How Bridge College has been using Makaton to keep staff’s health and wellbeing on the agenda during covid-19.
Rachel, Bridge College’s Makaton Tutor, has been leading the way in getting staff to collaborate in Makaton challenges while most are working from home, offering a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get involved whether at home or in college. We spoke to Rachel about why she has been setting these challenges and heard what staff had to say about them:
Tell us a bit about these challenges and why you wanted to do them:
During these difficult times I was keen for staff to take part in something enjoyable to support their own well-being. I thought it would be great to incorporate Makaton for them to keep practicing and have some fun with it. I decided to set some challenges inviting staff to take part in making videos of them signing along to some hits. There was no pressure and was purely voluntary.
What has been the hardest part in making these films?
It has been time consuming editing all the individual videos to make one compilation. My colleagues Luke Wardle and David Jones are the brains behind this and have done a fabulous jobs putting the videos together.
Have you had any feedback from your colleagues that took part?
The general feedback has been extremely positive. Staff have thoroughly enjoyed it and are keen to know when the next one will be. After the first video was shared, even more staff took part in the second one. We are now working on our third. They clearly saw what fun the staff had and wanted to be part of it.
Here’s some of the feedback from staff;
Lorraine Ashworth – “It’s great to see everyone enjoying Makaton at home during these strange times”
Abbey Kennedy – “It was really good for my daughter to join in and learn some Makaton signs. She really enjoyed it!”
Neil Baglin – “The Makaton challenges are a wonderful opportunity for individuals to express their skills in learning Makaton, participate in wonderful tasks, dress up in hilarious outfits and best of all – having fun!”
Kimberley Tolmay – “I think it’s a lovely idea to promote Makaton at college, even when we’re not there and gives those working from home or isolating to still take part in a group activity. It also gives us a chance to loosen up a bit and be a bit silly!”
Have you learnt anything while doing these challenges?
As a Makaton tutor, even I have learnt signs even I didn’t know. With singing and signing, you have to think about the meaning behind the lyrics and choose the most relevant sign. You have to really think about this for certain songs.
These are all discussed with my fellow Makaton tutors. Once a decision has been made, this is shared with the staff team. Until then, watch this space………
Will you continue to make these films once everyone is back in college?
Hopefully, there may also be some different challenges on the horizon. I want to say thank you to all the staff who have took part and helped make the amazing videos. We really are an amazing team. #teambridge
I encourage everyone to give this a try, you’ll have so much fun! Check out the video below...