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3 December – Wonderful news for Drolma Centre
We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund. We would like to thank the Government for making this possible. This has helped us to continue providing online meditation classes and courses to the local community during this very challenging time as well enabling us to invest in vital technology to improve our service.
As many of you will know, we had to close the Centre to in-person classes due to the restrictive size and layout of the building. Whilst we would have loved to have been able to keep our classes running at the Centre (and in our many branches) our top priority has always been the safety of our community.
However, the strong community spirit of Drolma Centre rose to the challenge – and we went online! It has been a steep learning curve for us all finding out about new technology; adapting to teaching to a camera and providing behind-the-scenes support to get online classes to everyone. And all the while trying to keep in touch with our lovely community and to keep meditation and Buddha’s teachings available at a time when we have needed it the most.
Inevitably, in common with so many organisations, the COVID pandemic has had a financial impact on our Centre. It is thanks to our former Education Programme Co-ordinator and Administrative Director, Nicola and Alison, who put so much hard work into applying for this grant that we now have the opportunity to build on what we’ve achieved so far.
The grant was intended largely for the following:
- To help sustain the centre itself for the ongoing benefit of the community during the COVID crisis, and help cover some financial losses.
- To enable us to partly fund (for a limited time only) a post for an Education Programme Co-ordinator (EPC) in order to provide dedicated (socially distanced) pastoral support from our team.
- To keep people connected virtually and offer the practical tool of meditation at a low cost and with occasional free talks open to the general public.
- To upgrade our audio-visual equipment to an acceptably professional standard for recording classes and live streaming.
- To further develop our services to others, both online and at informal events when this becomes possible again.
It has taken time to get advice on exactly what equipment we needed due to various changes at the Centre. However, it’s now arrived and we received technical assistance this weekend from Phil, an IT expert from KMC Sheffield, who has very kindly helped us with setting it up and showed how to use it.
So, until now, we haven’t been able to publicise the details but now we can let you know all about this wonderful development for the Drolma Centre community and the wider Peterborough area.
In addition to some funding towards our EPC post, we were awarded an amount to help with some of the anticipated financial losses the centre has sustained whilst COVID-19 has been active during 2020/2021. There was also an amount for specific equipment in order that we can continue to improve our online classes for as long as needed. We purchased new up-to-date IT equipment such as a dedicated computer system, camcorder, mixer, amplifier, video recording camera, tripod, speakers and all the many cables and gadgets that connect it all together and allow us to live-stream and pre-record to a much better quality than we could previously! We also purchased a TV and bracket for the lounge so that when we are able to open again we can provide an additional seating area that is safely socially distanced.
The process is ongoing and it will take time to test the set-up and become proficient at using it but this will help so much in making meditation available to everyone in our area – both online and when we are able to physically re-open the Centre.
And finally, we would like to say a big thank you to our lovely supportive community for bearing with us. They have put up with our unstable audio, our erratic visuals and our inexpert – but motivated from the heart – attempts to master the technological online world.
May everyone find permanent peace and happiness through the practice of meditation and Buddha’s teachings through this great good fortune.
Missing the meditation room? Here’s some pics for you…