By David Tolman

The word that has changed all our lives – “COVID”! Can it really be a new reality that may not dominate all that controls our daily lives? I’d like to think the answer to that question is a resounding YES. It recently felt for me that this could actually be happening – albeit slowly. 

I returned from our Tops Intern trek late last year, after a week in the Monaro region. Arriving on-site late in the afternoon I was overcome by sounds that I recognised I had not heard for an exceptionally long time; school kids laughing and enjoying themselves.

It was music to my ears; I had to stop and just listen to drink it in. 

At that moment I had realised what a long hard slog this has been at Venues to find a way to stay afloat and now to find a way to fully recover. We have all celebrated the joy of reaching the vaccination milestones within the wider community, triggering the re-emergence of freedoms and forms of normal interaction and life that had become a distant memory.

While this has happened, broadly it has not been such a quick clear recovery path for Venues. Schools have gone back to the classroom and yet the Government has not permitted the re-commencement of overnight School excursions to our facility nor others like us around the State.

Along with the gradual return of weekend groups, the re-commencement of school day groups has provided a small glimpse of what a full recovery will look like which we anticipate will be in the first term of 2022.

In the meantime, a celebration of school day visits, savouring the sights and sounds of kids outdoors is something we will for the moment enjoy – and below, you can see a picture of the Tops Program team recently waving a Day group off at the end of another successful day. 

“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Rom 8:25  

So, we wait patiently enjoying what we have and preparing for what we believe will be a remarkably busy 2022. 

David Tolman is Director of Fresh Hope Venues 

Read more stories of Fresh Hope HERE.