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, both in prison and 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 we are embarking on a new project, Remote Operations, which will culminate in a short series of podcasts recorded by group members from their homes. As well as regular Rideout team members, for this project we are delighted to be joined by professional writer, actor and voiceover artist, Ed Gaughan.
The podcasts will focus on group members’ personal interests and, we hope, will offer an insight into some of the challenges faced by people who live with ‘hidden disabilities’. Group members will record each of their contributions remotely using some specially purchased handheld digital audio recorders. They will be facilitated in this by the Rideout team via their laptops or phones using video conferencing software. We have chosen to work this way so we can get the best possible sound quality without compromising social distancing measures.
Further details of each podcast will be available here in due course.