Adults with mental health needs are able to ‘keep on learning through lockdown’ thanks to a remote working initiative launched by Northampton College and leading charity MIND.
For several years, Essential Skills tutors from the college have been visiting MIND in Daventry as part of weekly sessions with adults who have previously been unable to engage with mainstream education due to their acute mental health difficulties.
The sessions allowed these people, aged anywhere from 20 to 60, to pass Level 1 qualifications and even move on to complete GCSE courses in English and maths through the college.
But the current guidelines around social distancing forced the sessions had to come to an end, threatening to halt their progress.
When the adults requested work be sent to them so they could carry on remotely, staff at the college arranged for work to be sent electronically and also offered telephone support to allow the learning to continue.
Eleanor Coss, an Essential Skills tutor, said: “We normally go into the sessions every week for a couple of hours to help with English and maths. A lot of these people have had bad experiences of education or never really had access to lessons before because of their mental health or anxiety. We’ve been easing them in gently so that they engage meaningfully with education.
“Lockdown meant we had to put the sessions on hold but we’ve been able to keep them occupied by sending them work remotely and they’re engaging brilliantly with it. Mental health is so important to general wellbeing so it’s great to see them keeping up their work.”