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Bringing Festive Fun to All: We Brought our Christmas Activities Online

Funded by BBC Children in Need, UCAN Productions provide drama and music activities for visually impaired children and young people living throughout Wales. During the Covid 19 crisis they were also in receipt of a BBC Children in Need Booster grant that enabled them to adapt to deliver online and video support so that the young people could feel more connected to each other. UCAN Peer to Peer Support Officer Hannah Matthews says the organisation won’t be letting the Covid 19 restrictions stop their Christmas celebrations… 

UCAN Productions is an organisation set up to help young people with sight loss be more creative, gain confidence, and meet new people through performance and the creative arts. 

Here at UCAN Productions we’ve had a busy year. We’ve been on a mission to make sure we can still run our workshops and activities in a year where we haven’t been able to see everyone in person. 

Over the last few years Christmas time has been a time of year that we would be working towards our Christmas celebrations with all of our young members. Whether that’s a Christmas party, a show back of what the young people have done through the year, or a small performance that we have created with our young people. 

This year, we haven’t been able to do this, so our team has been working to ensure our young members still have some Christmas fun! We’ve planned two events that will take place over Zoom. The first is our Christmas get together from our weekday workshops. We have arranged for our workshop leaders to run an extended session with Christmas themed games, a quiz and some Christmas songs to spread the cheer. We ran a similar get together for Halloween and it was widely popular with our young members, and they were highly engaged with the activities. So we wanted to bring another special event for the Christmas season. 

Our second event is part of our round the world tour that we have been running weekly for our young people who are sight impaired and have additional needs. Previously we have visited many countries including China, Hawaii and Italy. We’ve run games as part of the theme and taken some virtual tours around the area. Tactile art has been made every week by our young people and we showcase it in those sessions. We’ve also had sing-a-longs and dances to music from the country we visited each week, as well as some classic favourites of our young members. 

Our visit to Lapland will mean our young people get to make some Christmas art pieces, play games and sing festive songs. It is rumoured that Santa will be attending to speak to everyone and the UCAN elves have been very busy making sure everyone on the tour gets a small gift. A yearly tradition for our group. 

We may not have been able to celebrate in person and run our usual activities but with the help of all our workshop leaders and input from our young members, we have been able to run our celebrations in a new way.  

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