Since the beginning of lockdown in the UK, we have been consistently writing about how schools have worked exceptionally hard to maintain life as normal for their students and the Cofight-19 initiative from Francis Holland School is no exception. Nick Dyson, the school's Director of Creative Enterprise, developed this plan at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, wanting to utilise the network of parents and staff available to them. The Cofight-19 campaign aims to be a 19 day bounce back plan to help students, staff and parents put a productive plan in place during this time, aiming to offer pastoral care to all. Julie Johnson (experienced parenting expert and therapist) and Gavin Drake (psychologist) were quick to join the school's team of volunteers and offered guidance and podcasts.
Before long, companies including Ludowide, Boromi, Musical Dots, STEAM Co. and Meetwo joined the school's efforts and due to this, the school was in a strong position to provide free structured support for families. What started as a school's action plan has developed into a functional and diverse network of guidance for members of the public, which can be found live at https://www.cofight19.com/. On the site, there are activities, guidance, videos and more on offer for each day of the 19 day bounce back plan.
'Covid-19 has brought uncertainty, confusion and, to some, despair. Families are struggling to cope at home, and young people worry about what’s ahead for them. In this global health crisis, families are isolated and schools have closed. Teaching has moved remotely but pupils often lack the organisation or motivation to keep up. Parents worry how to sustain their children’s learning at home, and fear they will fall behind. Many elderly are stranded without supplies or support. @COFIGHT-19 has a daily solution to help families put the structure – and sanity! – back into their days.'
The campaign has it's own hashtag of #fightthefear and is active across multiple social media platforms for maximum awareness and interactivity with the public. You can also find a variety of the resources that they have on offer on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrJIS9plVNfllVFZxQyNfEg
Cofight-19 has attracted a large amount of attention from celebrities who have become ambassadors:
'Having developed a clear vision, BBC 5 Live wanted to cover our launch on 1 April at the beginning of the school Easter holidays. With everyone in lockdown we were able to engage Jos Buttler (England cricketer) and his wife Louise as ambassadors, along with double Olympian Mark Hunter and GB hockey player, Sam Ward, who provided Sam’s Skills Sessions daily. The campaign gathered momentum on social media and support followed from the Centre for Mental Health, Schools Together, the Girls’ Schools Association, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and Youth Sport Trust, and Coram Beanstalk. Creative and innovative activities included a poetry challenge with World Slam Poetry Champion, Harry Baker, coffee art with FHS teacher, David Edes, drawalongs with artist Emma Winterschladen, and drawing challenges with Young Contemporary Artist of the Year, Millie Syuu Chi. We were also delighted to partner with Richard Browning of Gravity Industries for a ‘design a course’ competition and Kitchen Academy chef, Jethro Carr.'