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home > Blog > Ready to Restart

"Well... we did have a flourishing puppet team, but since COVID,
I'm not really sure what's left now"

Unfortunately, that may be the sentiments for many puppet teams not to mention other children’s groups, organisations and churches too! So, what can we do? How can we go back and restart? The good news is the Lord didn’t provide you with a towel to throw in (!) so that probably means He would like you to carry on. That doesn’t mean we have to, or will go back to the way we were, but it does mean we should do our very best to move 'forwards'. Many groups have been keeping in touch through Zoom meetings and other digital groups, but now, people are starting coming back out into the daylight, and after blinking a bit and seeing that the world is still there, that people all the more are wanting and searching for those meaningful relationships with other people and also with God.

Step 1) Team Audit

Now is a great time to review where the team is at and involve the whole team too:
- What the purpose/aims of the team are
- People's feelings of going back after lockdown, any apprehensions?
- Make it full and honest, not personal but no idea is a bad idea and everyone can contribute
- Practical aspects of getting together e.g. What time and which day
works best, which room, length of practice, Covid precautions e.g. face
masks distance etc.
- What ages are the group open to, are these appropriate now, can they be changed?
- What can we do to support each other better?
- What training needs do we have?
- Do we need to make the church more aware of what we do and how we can contribute to the Sunday ministry or outreach?

Step 2) Re-Engage

It's time to start building up relationships with a focus on rebuilding that feeling of 'team'. It's time to get together, in whichever way you all feel confident with, it can be purely a social time. Life and circumstances may have changed and people will need to be helped and supported. Here are some suggestions of ways to re-engage:
- Social outside (up to 30 people in a group)
- Social inside (up to 6 in a group)
- BBQ or picnic together
- Trip to local park for games or activities
- Personal contact either visits or phone calls

Step 3) Rehearsals Check (what are we allowed to currently do?)

Always meet within the government guidelines that apply to wherever you are and always check you are working with what your church organisation has put in place e.g. risk assessments and also safeguarding policies. Essentially, (as of 25th June in England) groups can meet inside up to six people (30 people if outside) or more if from no more than two families or bubbles. It is now personal choice regarding social distancing and masks (only when meeting indoors or outdoors, not in shops and other public venues etc.) but the government website says to be cautious.

- If possible meet outside, however, if this isn't possible consider using a larger room so that there is more space and air
- Open windows/doors to increase ventilation
- Hand sanitise at start and end, plus regularly in between
- Keep to the same puppet for the whole practice, don’t swap and change around
- Agree beforehand what distancing rules are going to apply
- Agree beforehand whether face masks need to be worn (this may be
dictated by the policy of the building – e.g. if church policy is for
anyone meeting inside to wear a face mask)
- Encourage team to take Lateral Flow Tests regularly as recommended (available to order FREE here)

Step 4) Time to meet!

At the moment, most puppet teams won't have any bookings or anything specific to work towards, so just what are we going to do? For many of us, it could have been many months since we were using a puppet, so getting back to basics, renewing those core skills and getting back some arm strength will be the first priority. WARNING: IT WILL HURT! Why not use our Foundations of Puppetry DVD as a perfect starting point to work through the basic skills again with you team? There are song performance ideas included in the DVD too if you need some inspiration. Don't forget to use the discount code '£1POST' to pay only £1 postage!

Step 5) Rebuild Team

If you are keen to bring some new people into the team, or just think the group would benefit from a refresher training session, One Way UK are offering a FREE Zoom training session for your group! This is not offered as a one to one training but to groups to help and encourage you. You can find out more information and book your session through our website here -

Please call us on 01472 362810 or email the team ( if you have any questions, we would be delighted to chat and help you!

Key Links:

Performing Arts Government Guidance -
Government Guidance Roadmap -
Overview Government Guidance -
Indoor/Outdoor Specific Government Guidance -
Lateral Flow Test Information (NHS) -
Order FREE Lateral Flow Tests here -

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