By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead
We need your help, please!
At last, there has been some easing of what has seemed liked an eternal lockdown with two households again being allowed to mix outdoors, following the rule of six.
And what a week for it to happen – an extra hour of daylight in the evening and the welcome return of the sun, which always puts smiles on faces. Before we know where we are, the shops will reopen and pubs and restaurants will be able to serve outside (April 12th).
But we must remain vigilant, and here at the Torbay Community Development and Ageing Well Torbay, we have been looking at ways of taking advantage of the relaxation of the rules as we go forward.
Which is where you come in; we need to know what you want, when you want it and how you want it delivering – whether it be coffee mornings, socials, exercise classes – in fact, rules allowing whatever you need.
Obviously, we have a long way to go to June 21st when legal enforcement of all the rules is potentially relaxed and many people will choose to take longer to feel that they are once again safe when mixing with people outside their family or social bubble.
We want to be ready to welcome you back in whatever form that gathering takes, and we want to be on hand for those of you that might need a little extra help emerging once again.
None of us should ever underestimate the impact these three lockdowns and numerous other tier restrictions have had on individuals, and it is important that we all move at our own pace, staying in our comfort zones.
We continue to see the fall out of this crisis via the Helpline, which continues to operate between 10 am and 6pm from Monday to Friday and on Saturday’s between 9:30 am and 12:30pm on 01803 446022.
And we expect to continue to see the effects for months, if not years to come. In the last week alone, we were contacted by just short of 50 new people, often with complex needs – some through isolation, some for mental health issues and others suffering financial problems as a result of the pandemic.
That is why, as we finally come out of this mess, we will continue to operate the Helpline with our dedicated call handlers, some staff, some volunteers, so that you do not have to face your problems alone – remember whatever the issue – One Call, That’s All.
There are those that say that our Community Builders have come into their own during this crisis and whilst there is a lot of truth in that, as they have been working frontline and behind the scenes to strengthen our communities, just as they always have.
However, they want the opportunity to come off the frontline and get back to doing what they do best, helping communities and individuals to be the very best that they can be.
That is where you come in. Our Community Builders are champing at the bit waiting for your calls and your emails to get everything going again in the safest way possible given the circumstances.
They want to be able to help organise events or rekindle old ones, renew acquaintances, and reinvigorate friendships to make sure that no-one in the Bay is isolated or lonely.
You can find a list of all our Community Builders on the Torbay Community Development Trust under the drop menu About Us/Who We are or you can ring us on 01803 212638 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have all been on an incredible journey – one that none of us could ever have predicted, and overall, we are not in bad shape – not least because our communities have rallied and remained strong and resilient.
Now, as we take the first tentative steps back to the new ‘normal’, we have the opportunity not just to go back to what we were doing, but it also gives us the chance to do something new, to meet new people.
If the weather holds, then we will be looking at lots of new outdoor activities, and then as confidence builds, we will venture back inside – all dependent on us all remaining vigilant and taking responsibility for each other’s wellbeing.
These are exciting times and we look forward to hearing from you.