The Afro Brazilian percussion troop ‘Barracwda' have found an alternative home for their rehearsal at the temporary outdoor courts in Bute Park near Blackweir changing rooms.
Around 30 of the samba band's members come together to mix funk, reggae and jungle music but were unable to rehearse and socialise indoors due to lockdown and the ongoing social distancing measures.
The seven outdoor activity courts have been designed as part of a scheme to make use of outdoor areas that are not currently being used, providing a private space for group activities to continue in a safe environment.
Since the launch of the courts last month they have been a welcome addition to Bute Park and the team are taking bookings for any groups who are experiencing difficulty practicing activities that may usually take place indoors.
Read more to find out how the grouphas personally benefited from the scheme.
Where do you normally practice?
"Usual practice takes place in a small hall. Due to the restrictions on meeting indoors in groups, at the moment, it is not legally possible to practice in that environment.
Moving forward, regardless of restrictions for indoor gathering easing, this may prove problematic as our group in any one session is usually over 30 people."
What does it mean to be able to re-start your business in this way?
"It allows our band leader access to a weekly income which has not been possible since restrictions began.
From a group focus, it allows us much needed time to keep rehearsed and fresh. The social element in being able to re-engage with friends is also an important factor."
How have you found the process of booking the space and making your sessions work in an outdoor environment?
Ben Meakin, Committee Member for Barracwda said, "Absolutely. The booking process was straight forward and fairly priced. Given that we are a public performance group who usually play in an outdoor environment, this has been of no issue. "
What have been the positives about re-starting and how do they find participating in your sessions at Blackweir?
Ben Meakin, Committee Member for Barracwda said, "As previously mentioned, playing outdoors is second nature to us as this is where the majority of our shows are done. From a practice perspective, we have had to adjust slightly from usually playing in tight formation, indoors, to being spread out, but as a performance group we have no issues adapting to play in different environments.
The positives for the group are being able to re-engage with friends and come together collectively to do something we all enjoy and have very much missed. It benefits everyone from an exercise and mental wellbeing perspective.