After the drudgery of lockdown, it feels like spring!

In March 2020 COA’s Krygier Centre stopped cold in the wake COVID-19. It was abrupt, it was unexpected, it left our regular centre attendees at a real loss and our centre empty and eerily quiet. So for over 3 months we kept our distance, delivered meal services, called people by phone, started the Tech-Connect project to help people connect to their loved ones from their lockdowns, and waited for some light at the end of the tunnel.

And at beginning of June the light started filtering in as the government COVID restrictions started to ease, our board saw less risk in bringing people together and slowly but surely our small group activities began once more.

Three weeks ago we started to offer bus outings for half the usual participants and running four days a week rather than twice weekly, so that everyone wanting to attend can be accommodated. This has been met with great enthusiasm by members, who have been locked in their homes for far too long.

Two weeks ago we were given permission by our Board to allow up to ten people at a time into the COA Centre for activities, so we started our Art Class and Knitting Group on a roster, and began Bridge play on tablets so people do not handle the same cards, with no more than ten people attending at a time. The sheer joy of those who came was palpable, the art class was buzzing, the bridge group was educational, and the knitting group has never been so well attended, with all the members who drop by occasionally making sure to come in.

Now for more great news; after a Board meeting held 25th June 2020, the decision has been made to allow up to twenty members in the centre at a time for activities, excluding staff and volunteers.

This means we can start to offer Monday and Wednesday group activities to up to twenty people at a time.  Our Operations Manager and CEO are busy working out the kinks, but as soon as a program can be determined, timings and transport decided, and a roster of attendees worked out, we will send a mail out to all our regular attendees with the details. It also means we can start to offer our fortnightly Sunday Movies again, and we will be calling participants next week to come join us.

It may be June, and it may be Autumn, but right now it feels like spring, as we start to get together again with new hope and a thirst for social connection and comradery that is all part of being part of the COA family of friends!