Day 11 of 100 Days

Sarah Swaysland

Monday, 11th January, 2021

Today was my first real test with homeschooling and trying to fit in my voluntary work. While my son requires my full attention, it's important that he gets a break from me too, which is when I managed to fit in my volunteer task today.

What: Public Relations
Organisation: Leeds Castle Foundation

I was actually really impressed with how the homeschooling went today. After a morning playing with trains we had a class booked-in with my son's teacher, and although the class was only an hour long, the energy that came through from Mrs L was amazing and I was amazed that my son's attention was held throughout the entire lesson. My son has ASD, and it's a real challenge to engage him in activities that hold his attention for long periods, so we have to work hard in short, sharp bursts.

While my son was having his lunch, I managed to find the time to rewrite the copy for an advertorial for Leeds Castle. The advertorial was for a wedding publication and needed amending because of the restrictions that have been placed on weddings and events as a result of Covid. Leeds Castle has some beautiful venues, and once people are able to have proper weddings, they need to be ready to host them.

I was matched with Leeds Castle by an organisation called Furlonteer back at the beginning of the first lockdown. I’ve been doing bits of content writing for them on and off ever since and got to meet the team during October half term when I visited with my partner and son which was really lovely. Leeds Castle is a stunning 12th century castle in Kent, and it is situated in the most exquisite grounds. It's not well-known as a charity because it was always privately-owned until the last owner left it to the public as a foundation in the 1960s. It makes its money from visitors, donations and events, so right now most of their income streams are pretty barren.

As with all hospitality venues, I really feel for Leeds Castle at the moment, because as a hospitality venue, they’ve really suffered as a result of the pandemic. Normally, they’d be making a lot of money from weddings and parties, as well as a pretty picturesque golf club, but their income has been completely decimated because of lockdowns. I also feel sorry for the people who are missing out on being able to enjoy Leeds Castle.