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Ransom's Pavilion and Covid-19

Growing Ability outside Ransom's Pavilion
Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Here's a short update on what's been happening at Ransom's Pavilion this year by Vicky Wyer of the TCG premises and safety committee:

After 2018’s injection of funding and redecoration TLC to our wonderful little Pavilion, we were able to really capitalise on its community value last year with a full calendar of workshops planned by Tuuli Parker Jewellery and dye-plant experts Nature’s Rainbow, not to mention the children’s parties that usually book out weekend afternoons. So much promise and so great to see the Pavilion finally being used by the community to its full potential!

However, by early Spring it became apparent that this was going to be no ordinary year and by March we had to cease all Pavilion-based activities. Having our precious building standing empty from March to July, although only 4 months, seemed like forever. But the good news is that the Pavilion is a well-designed, well-ventilated little building, with windows and air-source heat pumps in every room, bringing outdoor air inside whether on heat, air-condition or just fan, so there is a future for it in a post-pandemic world.

As Tuuli Parker found when she restarted her jewellery workshops over the summer, using both the main room and the kitchen can accommodate up to seven people at 2m physical distance, and of course masks can be worn for short bursts of closer demonstration work when necessary.

To be financially viable, our Growing Ability sessions for adults with learning disabilities which take place during the week, need to accommodate up to 6 service users, 2 members of staff, 1 volunteer and often at least one service user’s personal care worker. At a potential total of 10+ people in a session, the Pavilion is simply too small to be safe for Growing Ability at present, particularly given the capacity of some of our participants for social distancing. This is why we’re seeking funding to build several new open sided shelters on the allotment.

With Pavilion cleaning work taking place each and every day now (Project Manager Liz McElroy uses the space as her office and the toilets are still used during Growing Ability sessions), the weekly clean has become redundant and with it cleaner Jeremy’s Friday morning job, Sean, his co-cleaner having moved on last year. We thank them both for their good work over the years, ably supervised by Liz. They both continue to attend the Growing Ability project so this is not goodbye.

Now that news of a vaccine has been announced, we're optimistic about the future of the Pavilion and look forward to a time when it can fulfil its full potential once more.

Vicky Wyer, Premises & Safety committee

The image is of some of our Growing Ability participants outside the football half of the Pavilion back in 2019