We are very pleased to announce that following a temporary closure due to the COVID-19 lockdown, we have recently reopened the Workshop for our trainees on the long-term professional training courses. The weekend courses will also be resuming as of July.
We had to make a number of major physical changes to the workshop layout, to allow for our students to come back to the Workshop.
Trainees on the professional courses
Following the lockdown announcement in March, we decided to close the Workshop temporarily so that we could reassess our working procedures. During this temporary closure, it was important for us that our long-term trainees maintained an element of normality during these unprecedented times. We therefore delivered the Workshop workbenches to their homes. The trainees were then able to continue working on their current projects from their temporary home workspaces. We managed to stay in contact daily thanks to Zoom and FaceTime.
Although this was by no means replacing any of our in-Workshop training, it allowed us to keep focus on our furniture making and maintain our sense of community. I assisted remotely in workspace setup, as well as in planning and structuring their projects. A positive side-effect of the situation was that it gave our trainees a flavour of what working out of their own workspace is like. This strengthened their decision making and problem solving skills, as well as their ability to work independently.
Of course, safety was paramount in deciding when to reopen the Workshop. We devised a new workspace layout to ensure social distancing, as well as implemented new processes and hygiene routines which we agreed with our trainees.
It certainly felt very good to reopen the doors of the Workshop and get back to making furniture again. We are also very happy to welcome a new trainee.
If you are interested in long-term furniture making courses, you can find out more information here.
Weekend training courses
So far, we rescheduled all our spring weekend courses and we have extended the validity of unused gift certificates which were bought up to March 2020 by an additional 12 months. Therefore, everybody should be able to find a date that suits their calendar.
Having taken the Government's advice into account, we have now established a new infrastructure and procedures in the Workshop to be able to resume the weekend courses as of July. We will be in contact with all of those who already have booked onto a course, to explain our safety procedures in more detail.
Usually, we would have published the next batch of weekend training courses by now. I apologise, I know many of you are waiting for these! We made the decision to hold back the new dates in order to reschedule trainees and gift voucher holders, who all had to rearrange due to the lockdown. However, we do anticipate there being additional dates available this year. We will publish these immediately via the newsletter and then our website once they become available.
Last but not least Laura and I would like to thank you all for your overwhelming support! Going into the lockdown, I could never have imagined how everything can get turned upside down in our lives so quickly. We are extremely grateful for the kind messages and (sometimes long) phone conversations with many of you. We know that many of you are in difficult situations and we extend to you our own sincere wishes of support.