We often think of learning as being formal with a course to complete through lessons, lectures, workshops or home study. However, it depends on your end goal and there are lots of less formal and fun ways to exercise and expand your mind.
Over the past year many of us have been involved with the more formal education of our children and trying to remember things that we had not thought about for some time. Although schools are now open, spells of home schooling may still be required. Two free online resources to supplement what schools provide are BBC bitesize and the Oak National Academy.
For older people, U3A is a national organisation with over 1,000 local groups. While the activities of many of the local groups may still be on hold, the national website has some good information and activities to take part in. For supporting people with dementia the Alzheimer’s Society has some suggestion that may help.
As in other sections, we have asked staff for ideas. The IT Director has been enjoying virtual museum tours.
And the Senior Quantity Surveyor has moved off-line and is rediscovering and learning board games with his family.
A number of staff have been honing their creative skills.
The Life24 Service Delivery Team Leader, has lot of creative projects on the go. “My two latest favourites are learning to make macramé plant hangers and learning to draw comics using an online course on the platform Udemy.”
One of our Tenancy Enforcement Officers enjoys making celebration or remembrance wreaths: “I enjoy collecting the material from the hedgerows and my garden. All I have to purchase is the floral foam, they are really easy to do and are very inexpensive. I find it very relaxing and if somebody wants to remember a loved one it is a very personal gesture.”
The IT Transformation Manager remembers making decorations with her children with cotton thread, a needle and beads. “You dip them in clear liquid floor polish and let them dry to stiffen them. I'm far from being a craftswoman, but they were very popular at school fairs, and after about 25 years they are still going strong. There are plenty of free designs on the internet to choose from. here's one at random.”
Also feeling crafty is one of our New Home Officers who enjoys making things with her family using Hama Beads “I must admit I really enjoyed making coasters for our family at the start of the last lockdown.” She is in good company as this activity has also been popular with our supported living customers.