This post is part of a series of blogs sharing good news stories, positive practice and the range of innovative ways communities in Leeds are remaining connected through neighbourliness.
Hello, I am Miranda the Community Builder for Rothwell in Leeds.
Life in lockdown is very different from how we normally live and life as a community builder has changed dramatically too. Gone are the days of whizzing over to Rothwell to meet residents. No more coffees in Rothwell’s fantastic cafés. Gone are the tempting cakes too, maybe that’s a positive for my waistline!
Anybody who knows me knows I love to talk and, as much as zoom is my best friend at the moment, it will never replace that face-to-face contact that I crave and I’m sure others do too. Social media is an amazing way to keep in touch, Facebook, Twitter and messenger are the way forward at the present time. That instant message or instant picture that you receive can lift your day; so if you get a spare moment do send that hello - it really does make a difference to the person receiving it. Sending my messages to people in Rothwell is my way of keeping in touch, finding out what is happening and how people are feeling. It’s also a great way to see how the community care for each other.
The kind acts that people are doing are amazing and I see this daily as people look out for their neighbours. People who normally may have had no spare time as they rushed to work, consumed by their own very busy lives, are now taking the time to check on each other, to care for each other, to shop for each other. I really hope that once lockdown ends these friendships continue and hopefully blossom in to something extremely special. It could be the biggest positive out of this difficult situation we find ourselves in.
I was listening to a man who was talking about the phrase ‘socially distancing’ and how as people we are very social and so this wording doesn’t quite fit. He suggested that we should be physically distancing and I couldn’t agree more. We still want to be social but to do it safely.
Despite the difficulties, I am hoping once lockdown ends that my new normal is very different from my old normal. I hope that the new acquaintances that I have met become friends. I hope that the time I have to think about what I do isn’t replaced by dashing around and spreading myself too thinly. This is something that I will really need to work on, but planning my time and using it more effectively will hopefully mean I have time to make those acquaintances friends. Making time to listen to others about how they are and being prepared to make sure I take the time to hear their answer. I also want to make time for me! Mental health starts by keeping yourself well and means you are in a good place to help others. Time is my key word of the moment!
The one thing I really want from old normal life is to be able to hug people. Nothing beats a good hug. So to all the huggable people out there, be prepared - I coming after you!
So now I sit writing this and waiting from living room at home for my first zoom meeting of the day. One of many that I have had recently, hoping that it won’t be long before I can see this person in the flesh and not via a screen. I contemplate the future and how I want it to be!
This post was written by
Miranda Foster, Community Builder