well, what a crazy few months it has been. This year started off with the usual routines Wake up, start the day at 100 mph, have breakfast, get everyone ready for school and work, take the children to school, go to work, pick the children up from school, take the children to their after school activities, cook dinner, get the children to bed, washing up, prepare lunches for the next day.....then relax. Life was pretty full on. Then March came and this new term 'lockdown' entered our heads.....this idea that the UK was going to shut down, honestly I didn't believe a word of it. However, as March rolled on, the after school activities began to close, events organised with friends were being postponed, then the schools announced they were closing, and as a training centre, ValePlus followed suit and announced they were closing. It was surreal. I remember calling Ela from ValePlus and just saying.....how am I going to cope, I'm a single parent, how am I going to juggle work and home schooling. Loneliness was my biggest fear. When the children go to their dad's on the weekend, I'm usually out at musicals, pubs, visiting family, getting my hair done........I couldn't do any of these, what was I going to do?! However all these fears soon subsided! Because of the hard work of everyone at ValePlus. To be honest I had no time to think about lockdown, we had to hit the ground running! Myself and the children had all set up desks (even though mine was also my kitchen table) and we just cracked on. After the initial two week period where the incredible staff team at ValePlus completely overhauled our current day service to provide what we now know as a remote service. Of course we have all had our up and down days, I think I speak for all the staff team at ValePlus when I say this, but I think we have all been inspired and are so proud of all the incredible work the students from ValePlus have done since lockdown. I manage the What's app group and everyday there is a new painting or a new homemade craft or bake. Being part of this What's app group has been fantastic! I have often been inspired by the students creativity, stealing a few of there idea to entertain the children. Thanks to KP we made some superhero's from toilet rolls. We made welsh cakes thanks to AM. Printed off some Disney colouring thanks to RN. Actually the first ValePlus art challenge was inspired by student KP after I saw a photo of him on Facebook with his colourful rainbow. The ValePlus resources on Facebook have also been invaluable to me! Ela's exercise have been a great help, keeping the kids motivated, although they do tend to just watch Ela....rather than join in! They really enjoyed the horrible history quiz, the hedgehog counting game and their new favourite game is karate cats which is an grammar game, which was posted weeks ago! Yet they still enjoy it. Also the Cafe posted a simple pizza recipe, using puff pastry right at the start of lock down, although not the healthiest this has become a fun lunchtime treat to do with the children. I have been so lucky to be part of ValePlus and have the amazing support from the teachers. I have been able to help friends and family by sending them links for the resources, I have even posted some of our resources on to my children school page to help other parents. It has been over 100 days since lockdown was announced, and we are now heading into the summer holidays and although there are no childcare facilities open and ValePlus still isn't open, I am not worried about anything, as I know that I will still have the amazing resources, support from colleagues........oh and the singing and laughter on a Friday afternoon's zoom meeting will keep me going.
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