As part of our blog series where we share experiences, tips, and tricks of living and working during lockdown, Linda Robinson, Organisational Development Lead and NU Women Committee member, shares her story of neighbourly support and celebrating VE Day.
What are your memories of the Covid-19 pandemic back in 2020? In years to come if I’m asked this question my response will be: ‘although it was a dreadful time for many, for me it was a time when I discovered I was surrounded by a wonderful group of neighbours’.
A few days after it was announced we needed to stay at home, I discovered a note through my door from one of my neighbours asking if I would like to join a neighbourhood WhatsApp group so we could keep in contact with each other. Having this group has certainly helped us get to know each other – after 20 years of living at the coast in Cullercoats I now finally know the names of all my neighbours.
Since lockdown we have all been vigilant about staying at home but have been actively looking for things to do to keep us all from going stir crazy. One neighbour made pom poms to hang from her garden tree, within a space of a few days she’d made some for every neighbour to hang outside – we’ve heard our street is now being referred to as the Pom Pom Street.
On Saturday evenings we all gather in our gardens for an ‘isolation disco’. At 9pm Pride Radio play 3 songs for those having an isolation disco – so now on a Saturday evening there’s lots of bad dancing in our gardens and lots of laughter too.
We held a ‘Stay in your Garden’ street party to celebrate VE Day on the 8th May. We all dressed in 1940s style, organised a picnic, and played a few party games – all while remaining safely in our own gardens. On the day we raised over £100 that we now plan to donate to the residencies of a local care home in Cullercoats.
When this is all over, I will miss the pom poms and dancing with my neighbours in our gardens on a Saturday evening, but hopefully will be learning some new crafting skills… One neighbour has offered to start a ‘Street Craft Club’ in her new garden shed – which she’s managed to build since lockdown!
Linda Robinson, Organisational Development Lead