By Leah Whitcher, Community Builder for Torre & Upton
What a whirlwind of an 18 months!
Back in February 2020, as a community builder of only eight months, I felt I was really starting to get to grips with lots of lovely things happening in my patch.
I was just about to release the new Torre and Upton Community Magazine, with a full diary of events and activities, when bang – into lockdown we went and on to the back burner went all our social lives.
And here we are a year later still waiting to see how things will fare in 2021. I’m not very keen on this ‘new normal’ and I expect you’re not, either.
We’re all desperate to see our streets, our small independent shops and our fantastic hospitality venues open and bustling again, because we have some amazing pubs, restaurants, cafes and other independent businesses in Torbay.
But as my fellow community builder, Tara Acton, said in a recent Torbay Weekly article, when things start getting back to normal and as we come out of this, we will need our stronger communities more than ever. What Torbay residents have shown during this past year, is the most incredible support for neighbours and strangers.
The other day I came across a food donation box – no bells and whistles, just a large plastic weatherproof box at the end of the drive and a weatherproof note tied to the fence requesting donations for redistribution to those in need in the same street.
It is also heart-warming to see some families coming back together. An elderly chap in my patch, living on his own, hadn’t seen or heard from his daughter for more than a year, even though she lives close by. Now he sees her every week when she does his shopping and they talk on the phone much more often.
What I’m hoping as we get back to normal, and the people of Torbay come together again, we community builders can harness energy and goodwill to support you in creating amazing community and street level projects because that’s what we love to do! And my goodness, don’t we need something lovely to happen? I think we all deserve it!