As Lockdown 3.0 doesn’t look like ending any time soon, it’s easy to forget that while many businesses were told to close until it is safe to reopen, here at Futureworks NY, we are working safely and securely in the background, supporting our learners even during these difficult times.

The start of 2021 has been a bit of a false one with the Lockdown 3.0 imposed so early in January.

For many of us, it wasn’t a surprise, but it does mean for many folks, their usual routines and lives are on hold for the time being.

Here at Futureworks NY, though, we know the importance of keeping up contact with our learners. We still need to help people get their lives back on track, whatever the circumstances, so we’ve been working safely in the background so we can provide our services in a safe, socially distanced way.

Therefore, our team is still working for and supporting our clients during Lockdown 3.0. This includes telephone calls and yes, using Zoom for virtual meet ups. While we understand it isn’t quite the same as face-to-face contact, it is a very good replacement for the time being.

Our team are also dropping off work for our learners in a safe and secure way, and where possible we’re even going on one-to-one walks for those who need fresh air and a socially distanced chat during these very tricky times.

The TV programme Masterchef has nothing on us when we do our Zoom cookery sessions with our young learners to keep them busy! This can be fun, even if every pot and pan in the kitchen is used. Our cookery sessions also teach our learners the basics so they can create delicious food from scratch and it’s so rewarding when they discover that tasty cooking doesn’t have to be complicated.

Lockdown 3.0 has also given us time to reflect on 2020 and all that happened in what was an eventful year!

For us, 2020 was a very busy one for several different reasons. Yes, we had Lockdown 1.0, 2.0 and the Tier Systems, but as a place offering educational help, we were able to offer our services in a Covid-19 secure way.

This includes help for school age young adults, help for 16 to 18-year-olds and adult training. We also offer our Community Works portfolio which includes furniture restoration along with other skills development.

Back in March 2020, we were featured in the annual Parliamentary Review and we were part of a podcast!

In September we were awarded the coveted Matrix quality standard for information and guidance services. It was awarded on behalf of the Department of Education and we could not have been prouder if we tried.

Then in late September, after months of hard work and dedication, our retail unit, Furniture Works opened in St Thomas Street, Scarborough. This unit includes an amazing shop front and a workshop to the rear.

Lastly, in December, we were finalists in the Innovation and Enterprise Awards 2020.

All in all, 2020 was actually a hectic year, even though we faced many challenges brought by the Lockdowns and the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Our office staff have been working hard to keep all our paperwork up to date, keeping in touch with our supporters and hopefully making it possible for our learners to create some great memories and share their stories in the near future.

Of course, we’re now nine years old … it’s hard to believe that nearly a decade has passed since our not-for-profit organisation Community Interest Company was founded.

Our mission continues to include working within our community, provide support and guidance and encourage all ages to fulfil their potential through engagement, motivation and support.

Our projects are varied, ranging from outdoor challenges to property renovation along with opportunities for some of our learners to gain qualifications.

And while some of these elements have been on hold or are delivered in a different way, we are ready for the rest of 2021 and can’t wait to see what it brings.

Until next time …