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Exeter Community Wellbeing – Socialising despite the distance

Published: 31 July 2020

Exeter Community Wellbeing Blog Socialising despite the distance

One of the things that has really been highlighted in the past few months is the benefit of having one-to-one chats with others and listening to people. Throughout these troubling months, Exeter Community Wellbeing has been a tool in connecting communities with the support they need. You know what is required in your community, so our role along with our Wellbeing Exeter and Exeter City Council partners has been to let you lead the way and support you however we can.

The Exeter Community Wellbeing network has become a valuable way, along with the ongoing work of Wellbeing Exeter Community Builders and Physical Activity Organisers, for the Council to learn from individuals and groups. We want to continue to support people by listening to your experiences and offering the connections, information or resources you need.

Exeter Community Wellbeing Blog

Pop-Up Listening

Amy, the Community Builder for Mincinglake and Whipton, said: “It’s been a challenging few months, but it’s been amazing to see how communities have pulled together. Now lockdown is easing there’s an opportunity to reflect on the past months and think about some of the positive thing that have come out of the COVID--19 crisis, about changes we would like to see in the future and the 4Rs – Retain, Return, Re-think and Radical. Last week I visited Arena Park and today, Friday 31 July I will be outside the Beacon Community Centre in the morning to listen and chat about these topics and your experiences of lockdown.”

GoodGym volunteers help Whipton Barton School

GoodGym volunteers have been out and about across the city doing good deeds whilst keeping fit. They got a great work-out last week, helping Whipton Barton Infant school prepare a new outdoor classroom area. If you’ve not heard of GoodGym it’s a great initiative and involves running to a location in the city and helping a person or a charity with a task such as gardening, deliveries or having a chat and a cuppa with someone who is isolated. GoodGym have helped to deliver the Wellbeing Exeter Community Builders newlsetters a number of times to residents who prefer a paper copy to an email. You can find out more about GoodGym and how to get involved or request them for a community task on the GoodGym website.

Socialising despite the distance

We have become very used to the phrase ‘social distancing’ in a scientific context. But, as a Community Physical Activity Organiser recently pointed out to us, the socialising doesn’t have to stop just because of the distance!

In Heavitree, a group of friends have been making the most of our outdoor spaces throughout lockdown. Julia, Stuart, Marie and Di are local residents who meet every Monday - whatever the weather - to walk or play tennis. This informal group have been meeting for around four years, nice and early in the morning, in the park. There are around 12 friends in total that meet in different combinations whenever they can. They told us: “This kind of exercise is fun and free and we are grateful to Exeter City Council for the upkeep of the courts. Especially through COVID this has been a blessing, and as tennis was one of the first activities to open up, it gave us confidence to get back to it as soon as we were allowed.”

It’s great to see the city thinking forwards to our recovery from this pandemic. People are focusing on positive lifestyle changes while still helping each other, by giving their time and energy to support the people around them.

Exeter Community Wellbeing Helpline

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.

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