As the pandemic continues, we wanted to provide an update about what we have been doing since our last update. We hope that it will give you an overview of some of the key things that we have been doing. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for regular general updates.
What has been happening since our last update (in November 2020)
It is amazing to think that our therapists have been delivering sessions to children/ young people and groups online for almost ten months now! We are so proud that they have been able to continue their work, albeit in a modified way online, during all the different stages of restrictions and lockdowns.
Obviously, we can’t wait to be able to resume face-to-face sessions again, and have been working hard preparing guidelines for when we are allowed to resume our ‘normal’ service.
Keeping the Music Alive
We had planned to provide a Family Fun Day in 2020. Obviously, this could not go ahead as planned but we were determined to provide a fun event for our families and users of Thomas’s Fund. We approached the ‘Relaxed Sing-a-long Team’ from the Inclusion Team within Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust. They provided a lovely, interactive session, which was very popular with our families.
Trying to keep the ‘landmarks’ of the year going
We know how important it is, when faced with as much change as during the last year, to mark familiar events throughout the year. Our Music Therapist, Kathryn provided an example of this by running an online “Halloween” themed session with some of the children.
We will attempt to provide activities and sessions that mark stages and events (including requests) during 2021, until things seem more ‘normal’ for our children and families.
The Holiday Season 2020
We were very busy, in the run up to Christmas, preparing a live-streamed event that was for our children/young people and their families within the Hospitals. This was live-streamed during one evening; made available online for the next seven days, then uploaded on our YouTube Channel so anyone with a link could watch. We have been thrilled with the number of viewers that it has had, meaning that there is a need for us to continue to try to provide such things. It certainly required us to learn new IT skills!
The best part about it, however, was that it provided an opportunity to liaise with other individuals, groups (of a wide range of ages) and services within Northamptonshire. Everyone pulled together and provided a great evening, organised and kindly hosted by Chris Robinson of The Music and Technology Department of Northampton College. We are keen to work together again to provide more resources for our children/young people and their families.
Keeping the Thomas’s Fund name ‘out there’
Understandably, during the current pandemic, we have not been able to be visible, as we usually are, when running events, collecting etc. Alongside trying to keep funds coming in, we are constantly seeking ways to keep others aware of the work of the fund. Obviously, we hope that this will help us with donations but, also, we are always keen that others know what we can provide (even in a pandemic) and are guided to where they can seek our help. We have been working hard to make sure that our forms and information are even more accessible online and are as clearly worded as possible.
We are also spreading awareness of our existence in other ways.
Thomas’s Fund’s Christmas Conga Challenge
Lucy (Co-founder and Trustee – Fundraising Coordinator. Mother of Thomas and Harry) set up a, very successful, Christmas Challenge on Facebook. We were thrilled with all the songs and performances that were uploaded. Here are some of the ones from adults. There were lots from children too. Lucy continues to ensure that our Facebook page is updated regularly and, also, updates our Instagram. We are all having to become ‘very 21st Century’!
A Little Knit Music Theatre
Jan (Co-founder and Chair of Trustees) and her husband have been promoting the fund on Instagram, since June. By knitting characters from musicals and placing them within hand drawn ‘stage sets’. If you want to have a look, go to @HallTheWorldsAStage on Instagram.