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Freedom Day UK and what it means to us at VTCT

The easing of social distancing measures, dubbed “Freedom Day”, comes to England on July 19th. We asked our VTCT colleagues to share their thoughts on what this day means to them.

The Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic hit the entire globe over the past year, with headline after headline echoing a never-ending cycle of lockdowns and uncertainty. After a year of social distancing measures across England, there is seemingly a direct line of sight back to normality. But after such a long stint of turbulence, this new momentous shift has been met with a mix of emotions from the wider public. Emotions spanning from relief and excitement, through to anxiety and caution. As we approach July 19th, the entire nation is waiting with bated breath to see how this great unlocking will impact the country.

To mark this occasion, VTCT employees shared their thoughts and feelings around the upcoming freedom day and how the past year has affected them.

 

Caroline Oliveira, Processing Administrator

How have you found the past year?

This past year has been tough for everyone. I was keen to finish my apprenticeship but the pandemic slowed down my learning process.  I also really missed the support from my work colleagues. I had to be resilient and maintain my studies but I am happy that I did not give up.

Have you learned anything from the past year of social distancing and lockdowns that you’ll take forward with you into the future?

I have learned to be more resilient.

Did you learn any new hobbies, try anything new or do anything interesting this past year?

I studied a lot and I passed my English and Maths Functional Skills qualifications. I also passed my apprenticeship with a distinction!

How do you feel about Freedom Day and the lifting of restrictions?

While I am glad that things are starting to return to normal, I am also anxious about the possibility of another wave and future lockdowns.

I would love to eventually be able to see my brother, who lives in Switzerland. He was planning to visit me but he had to postpone it because of the pandemic.

 

 

Dennis Applebaum, Assessment Administrator

How have you found the past year? 

I moved into an apartment by myself at the start of the pandemic so I felt cooped up. It really made me appreciate how easy it used to be to see people.

Did you learn any new hobbies, try anything new or do anything interesting this past year?

I have completed over 5,000 chess puzzles and am learning how to code. I have also enrolled at Open University to try and earn my degree.

How do you feel about Freedom Day and the lifting of restrictions?

I’m glad to finally get back to normality. I was planning to embark on a trip to see my family so I am looking forward to that.

 

 

 

Sarah Taplin, Learning & Development Manager

How have you found the past year?

I’m quite a people person and working from home has been difficult for me. I was also furloughed in my last position and didn’t acclimatise to not working until I knew I was going back.

Up until recently, I had been working in my living room. There have been many occasions where I wished I had a mute button for my family!

Have you learned anything from the past year of social distancing and lockdowns that you’ll take forward with you into the future?

I wouldn’t say learned something – but it has been so heartening to see so many individuals step up in their community during times of crisis and help those less fortunate.

Did you learn any new hobbies, try anything new or do anything interesting this past year? 

I tried gem art and dug a new border in the garden to plant flowers there. We grew potatoes, herbs and tomatoes. We are planning to grow more vegetables going forward. I love cooking, particularly curries and I experimented with quite a few different recipes.

How do you feel about Freedom Day and the lifting of restrictions?

I am mindful that this is an incredibly nervous time for some people. But I am also aware that the economy and people’s mental well-being have really suffered this year. Because of this, I am glad we are trying to move back to some normality.

What are you looking forward to the most that you haven’t been able to do this past year?

I am looking forward to getting to know my new colleagues face to face and returning to the office.

 

 

As our colleagues now begin to move back to the office and to some sort of relative normality, we look forward to being able to work together more, and being able to visit our centres too.

We know it has been a tough time for everyone, and there are still more hurdles to overcome as we learn to live with Coronavirus, but we are still here to support you.

 

Useful Links

Our dedicated Coronavirus Updates page

Contact Us page 

Related articles:

https://www.vtct.org.uk/2020/09/22/the-benefits-of-sector-specific-covid-19-awareness-qualifications/