The Social Agency is Rideout’s ongoing arts-based support group for autistic and adults with mild learning disabilities living in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire. Further details of this group are available here. The imposition of government restrictions designed to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19 has meant that all our current face to face work in the community, has ceased for the foreseeable future. However, thanks to emergency funding from Arts Council England, and the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal administered by the Community Foundation for Staffordshire, we have moved our regular Social Agency sessions online. Furthermore, throughout Spring and Summer 2020, we have been running a new project, Remote Operations, which has culminated in a series of seven podcasts recorded by group members from their homes. As well as regular Rideout team members, for this project we have been delighted to working with professional writer, actor and voiceover artist, Ed Gaughan.
The podcasts are a gentle and lighthearted reflection on group members’ personal interests, both real and imagined. Group members recorded each of their contributions remotely using some specially purchased handheld digital audio recorders. They were facilitated in this by the Rideout team via their laptops or phones using video conferencing software. We chose to work this way so we can get the best possible sound quality without compromising social distancing measures.
We are pleased to announce the podcasts are now live on a variety of platforms. You can subscribe to get the next episode as soon as it goes live on either of the following: