At the start of 2020, the Trust began planning a series of public engagement activities to inform the community about the works involved in the Rochester Bridge Refurbishment Project.
The first activity was to be a lecture towards the end of March, reviewing progress so far and celebrating a few engineering highlights. This was to be followed by more lectures, some hard hat tours of the site, and – importantly – some learning activities and tours for children.
Education Manager Caroline Chisholm explains: “Having a live engineering project on our own bridges was too good an opportunity to miss and we were really looking forward to bringing schools and community groups on site tours supported by hands-on activities.
“However, lockdown and the importance of social distancing for everyone’s safety meant all of these events have had to be postponed, possibly even cancelled.
Tours would have seen children kitted out in personal protective equipment and guided along the site by an engineer. The learning activities would include workshops and bridge building challenges to help children engage with the engineering. These would be adapted to suit ages two to 18.
Caroline adds: “The refurbishment programme has been reviewed and revised, and we’ve done the same for education activities as we are starting to create a series of virtual tours: short presentations that introduce people to the Trust, refurbishment, health and safety, and various elements of the work being carried out.
“We believe these act as a simple introduction to the topics, helping people to understand more about the bridges and the work and hopefully inspiring viewers of all ages to want to find out more.”
Start the tour with this introductory assembly