Togetherness in lockdown

Written by Ali Fisher

My goodness how our world has changed since the last edition of Burpham Pages, globally, nationally and locally.

A good few weeks into our current reality of a world working so, so hard to cope with all the brutal challenges of Covid-19, I’m struck by how together our community feels in a time of social distancing and self-isolation. Despite so many of us now living almost 24/7 locked down behind our front doors, staying home to stay safe, somehow our neighbours’ doors feel more open than ever before.

Essays will be written by future generations on how communities responded to this almighty challenge. My sense is we will reflect and feel very proud of how the Burpham community came together to fight the challenge of the coronavirus.

Here are some of the amazing ways we have seen the brilliant Burpham and surrounding community rising to these incredibly challenging times. We’d love to hear your observations in the comments section below.

Caring

This seems to have been the lead response to the crisis from so many. To care. To give. To help. Burpham Church & the Burpham Community Association quickly came together to form Burpham Community Care and had a fantastic response to their request for volunteers to help the vulnerable, with 200 local people putting their hands up to help.

Some wonderful individuals and groups, including the 1st Merrow Scout Group, have been collecting food donations and home-baked goodies for busy, over-stretched, exhausted NHS workers. Others are regularly calling those more isolated to offer a friendly chat, and it’s not just a quick hello but often a half-hour or hour-long conversation. Social media call outs for much needed donations for the North Guildford Foodbank have resulted in generous drop-offs. In this time of crisis, Burpham is proving itself a strong and willing community of givers and carers.

Giant ‘Thank you NHS’ etched out on Stoke Park. Guildford Borough Council.

Sharing

Who knew that in 2020 the ultimate gift would be a 4 pack of loo rolls?! Yet friends and neighbours have come to the rescue when someone’s found themselves caught short, be it loo roll, an egg or two, some flour or pasta. Offers have abounded to help keep families entertained with games and book swapping. Generous ‘please rehome’ boxes have been left out to share bits and bobs. Cakes being baked mean slices left on neighbours’ doorsteps. Kind kids are learning a knock and step back technique to gift at a socially distant 2m+.

Appreciative

The floodgates of thankfulness have opened. Appreciation is definitely contagious. Some gestures are breath-taking. Have you seen the giant ‘Thank you NHS’ etched out on Stoke Park? Others are smaller in size and scale but no lesser appreciated or impactful, from a thumbs up to passing bus drivers and posties to the claps of applause to those delivering meals on wheels. It’s heartening to hear the many thankyous passed on to the store staff in Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Cook, McColls, The Bakery & Wine Rack, where so many are working to keep our community fed and watered. Rainbows and thankyous on green, brown and black bins seem to be gathering momentum to say thanks to yet more brilliant community keyworkers. THANK YOU.

Rainbows and thankyous on bins.

Expressive

Who hasn’t been brightened by the explosion of sunshines and rainbows in Burpham? Well done to the kids of Sunshine Nursery in Sutherland Memorial Park whose sunshines are brightening daily exercise in the park. Kids have hungrily reclaimed our pavements with chalk rainbows, Easter eggs & Easter bunnies & powerful blue NHS hearts.

By Georgie Fisher, Age 7 Burpham
By Teddy Taylor, Age 6 Burpham

Connected

With people living local in a way that hasn’t been done for decades, we are finding the time, energy and passion to connect more deeply with those around us and our locality. WhatsApp and Facebook groups are popping up for streets and roads to help connect neighbours. We are being given the opportunity to reconnect with nature. With less traffic drowning out the birdsong and daily exercise providing opportunities to visit some of our quieter outdoor spots, now is a unique moment to drink in the wonders of nature that surround us.

This is an unprecedented time of challenge, struggle, sadness and hardship but our local community is shining through with its kindness and togetherness, in a way that could leave a positive lasting legacy for Burpham locals.

Useful local contacts:

Burpham Community Care
support@burphamca.org.uk or telephone 07880 586455

North Guildford Food Bank – Facebook at www.facebook.com/NorthGuildfordFoodBank/ or website at northguildfordfoodbank.co.uk

 

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