Select Page

Keep Learning, Keep Well – Online Learning Resources

Here at Skills & Learning we know that learning something new, no matter how big or small it may be, helps to keep us well. It is important to keep the mind active, however, we know how we learn has changed drastically this year.   

Despite the 2nd lockdown taking place 5th November – 2nd December our learning centres will remain open and services will not be affected. However, you may not be ready to come back to a centre yet, or our nearest centre to you may not be open. This is why we have developed our keep learning, keep well range to keep you learning no matter what the circumstance is. 

If you have returned to one of our venues for a course or workshop, then we would love to hear about your experience. Please take a few minutes to complete our returning to learning survey here to help us keep improving our processes to keep you and our staff safe.  

Please remember that it’s super important to get a Covid-19 test as soon as you are showing any symptoms, however mild.  Do not leave home except to get tested. There are two ways to get tested: a test kit can be delivered to your home or you can visit a test site.  More information can be found here. If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus then click here to follow Test & Trace guidelines. If you’re self isolating and relying on the kindness of strangers who are volunteering as part of community efforts, it’s important that you stay safe.


I'm a furloughed worker - can I still study a course?

Yes, furloughed workers are able to undertake training and studying during this time. We have a range of online Level 1 and Level 2 courses you can access from home to help gain a skill in your current industry or a new skill in others. To take a look at our full range please click here.

The furlough scheme has been extended through-out November 2020.

Are you facing change in your employment?

During these challenging times Skills & Learning is here to support you with many professional and personal development opportunities. If you are unsure of what to do next, the Your Next Steps team can help you. We have created this guide to provide support and information for those facing changes to their employment. You can also book a 1:1 telephone Information, Advice and Guidance session to help support you in taking your next steps with one of our many trained advisors here.


Connecting with another human being is wonderful for our wellbeing, even if it is for short bursts of time, feeling listened to and heard can make all of the difference – so make a call/facetime/zoom someone today!

Connect Resources & Links

Connect with your friends and family with a phone call, facetime or with these free resources:





Keep Active

Any physical activity in our day releases endorphins which are our happy hormones, so during this time try and do what you can to stay active – follow an exercise class on-line, grab a couple of cans of beans and lift them as weights, create your own little mini circuits, dance in the garden – whatever you can do, do it!

Keep Active Resources & Links

Here you can find a range of links and resources to keeping active all from the comfort of your own home:

  • Being active isn’t always physical, it’s important to keep our mind mentally active too. Mental Health First Aid England have a variety of resources available to keep you mentally well. You can visit their website here
  • Park Yoga aims to connect people to the natural outdoors, through a relaxing, energising and breathtaking yoga session. Take a look at the YouTube video here 
  • Keep Dancing! Dance, in whatever form it may take, is a brilliant form of exercise and it can also help to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.  More information and the YouTube video can be found here
  • Our colleagues at Two Riversmeet have created some workouts you can follow from home.  There’s something for everyone including HIIT, pilates and indoor cycling!  Check out their YouTube video selection here
  • Why not buddy-up (virtually) with a friend, family member or colleague and support each other to do 26 minutes of exercise a day with the new, free mayathon app?

Take Notice

Right now it might feel difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel but what can you see right now that brings you joy, looking up at the sky? Some photographs in your home? The taste of fresh coffee? Taking notice of the simple things that bring us joy can have a huge impact on wellbeing certainly in those anxious times.

Take Notice Resources & Links

Here you can find some helpful resources to help you take notice from home as well as local events:

    • Visit our Keep Learning, Keep Well blog for wellbeing support and tips.
    • Pearson have released a range of mindfulness resources here.
    • Dorset Mind have released a timetable of support groups to support local people with Mental Health – access the timetable here.
    • Kooth is a free, safe and anonymous online support for young people aged between 11-18 years old. If you or someone you know would benefit from this service please click here
    • Access some Take Notice tips from Livewell Dorset around meditation and mindfulness by clicking here
    • Parks in Mind is run by the Bournemouth Parks Foundation. Follow their Facebook page to access event information and wellbeing activities. 
    • Noticed that you are having trouble sleeping? Every Mind Matters have some top tips to help you sleep better.
    • Access the ‘quit for covid‘ campaign with LiveWell Dorset to quit smoking
    • We’re all spending more time online so the Children’s Society have released advice on how to stay safe
    • If you are a Weymouth resident looking for support, click here to download a list of useful helpline numbers and information.


Keep Learning

Learning something new is great for our confidence so whether you take up a new hobby, read an article or blog, take part in an online quiz – learning new skills and knowledge is wonderful for our minds.  Maybe take up one of our Distance Learning courses? Or access our free online learning resources here on our Youtube channel to get a taste of what our courses are really like!

Keep Learning Resources & Links

Stay mentally active by learning something new. Here is a range of resources that you can access to keep learning!


Giving our best wishes, kind thoughts, sharing a funny video with someone who is not themselves right now brings us as the ‘giver’ great joy.  Whether you are volunteering for the NHS or drop a note into a neighbours to check in – giving a little bit of us to someone else is incredibly important for our wellbeing.

