Lots to Learn during Lockdown

PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 June 2020

Now is a good time to access one of the many free online courses

Now is a good time to access one of the many free online courses

Daviles

Despite the tight grip of lockdown easing a little, several people are still facing uncertain times ahead and are waiting for that confirmed return to work date.

Sign up to this year's Summer Reading Challenge - Silly SquadSign up to this year's Summer Reading Challenge - Silly Squad

Learning a new skill or gaining a qualification during this stalled time in limbo may give a sense of progression and development, and who knows, may even lead to an exciting change in direction or career.

Of course, learning something new is an exciting prospect at any age, for the young and old, and the rewards are plentiful.

Learn Devon, a registered training provider that offers adult and community learning courses on behalf of Devon County Council, launched a series of free online courses at the beginning of May. The scheme is still running and includes more than 100 courses to choose from, covering employability, arts and crafts, computing, wellbeing and digital skills.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council cabinet member for economy and skills, said: “This is a difficult time for everyone across Devon and while Learn Devon has had to close its centres, it has found a way to help learners build new skills remotely, while delivering the same high-quality learning experience.”

Sign up to this year's Summer Reading Challenge - Silly SquadSign up to this year's Summer Reading Challenge - Silly Squad

The training provider has shifted its focus on what was principally a face-to-face service to an online platform. To browse the range of courses and to enrol visit www.learndevon.co.uk or call 0345 1551014.

Learn Devon is also offering free GCSE preparation courses to help those wanting to sign up to its GCSE maths or English courses, starting this September.

To support small businesses at this time, several free webinars and online workshops have been organised by East Devon District Council in association with training provider Cosmic.

Future workshops include digitising products and services and using social media effectively. Coming up, there’s a Teams and Zoom deep dive workshop on June 16, Instagram - The Basics on June 18, and Unlocking the Power of OneNote on June 30. To sign up for one of the free courses visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for ‘east-devon-business-continuity-programme’

Sign up to this year's Summer Reading Challenge - Silly SquadSign up to this year's Summer Reading Challenge - Silly Squad

Also, in East Devon, a series of short films, with online activities to help individuals connect with nature through art, will run until the end of June. The showcase, titled Nature Shorts, is part of a culture and climate programme between the Thelma Hulbert Gallery and East Devon AONB and was initially launched back in April. The public can catch up with these ‘digital events’ via www.eastdevonaonb.org.uk/events/nature-shorts

Another way to get in touch with nature this June is to sign up to Devon Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild campaign. Participants are encouraged to complete a ‘wild’ activity each day in June, for health, wellbeing and the planet.

A free, downloadable pack of goodies is online to help you plan a wild month - www.devonwildlifetrust.org/

As for the children – it’s time to get silly! This year’s Summer Reading Challenge has had an early launch. The popular children’s challenge, usually administered via the local libraries, encourages youngsters to read six books during the six-week school summer holiday. This year, itwas launched online on Friday, June 5, instead of its usual mid-July date. And it’s likely that the children will be thrilled with the theme for 2020 – it’s called Silly Squad!

Sign up to this year's Summer Reading Challenge - Silly SquadSign up to this year's Summer Reading Challenge - Silly Squad

With a strong focus on funny stories, happiness and having a laugh, the Silly Squad is a team of animal friends who love to go on adventures and get stuck into all different kinds of funny books.

Youngsters can set a personal reading challenge and use a new online platform to help them keep track of books and unlock rewards along the way. Plus, there are super silly activities and quizzes to keep the kids entertained at home.

Keep up to date with what’s happening at the libraries in East Devon via www.devonlibraries.org.uk/web/arena/ourlibraries. To sign up for the Silly Squad, visit https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

After all that reading, it’s likely that the children will want to get active in one of the online Zumbakids classes, led by Sidmouth instructor Johanna Morgan. To enquire about one of the online classes, visit www.jmdancefit.co.uk, or call Johanna on 07739 518587.


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