Socially Connected Leeds: Reflection on our city wide response to crisis:Responding to need or needing to respond?

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.

These unprecedented times

The spread of Covid-19 has given everyone in the country pause to consider our needs and vulnerabilities. We’ve all taken part in the family equivalent of a ‘risk assessment’ over the last few months. We’ve asked ourselves questions like; will my shielded relative have enough food? And do we have the appropriate PPE for a trip to the supermarket?

‘Wash your hands, stay home, and protect the NHS,’ has been the battle cry of the Government and we’ve each been encouraged to consider the vital role we have to play in beating this disease. At times there has been a war-time-like sense of comradery and community spirit and the window rainbows and claps on doorsteps have helped some of us feel more connected to our neighbors than ever before. Many of us have found comfort in putting our minds and our hands to work. We’ve all been touched and changed by the strange and uncertain events of 2020.

Across the city we’ve seen an incredible and fast paced response to Covid 19 from organisations and institutions alike. Many businesses and places of work have adapted and implemented new procedures overnight to protect employees and the public. The contributions of the organisations, leaders and key workers will be celebrated, and remembered for years to come.

Throughout lockdown, Leeds ABCD Community Builders have been meeting weekly to discuss the ‘on the ground reality’ of the impacts of Covid-19 for the communities we work in. These weekly zoom check-ins have offered us an opportunity to share stories, swap ideas and consider what we can learn from Asset Based Community Development in times of crisis.