Give Resources & Links

If you are able to give and support your community then you will find a range of opportunites and resources here:

For guidance and tips for volunteers to stay safe while volunteering, formally or informally please click here

Rainbows have become a symbol of hope and appreciation for the NHS and our key workers during these difficult times.  For inspiration on how to create your own rainbows to show your support, Craft with Katy might just have some crafty ideas.  You can view Katy’s YouTube video here.

How you can request support from food banks and shopping to financial support

We have linked to a variety of organisations that are recruiting volunteers, however if you need support here is a range of organisations that can help in you in your local community:

Get access to practical support here.

1) Families who receive certain benefits can get free vouchers every week to spend on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, vitamins and infant formula milk with the NHS Healthy Start scheme. You could qualify if you’re on benefits and have children under the age of four, or if you’re pregnant and under 18. Find out more here.

2)  Age UK NS&W Dorset – Age UK North, South and West Dorset are coordinating requests for help with issues relating to loneliness and isolation, or support in accessing items such as food, cash or medication. Support is available to all residents within the Dorset Council area. To request help, email them at: or call 01305 269444.

3) Citizens Advice Bureau – are continuing to provide free, independent and confidential advice and information whatever your question. They offer a full range of advice including help with: Benefits entitlement and claims,  Debt management and budgeting, Employment advice including Statutory Sick Pay and rights when laid off work & Advice for the self-employed. Call the Dorset Advice line on 0344 411 1444 or visit their website here.

4) For people who do not have family, friends, or a support network that can help them, and are in the ‘shielded category’, the Dorset Council has set up a dedicated help line on: 01305 221000 which is open from 8am – 8pm 7 days a week. Or you can email:

5) Anyone needing help and support with food can search for their local food bank here

6) If you are having financial worries you can contact your Local Council for support during the Coronavirus with payments such as council tax. BCP Council support can be accessed here and Dorset Council support can be accessed here.

7) The Dorset Digital Hotline is now available to support with digital skills. From accessing home schooling websites and software to support accessing your GP online. Call 01305 221000 open: 10:00-12:00 Mon-Fri.

8) Small businesses can request financial support through the Business rate grants. For more information please click here.

9) Your local council can provide important news and updates about local services.  Visit Dorset Council or Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council.

10) Are you self-isolating and living in Weymouth? Click here for more information how you can access support.


Join the 5 Ways to Wellbeing Challenge

Livewell Dorset have put together a Five Ways Challange to enusre we are all looking after ourselves and our wellbeing during this difficult time. You can access the challenge here.


Access to easy read guidance and sign language resources for Coronavirus support

If you, or someone you know, requires access to easy read copies or a sign lanaguge transaltion of the Government guidane around Coronavirus please click here. 


Do you require urgent help?

If you are struggling to cope or feel yourself nearing a breakdown, Access Mental Health is here to help you avoid a crisis and help you find the path to recovery. If you feel like you need urgent help then please don’t hesitate and call the 24/7 Connection phone line on 0300 123 5440 so you can be signposted to the right service for the support you need.  Further information and support can be found here.

If you are a victim of or know someone who requires help in reagrds to domestic violence please click here for more information on how to get support.

Are you feeling worried or anxious?  

Data shows more than 4 in 5 adults are worried about the effect that coronavirus is having on their life right now, with over half saying it has affected their wellbeing and nearly half reporting high levels of anxiety.  Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters platform has a range of new resources, including a tailored COVID-19 Mind Plan, and specific content for mental wellbeing issues such as anxiety, stress, low mood and trouble sleeping.  You can visit their website by clicking here.

Talk about your worries

It’s normal to feel a bit worried, scared or helpless about the current situation.  It is OK to share your concerns with others you trust – and doing so may help them too. If you cannot speak to someone you know or if doing so has not helped, there are plenty of helplines you can try instead.  You can access the range of different helplines by visiting the NHS website here.

Other activities you can get involved with

Here you will find a range of links to other activities you can get involved with from your own home:

1) Nature live cam is now available thanks to the Hengistbury Head Visitor Centre. You can view it here

2) Recreate a masterpiece in your living room with Russell-Cotes here

3) Making food last for longer can help social distancing and help household finances go that little bit further.  For tips visit the Love Food Hate Waste website. 

4) The Sofa Singers brings together hundreds of people for 45 minutes of simultaneous singing, learning a classic song with some optional harmonies/backing parts.  Find out more here.

5) Stour Valley Nature – Join in with their daily wildlife challenges and nature quizzes here

6) BCHA have a variety of wellbeing volgs on their YouTube page, take a look here

7) Relax with new online wellbeing experience!  Dorset Mind is bringing some of our favourite parts of Dorset into your home.  Give yourself a few moments to relax with a new online experience.  Simply choose a view, the sounds you’d like to hear and enjoy relaxing mindful techniques that will help you escape to your favourite part of the county.

#unacceptable campaign

We are supporting the BCP Council’s #Unacceptable campaign due to the number of reports of verbal abuse, assaults or attacks on essential workers and the rising number involving threats of COVID-19 infection. To watch the #unacceptable campaign please click here.

Learner Gallery

We are so proud of what our learners can achieve, and our current situation isn’t stopping them! Enjoy this gallery of learner work we have created to celebrate and showcase how brilliant they are!