Exeter Community Wellbeing – Here to Stay
Published: 26 June 2020
Moving out of ‘lockdown’ brings up different emotions and challenges as we all work out what is safe and how to exercise this increase in activity responsibly. There is now quite a bit of variation in what different people are able or comfortable to do. We know that it’s important we continue to social distance effectively to protect others and ourselves but, even for those still isolating, there’s plenty to smile about.
Last week we told the story of a group of volunteers and Wellbeing Exeter Community Builders putting together 300 art and craft packs for families. Art Club Exeter have also been creating art packs and delivered some to local nursing homes. The manager of the Dales Nursing Home said, “The art packs went down really well. We’re doing our best trying to keep everyone occupied so these packs do make a real difference.”
Care homes are still following careful protocols to protect their residents, but that’s no barrier to having a good time. The Old Rectory, who have been winners of the Best Care Team in the South West, recently threw a summer party, which included cocktails, movies, music, a BBQ one day and ice creams all round the next!
Social distancing measures came into force over 13 weeks ago and Exeter Community Wellbeing have achieved a lot in that time. We’ve made thousands of connections, linking individuals up with the volunteers and services that can give them support so they can stay safe and well throughout this crisis and beyond.
Team members from Exeter City Council, Wellbeing Exeter, Exeter City Community Trust, Exeter Connect and countless other organisations and volunteers put aside their normal day jobs and jumped into a new role, giving their all and often working evenings and weekends putting their communities before themselves. It has been a gargantuan effort and, we’ve said it before, shows us just how much we can achieve when we work together.
This weekly blog has been a way to share stories about the great things that have been going on in communities and to celebrate volunteers and good neighbours. Some of it has even been written by community members! It’s read weekly by families, volunteers, crisis response coordinators and city leaders.
We are now in a period of careful recovery from the biggest global crisis of a generation. It would be easy to think that the storytelling would be easing off too, as people go back to their ‘normal’ lives. But we know that’s not the case. We know that this exemplary community spirit isn’t new, that good deeds and acts of kindness existed in our city before Covid and that our communities won’t flinch away from supporting each other, in little ways and large, as the pace of life changes again.
So this blog is here to stay. We will continue to share good news and stories showing the strong community bonds that hold our city together. We will continue to tell you about the inspirational work going on across Exeter. We will offer this as a space for you to celebrate what you love about our city and the people who deserve recognition.
One day, coronavirus will be consigned to the history books - but our city and the communities that make it will still be here and we have many stories to tell.
Exeter Community Wellbeing continues to operate and will remain, responding according to the city’s needs.
To request support, as an individual or a community group, get in touch with Exeter Community Wellbeing:
Phone: 01392 265000
Lines open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Exeter Community Wellbeing is co-ordinated by a team including Wellbeing Exeter partners, Devon Community Foundation, Exeter Community Initiatives and Exeter City Council. Funding partners include Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and Sport England.