As you might already be aware, bdb are now homeworking in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Whilst we face a period of uncertainty it is important to focus on the positives and do our best to look after our wellbeing, both physical and mental, during these unprecedented times.
Whilst we work remotely we are ensuring daily virtual team meetings to keep the ‘personal’ contact going. We are focusing on our work goals for the day but as always we are maintaining some ‘bdb banter’ to keep spirits up! We are also using this as an opportunity to encourage each other to exercise and share what we have done.
As difficult as this period is, I have seen and heard about so many positive things that are happening in and around the local community. I wanted to share some of these with you, along with some ideas that can keep you upbeat during this period of social distancing:
For some time I have been attending Lucy’s Pop Choir in Harrogate. Understandably, we are no longer able to meet in town for our weekly session. Lucy is now running two virtual choir sessions each week via an online conferencing system. I have joined-in for the last two evenings and the sessions were both entertaining and uplifting. It was great to see everyone on their webcams dancing around! Please visit the website and contact Lucy if this is something you would be interested in joining. The more the merrier and you know what they say - music is good for the soul.
We are very lucky here in North Yorkshire to be surrounded by beautiful green spaces and countryside which we can use for walks, runs and bike rides. Reports are that the beautiful cherry blossom is just starting to pop on the Stray so getting out to see that will no doubt be uplifting. Another option for keeping active comes from Go Yoga in Harrogate who are offering online yoga classes which they are branding as ‘Go Isolation’. This is a great option for keeping active at home and optimizing the many health benefits yoga is documented as having.
I know for many, supporting our most vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives is a top priority. I hand wrote letters to all of my elderly neighbours offering my number and assistance if required. I have had a few orders but mostly have had phone calls just wanting a chat whilst they are indoors. I think this is especially important for those who may not have family as a friendly chat can be a much needed lifeline. I must say, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them better and have learnt an awful lot about the very interesting lives they have led! If you would like to do something similar, there are now standardised postcards circulating which you can fill in. Enid Taylor printers on Cold Bath Road have kindly printed batches that you can pick up for free from their office if you would like to use these.
Roots and Fruits greengrocer in Bilton, who supply our office fruit, are now offering a free non-contact delivery service to anyone in the Harrogate area. They even have carbon neutral volunteers making the deliveries on pushbikes! Harrogate fisheries on the Skipton Road are also offering free non-contact deliveries to the elderly on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings to those in the Bilton area. The Cheeseboard, Cold Bath Brewing and The Secret Bakery are also offering delivery services.
Jarfull UK, are an amazing new independent store based on Bower Street who offer plastic free shopping solutions. They are unable to offer deliveries at present but are offering a non-contact click and collect service where you can order over the phone and your goodies will be left outside the shop at an agreed time. Offering a safer way to shop, and be kind to the environment!
A lot of the independents, such as Stuzzis, are also offering gift vouchers. This is great as it gives them income during a quiet time but also gives the recipient something to look forward to when we are back to socialising. They are even selling dried pasta, which is hard to get hold of at present! They, along with a number of other local eateries, are introducing new take away menus so keep an eye out for those. One of our non-eatery locals, Imagine Things Bookshop, are offering postal deliveries on all of their books so we can keep entertained and well read!
I haven’t been able to list everyone but I hope this gives you a taster of the great things that are happening in our local community. Harrogate is very lucky to boast so many amazing independents so it is great to have ways to support them during what must be a worrying time.
There are numerous Facebook volunteering groups that are popping up and I have seen so many uplifting posts on Instagram. Social media channels often get a lot of negative press, but it is great to see how it is currently being used in such a positive way to support others.
Whilst we face the challenges ahead I suggest we use the technology available to us - write an email to a friend, FaceTime, play board games, listen to music, read, dance, sing, craft, paint, have a bubble bath, do whatever makes you happy to help keep you smiling and laughing. An insight into my life - I’ll be dancing around the kitchen to Spice Girls.
All that is left to say for now is take care and keep in touch – we’re always here if you need us.