How Sunderland firm has relaunched art classes for parents and young children since lockdown eased
A business – which lets babies and toddlers enjoy a messy art playtime – is back open after the lockdown.
Sunderland-based ARTventurers runs art classes, parties and workshops for babies, toddlers and children.
The weekly sessions were halted in mid-March but now the award-winning company, which has its head office based at Hope Street Xchange in Sunderland, is open once more.
“We’re so excited to be back” said company founder and managing director Fiona Simpson.
But the lockdown has meant ‘an incredibly tough five months for our franchise team’, said Fiona.
"We’ve been working really hard behind the scenes to redesign our classes and put lots of new measures in place to meet the new government and Department of Education guidelines.
"We have now relaunched our classes and we have been really overwhelmed by the response from customers.
"Parents and their young children have really missed out on so many opportunities during lockdown, lots of them have felt very isolated at home so they are telling us that they are delighted to be able to come back and enjoy fun and social activities together.”
ARTventurers has franchise branches including ARTventurers Sunderland East and Seaham run by Melissa Oliver which runs classes in the Whitburn and Fulwell areas, and ARTventurers Sunderland West and Washington run by Cherry Emmerson with classes in Silksworth and Washington.
Melissa said: “As a team we’ve carried out lots of training together on things like infection control to make sure everything is really safe.
"We have changed the format of our classes to make sure that every child has their own equipment and materials.
"We have got limited numbers in classes, everything is socially distanced of course and we’re doing some lovely outdoor art sessions over the summer too which are great fun.”
Cherry said: “Our ARTventurers classes are all about providing opportunities for babies and children to learn and develop through art and creative play.
"We have been surveying some of our customers after our first classes back to find out how they found the experience and it has been brilliant to hear how safe they feel coming back to the sessions with our new measures in place, whilst still enjoying the same creative ARTventurers experience.”
But now it is back and ready to offer creative play for children once more.
ARTventurers is running special summer art sessions for babies and children aged 5 and under in Sunderland and Washington during August.
It is also taking bookings for the autumn term of classes for babies and pre-schoolers which restart in September.