ART and coronavirus

At the end of last week we had an online meeting of the ART Management Committee to discuss how ART will operate in the coming months with no ringing which means no courses, no workshops and no teaching.

Our first priority was to review our financial position. Our financial policy has meant that we have built up our reserves so that we can operate for a year without any income. Financial forecasts for the coming six months and a year have been prepared by our Treasurer, based on no courses and no merchandising income. We predict that with existing membership fee income and continued financial support from ART Supporters, we will sustain a loss of about £5000 for the year, a figure that might change slightly depending on how much development work we do in this time.

We are mindful that with no ringing, there will be no teaching or learning, at least on the end of a bell rope, so we have extended all our time-frames by six months. This means that:

  • Teachers will have two and a half years to accredit after their day course
  • Ringers on the 50 Ringing Things scheme will have 126 weeks to claim their 50 Ringing Things Gold Plus certificate
  • ART Members can elect (by contacting the ART Membership Secretary) to extend this year's membership to 18 months

Although we have suspended all courses and workshops ART is planning to be as busy as ever. Our biggest project is the building of an online learning platform, available to all ringers. The basic platform is in place. We have an Editor-in-Chief who is making sure we have all the necessary add-ons to build an appealing and useful product, and this week we are starting to look for volunteers to build curriculums and start developing content. The courses will be mixed media and our aim is that they will be as professional and useful as possible in both content and delivery. We are working with both the Central Council and the Ringing World to make this happen.

We will also be taking this opportunity to review and revamp all our day courses and workshops, build our Learning the Ropes listen and strike resources (including practical tools) and complete the Son of SmART Ringer specification and move onto implementation.

Our aim is to use our time and resources profitably; building a stronger ART which is fit and able to help ringing emerge from this enforced period of inactivity stronger and better.

I know that the next months will affect all of us in unexpected ways – financially, personally and through our families. Look after yourselves, your families and your fellow ringers. We are all looking forward to Ringing Returns!