We doubt many of us will be sorry to see the end of 2020. Last January we were planning our annual Summer Symposium, and looking forward to going to the University of Exeter, we were excited about our annual NEON Awards, and encouraging you all to put your nominations in, and we were busy delivering our programme of events. In March everything changed. The year has seen the cancellation of examinations, practitioners being unable to visit schools and learners missing out on chunks of their learning.
Yet there are many positives we can take from 2020. The sector has succeeded in taking outreach online. In July, with the backing of 57 higher education organisations, NEON launched Uni4Me. In its first six months the site has grown to include nearly 500 online activities and has had over 10,000 views. We all became experts in the art of the online meeting, the virtual conference and online training days. Although we may sometimes miss the face to face interaction these involve the virtual world has done away with the need for train tickets, mileage and parking claims and lonely nights in hotels, allowing us to engage with more events, and maybe even more contact with colleagues, than ever before. Finally we have learnt that it is possible to work remotely making the daily commute a lot more bearable.
So, our festive message to all our members is well done for everything you have had to take on over the last nine months. You have all been incredible. You now deserve some time away from your computers, mobiles and email accounts to spend time with your loved ones. NEON News will return in the New Year so, in the meantime, say safe, enjoy the break and, however you spend or celebrate the festive season, let us look forward to 2021 in the knowledge that 2020 has taught us some valuable, new skills and seen some brilliant innovations in widening access.
Thank you for all your support in 2020
Graeme, Maria-Anna and Martin