In the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic Live Life Aberdeenshire, which delivers sports and cultural services on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council, quickly brought together a team to develop an alternative offering for communities which could be accessed online.
Bringing digital library services, exercise sessions, virtual tours, make-and-do activities, local history and more together into one place on the Live Life Aberdeenshire website for the first time, it is designed to be a one-stop virtual shop of creativity and activity.
Teams across sports, libraries and culture seized the chance to showcase some of our services and to maintain a connection with our communities. Team members quickly adapted to the new concept, coming up with new and innovative ideas and collaborating in difficult circumstances to deliver the best possible opportunities.
Content is aimed at families and individuals, with a wide range of engaging, entertaining and informative activities and resources for all ages to enjoy, be inspired and keep active while staying at home.
From tutorials about the anatomy of a squid from the team at Macduff Marine Aquarium to strength and balance exercises aimed at older adults, not to mention the vast range of digital library services available through the portal, new opportunities have continued to be added throughout the pandemic. As the area has moved through different phases of restrictions, reopening and closing facilities and services, it’s been an important part of Live Life Aberdeenshire’s offering to
the local area which continues to develop. Some events which could not take place physically were successfully moved online as part of the project. This included the popular Across the Grain festival which featured a programme of interactive and participatory activities, specialist talks and showcased new work by creatives linked to its theme of celebrating the uniqueness of the local Doric culture and music traditions.
It’s also helped Live Life Aberdeenshire accelerate plans for the development of its services in local communities, allowing teams to be more innovative and explore new ways to connect with local communities, delivering opportunities not tied into delivery from fixed sites. The online service also catalysed greater confidence in the teams for improved cross-service delivery, re-imagining how to better engage in each other’s areas of work and co-produce programmes and learning activities which have more impact and meaning.
All of this has been against a challenging background, including the deployment of team members into roles supporting critical services across the area at various stages of the project, such as working in care homes, delivering food and medicines to vulnerable people, producing Personal Protective Equipment for frontline workers and manning coronavirus helplines.