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…