A Lockdown Lifeline

ANME Pub Image - Featuring Jack, Terry & Tim

ANME Pub - A Lockdown Lifeline!

The covid crisis hit the world like a tidal wave, and regardless of your opinion of how it was handled, whether it could have been predicted and better prepared for etc. there’s no denying just how much of a shake up it had on education in the UK.

Suddenly schools were forced to skip months or years of preparation, careful development, testing, and gradual implementation, and jump straight into remote learning!

When this happened, one of the ANME Ambassadors (Tim Mace), and two members (Jack Marshall and Terry Dignam) took the initiative to start what they called the ANME Pub.

While no one could escape and go to the pub on a Friday evening after increasingly difficult weeks at work, members could join the ANME Pub Zoom call at home, have a drink and a laugh, and take part in a quiz with colleagues from schools and colleges across the country.

These ANME Pubs ran every Friday during the lockdowns, and once a half term since then!

The following testimonials from members sum up just how much it meant to them during an otherwise challenging time, especially this one from Paul Gillon at West Hill School.

Back in the early days of the first lockdown, when a number of us were working from home to protect our health, Tim invited us all to the First ANME Virtual Pub.  At this time most of us had never really used Zoom and Tim was using the free version (45-minute limit), so it was short and sweet, but it broke the ice.

As time passed and a licence bought, the sessions started to get longer and longer. The longest being over 7 hours! The old stalwarts could always be found huddled around their drinks in the corner and we soon got to know a bit about each other. Tim, the Landlord, with his wireless dongle in the downstairs loo, Terry preparing MasterChef worthy meals for the House Rabbits, Jack waiting for his Gran to deliver his Laundry, Ben using his Holiday snaps as his background, Phil with his living room full of PDUs, Will, calling in for a quick one on the way back with a takeaway, and me

The evenings usually start off on serious topics but like most sessions in the pub, they could end up quite silly.

I would liken the atmosphere to the North West meetings, everyone was made to feel welcome.

Click the thumbnails below to read more testimonials from some of the regulars…

As a result of Jack and Terry’s initiative, their contributions on the ANME Portal, their enthusiasm about all aspects of the ANME, as well as the recommendation of several of the existing Ambassadors, they were invited to become Ambassadors, and we are thrilled to announce that they accepted!

We are looking forward to working more with Jack and Terry in the future, at our meetings and representing the ANME elsewhere too – keep an eye out for them and make sure you ask them for their token!

Rick Cowell

Director and Founder of ANME Ltd.

Association of Network Managers in Education
Association of Data Managers in Education

Testimonials from Members & Partners

  • “Fantastic event, with interesting content and very well organised.”

    Alain Squiteri, Sales Director - InVentry

  • I thought the day was excellent. It was really good to have the companies there and invaluable for meeting and speaking with new contacts. I really hope this carries on as it was desperately needed in our field.

    Janet Cannell, Member

  • We’re really proud to be ANME’s platinum sponsor. It’s such a great platform for school network managers to get together and share ideas, plus it provides us the opportunity to speak directly to schools using our solutions and get their feedback and input into new features. Every event is always different, with fantastic speakers providing real insight and ideas on all things edtech.

    Al Kingsley, Group Managing Director, NetSupport Limited

  • ANME meetings provide valuable networking - being able to talk to other professionals doing the same role and understanding their approach and their context. This is a great way to challenge what you are doing in your own setting.

    Neil Limbrick, ANME Ambassador

  • A fantastic online resource of like-minded professionals that you can use to bounce ideas off, chat things through, get advice from. Invaluable.

    Ric Turner, Balshaws Church of England High School

  • The ANME is a priceless resource for anyone working in an IT support role in the education sector. The online forum is lively and informative and the regular meetings provide insight into new products and valuable networking opportunities with peers from other establishments. I've lost count of the number of valuable conversations and helpful tips that I've had since becoming a member. If you've not been to a meeting before then try to attend the next one in your area, you won't be disappointed.

    Dave Leonard, ANME Ambassador and ICT Manager at Matthew Moss High School

  • The ANME has been a great resource when you're a lone IT manager, now you have friends going through the same obstacles as you, with plenty of advice and guidance.

    Michael Frost, ANME Member & IT Network Manager at Parkwood Hall Co-operative Academy

  • Being part of the ANME is like being part of a large corporate IT department, there's always someone you can ask for advice

    Paul Gillon, ANME Member & Network Manager at West Hill School, Stalybridge

  • ANME is like having a team of IT experts at my fingertips. It helps me keep up to date with the latest trends in IT education.
    Rick and the ANME members have always helped when I've needed extra guidance to make great IT decisions

    Clifford Fernandes, ANME Member & IT Manager at Claremont High School

  • I attended my first ANME regional meeting recently which was great. It was Informative, relevant and useful! Unlike some meetings I attend where you get one or two useful nuggets of information, but other bits have been added to the agenda as fillers. Glad to be a member of this group of like-minded individuals.

    Adam Hall, ANME Member & IT Operations Manager at Four Oaks Learning Trust