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#Beeston2020Vision - Groups and Associations in Lockdown

 

These are difficult times. Covid is changing our behaviour – with some of us working from home, others are furloughed and the more unfortunate have no work or income support. Much that we have previously taken for granted is under threat.  

Changes in behaviour include more of us shopping on-line and shopping locally, greater community awareness and caring. We are being resourceful and we are developing new understandings and priorities – for ourselves, our families and for our communities. 

We currently endure the restrictions and undoubtedly will eventually ‘come out the other side’. Throughout there’s increasing reliance upon family. 

Loose or formal associations outside of family are taking on increased significance too. Such relationships need to be supportive, engaging and welcoming if they are to benefit both the individuals and the wider group, particularly when volunteering and giving freely of your time.

 

 

Mutual Benefits

Our health and wellbeing, particularly in terms of mental stimulation and stability, has come into greater focus. We have the opportunity to try things out that we may have wanted to do. Giving our time can be enormously rewarding, bringing with it mutual benefits for you and for those around you. 

Fundamentally, if you are involved with a group or society, what emotions does your involvement evoke; is it enjoyable, does it induce a smile or generate laughter?  These are essential elements of personal wellbeing and happiness.

 

Collective Actions

The adage of ‘Act local think Global’ stands up well here, as many of us are increasingly concerned about the health of our planet and our effects upon it. By acting together like-minded people can make a difference - none more so than when the matters in hand are close to your heart. 

Group endeavour can achieve more than the sum total of the individuals. It can have the effect of ‘sharing the load’ - of being stronger together. Participation itself is a positive social experience.

 

Personal Involvement

Here are some suggestions about what to become involved in – critically the choice is yours – sorting out your interests and your priorities, so that the match is right for you, preferably something close to your heart. 

Where do you fit in, what would you like to do – what do you do that could involve others?

 

  •          Heathy eating / food – group / co-operative purchasing – allotment
  •          Buying local – independents, Coop, local producers, farmers markets
  •          Increasing exercise – group walks, new recreations/pastimes 
  •          Mental stimulation – brain training, yoga, meditation, talking to folk, improving skills
  •          Renewable energy – your heating and lighting – group bulk purchasing
  •          Recycling / reusing – Freecycle, charity shops, creative repurposing
  •          Going Green - Grow your own – gardening, neighbourhood greening
  •          Local interest groups – History, Photo, Civic, U3A,
  •          Volunteering / helping others – RVS, PHAB, Mind, Middle Street, Youth Groups, Charity work/shops, Respite care, Hospital transport, Red Cross / St. Johns
  •          Political / Pressure groups – local campaign groups
  •          Transportation – alternatives to cars, bikes, walking, jogging, running
  •          Our environment - Canals and rivers, local natural resources, conservation 
  •          Neighbours and families – making time for caring, gathering together, phone calls
  •          Involvement in nature and wildlife – nature walks, taking notice of that around you
  •          Social interaction – dance, food, drink, youth groups, religious groups

 

To survive and thrive we each need to prioritise, engage with folk, adopt new ideas and attitudes. 

Let’s hear from you – Do you have some interests or expertise that you’d like to share? 

Mervyn Brown

January 2021


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