Take a sad song and make it better

Published on Friday, 10 July 2020 at 3:00:00 PM

When COVID-19 restrictions came into effect in March, the Town worked alongside their RElax Program instructors to find ways their classes could be delivered online. From Samba to Zumba, Pilates to Yoga, instructors found innovative ways to adapt their courses to operate in a digital environment.

It was always going to be an isolating time for our community members, so we wanted to continue providing you with ways to stay connected. We provided all our courses free of charge to encourage participation in these important health and well-being activities.

One of these classes was the UKE123 run by Shaun Chandran, who had previously been hesitant to teach ukulele online but when all the classes got cancelled, he created the six-week online program, OHANA Ukulele. OHANA means family in Hawaiian. And family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

Shaun said, “The period of physical distancing was most challenging on the older members of our community, many with pre-existing health conditions and social vulnerabilities.” And “It was both a privilege and responsibility to introduce them to the world of video communication, not only for online learning but also to open up opportunities for them to connect online with their family and friends.”

Each week, the group took the time to check-in on each other and reflect on the messages and meanings behind the songs. And after weeks of meeting from behind their screens, learning to play the UKE, on Saturday 4 July community members met in person for the first time, venturing out along Old Perth Road to play several of their songs.  The program was well received with participants saying "..they felt connected to people during this strange and challenging time" and offered thanks “...for making us smile, sing, laugh, play, learn and share joy as a community”.

The RElax Program promotes the Act-Belong-Commit message by providing opportunities for people to look after their physical and mental health and get involved in the community at the same time. 

View Term 3 RElax Program

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