LAS is an award-winning provider of elearning consultancy, design, development and training services in the UK and internationally.
Established in 2005 as LearningAge Solutions, we work with some of the best known organisations in the world to boost their performance through the innovative use of learning technologies. Working in partnership with our customers, we draw on proven principles from human behaviour, how people learn and how the brain works to create impactful digital learning solutions with real return on investment.
Abi is a Marketing Consultant based in Warwickshire, and has been working with LAS for over 3 years now.
Abi supports LAS with all its marketing efforts.
Abi has worked in marketing for over 12 years, and brings an array of experience and personality to our team. Abi studied for her degree at Liverpool John Moores University.
by Abi Fairholm
Posted 11 September 2020
The Coronavirus has taught us some invaluable life lessons, how much we have, how little we need, and how much human contact means to us.
We all found happiness in the simpler things, such as actually spending quality time with our families, taking a bike ride, or baking some homemade treats. I know personally, my children have never been able to spend so much time with my husband as he's always at work, it was special (hard I won’t deny that as a mother to 2 strong willed daughters!), but it’ll be a time we will always remember.
We all started to enjoy the outdoors more, finding places of solace, somewhere we were able to go and let our mind forget the death rates and sadness we were all being told about every minute in the news.
One thing a lot of our team did during lockdown to occupy themselves and create a challenge was gardening, because after the madness of everyone buying all the toilet paper and stripping the shelves bare in a blind panic, everyone decided it would be a great time to learn a new skill and grow their own food.
During lockdown our team members became a cross between Mary Berry and Capability Brown and they weren’t alone - gardening swept the nation here in the UK.
Channeling my inner Barbara Good (aka The Good Life) I decided to source some top soil (in bulk) for the big planter I got my husband to put together in the back garden. This was harder than expected, first lesson learnt, high demand meant shortages and covid had caused many small businesses to close.
Thankfully I soon found out I wasn’t alone in my new venture, the LAS Team suddenly all turned into newbie gardeners, looking to learn from each other, support and offer advice. Actually, our weekly calls quickly began to involve a gardeners question time in them. Or otherwise known as show your wonky veg creations (See picture).
We’re now already into September, (where has the year gone) after many, many weeks of gardening and some achievement, we decided to look at the lessons we’d learnt from our Lockdown Gardens and share our learning experiences with you;
Everyone found themselves with more time during Lockdown, even if working, being at home so much more meant we were given the opportunity to do something new. Growing fruit and veg is a great way to enhance your life and feel accomplishment when you succeed.
During our time at home a lot of us craved the desire for a healthier lifestyle, a good life, being more self sufficient. We also felt stronger working as a group, even though not together in person, but being our own little virtual team was motivating. Working in groups can be beneficial in the form of support, reaching goals together, some healthy competition and what's better than making use of other expertise. Team members are able to check the logic and rationale of each other’s solutions. There is also the act of re-exposure, where individual members of a group are given new opportunities to learn content that the other group members recall, can lead to improvements in their own individual learning.
Don’t forget to add in that obviously you grow what you like to eat, and who isn’t motivated by their tummy. A particular favourite in our team gardens were Beetroot and cucumbers, ready to eat in salads and sandwiches.
Learn from failure
Our team felt every lost courgette plant, every seedling that didn’t quite survive the last of the frost. They felt it because they had fully brought into the idea of becoming a gardener and enhancing their skills. Just like when learning something new in a workplace, they’d taken the time to read up, seek advice whether it be from friends, family or youtube videos, they cared and tendered to their plants, nurtured their new skills, and grieved over the losses, things that didn’t work. But then analysed afterwards why didn’t that grow? What they could have done differently? And tried again, or learnt in gardening the window can be short and unkind and they’ll have to wait a whole year to do it again.
The 4 Biggest Lessons Learned?
Patience! - Something a lot of our team said they lacked and strangely then found they were able to find it in themselves when gardening.
Perseverance and Resilience - not giving up at the first loss of a tomato plant, knowing that if you try again you will soon be making marinara sauce.
Determination - all our team committed to making their gardens work, they showed true quality in their decision once they had set the goal.
All of the challenges of gardening are designed to give the experience of failing, rebounding, and then overcoming. Just like in learning, it's not often we learn something new the first time, we have to work hard to accomplish something, learn a new skill and let it benefit our workplace or team. Patience, perseverance and determination build character, they build the learner, the help mould the learner.
It was fun!
Everyone enjoyed the highs and lows of the process. We all enjoyed sharing each week how we were getting along, it created a sense of being in an otherwise trying situation. We all giggled and felt good, endorphins flowed and we were proud of our wonky veg and tiny cucumbers. Isn’t this what learning should be about? As humans we retain more information in a learning environment if it's enjoyable and memorable.
We hope you found a Lockdown project of your own, why not share with us what you did and use the #LockdownGardens. We hope you enjoy some pictures from our gardens.