Going forward: COVID-19’s Impact on Program Delivery
With social distancing measures in place and the phase back to face to face learning happening right now, there have been changes to our scheduled program activity for 2020.
Since Reach was founded in 1994, all our programs have been delivered face to face. If you’ve ever experienced a Reach workshop, you know that what happens in a room is often transformative and dependant on physically being in a room with other participants.
COVID-19 has presented us with the opportunity to challenge this belief and the team at Reach have subsequently been working hard to explore how digital mediums of delivery can compliment our programs moving into the future. It’s an exciting new journey for us.
Some of the work we’ve been doing:
Online Crew Development
We began piloting and testing online delivery through our Crew development program – which also consisted in delivering specific training to deliver programs online. With training fully adapted to online delivery, our Crew are now well positioned for our pivot to online delivery.
This week we launch our flagship program – Fused – online for the first time. This is an important pilot which will enable us to explore how we make Fused accessible to young people outside of metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney.
New Program Design
We are also connecting with the teachers and youth professionals in our network to design new programs that can be delivered virtually – whether that be through traditional e-learning platforms or live facilitation through platforms like Zoom. We will continue to run our face to face workshops, but COVID-19 presents us an opportunity to ensure our programs are accessible to schools who can’t book face to face workshops.
Wellbeing support in a virtual space
Most importantly, we have been diligent in testing how to deliver online programs in a way that ensures the safety of our participants – which is paramount. Our wellbeing team have developed a virtual programs risk assessment which in turn has required the need to adapt our current processes. We feel confident with the work completed that moving forward, we can offer Reach programs online in a way that is safe and ultimately doesn’t compromise the essence of our product. If you would like more information about the work that’s been done, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with Hannah Whittle – our National Wellbeing Manager.
For most of our face to face programs, we have postponed them to later in 2020 and will monitor advice from Government and Health authorities.
There is no doubt that everyone of us at Reach are looking forward to getting back into schools and the community where we can deliver our programs for young people. However COVID-19 has presented us with an opportunity to build a digital program delivery strategy – one that will make our programs more accessible to young people all over Australia. Watch this space.