Update from Janine Stone

This is my first update since being appointed to lead the project team working to re-open The Arts & Crafts Centre. Although we have no firm date for the re-opening of the Centre, I would like to reassure everyone that we do intend to reopen, but are aware that COVID and NYCC may still delay our efforts.

There is a great deal of work to be done at the Centre to make the environment safe for all our art makers and staff. We are working to meet the government guidelines on COVID and other regulations surrounding our service. We have made a start this week working on workshop spaces to clear out, de-clutter, deep clean and make as much space available as possible for art markers. As you can imagine this will take some time due to the amount of material and equipment we have that has built up over the years. Once we are happy that we can invite our art makers back to a safe environment, then we will begin the process of assessing art makers to ensure we can continue to meet their needs.

We have been delivering some sessions digitally via Zoom and the numbers attending are increasing week on week. We plan to continue delivering some sessions this way even when the centre re-opens as it is the preferred method for some art makers. Our gardening and maintenance teams have been working throughout the temporary closure to ensure the site and our gardens have been well maintained. They have done a great job and I can’t wait for you to see the results of their efforts.

The staff consultation has now been completed and the outcomes are being shared with the staff teams. A new timetable is in progress and will be sent out to those art makers who have responded to our recent letters as soon as it is finalised. A meeting of the advisory group will take place in early September when I hope to give a further update and more detail regarding the re-opening.

That just leaves me to say thank you to all the Art Makers, Parents and members of the Advisory Group for giving me such a warm welcome.

Janine Stone
Arts and Crafts Centre Project Lead