I have been running the Crouch End and District u3a felt making groups ever since we set up our u3a three years ago. In the past I have organised sessions in my own workroom, accommodating four people at a time in two groups.
Once lockdown started, we had to stop our felt making, since Zoom sessions would have been impossible to administer from the point of view of teaching techniques and participants having access to all my materials.
We all kept in touch via WhatsApp and once it became possible for groups of up to six people to meet outside, I realised I could organise some small felt making projects in my garden. Felt bead making is an easy project to demonstrate and to execute so I offered it to my group members and advertised a couple of dates on our website and Facebook.
Initially I planned a couple of sessions but the response was so good that I ended up doing four, accommodating a total of 20 people, some of whom had never done any felting at all! As a passionate felter I was thrilled to see the enthusiasm and even though I may not have converted all of them to the craft, I did provide something new for them to try.
One session was quite challenging because of high winds and one had to be re-scheduled because of bad weather, but on the whole they went well. I submitted a risk assessment to our Groups Organiser and had official approval.
To ensure social distancing I asked everyone to bring their own tray so that they could work on their laps rather than at a communal table and I provided all other materials.