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Helping our community

Are you able to help?

We want to make sure we can get help to anyone who may need it, and this could include (but not limited to) help with shopping, walking dogs or running small errands.

We need people who are willing and able to give that support. This includes:

  • A small number of people who will take calls and emails and deploy volunteers on a rota basis.
  • A larger number of volunteers who will collect shopping from supermarkets and deliver to people in need. We will provide guidance to help keep you — and the people you’re supporting — safe, but please be aware that any form of social contact carries a risk. This role is only suitable for people who are not (and don’t share a home with someone who is) at risk and who aren’t currently displaying symptoms.
If you can help, even if it’s only for an hour or two a week, please fill in the form or call 01480 589059. There are likely to be other roles for people who aren’t able to leave their homes. Please get in touch if you'd like to be on standby.

How to Shop for Others Safely

Mapping Those Who Need Support

We want to ensure that the people who need help don’t slip through the net. We know that many people won’t read this newsletter or may not feel comfortable asking for help. In the current circumstances we would prefer to pester them with offers of help rather than let them struggle alone or leave their home and put themselves and others at risk.

If you have concerns that someone on your street is in an at-risk category, please can you tell us? Please email help@ourlovesfarm.co.uk or call 01480 589059.

Let's Stay Connected

Human beings are amazingly adaptable creatures, and we’re also highly social. So let’s put these two strengths together to find new ways to stay in touch.

Social media has its pros and cons, but it really comes into its own at this extraordinary time. If you have a deep-rooted dislike for Facebook, consider holding your nose and signing up just while we’re in lockdown. You don’t need to befriend lots of people and get into endless debates — just follow a few helpful Pages and Groups such as Love’s Farm Community Association, where you’ll find lots of information about the goings on in and around Love’s Farm. Our Facebook moderator Emma is doing an amazing job as always to keep people informed. Thanks Emma!

Many streets on Love’s Farm have a dedicated Facebook group so residents can communicate directly with their neighbours. Search Facebook for your street name. If you can’t find one, please get in touch with us via www.facebook.com/ourlovesfarm. If we can’t find one either we can help you set one up.

WhatsApp can work well for keeping neighbours in touch with each other, as messages appear without all the other social media ‘noise’ of Facebook. We’ll be supporting our Street Reps to get these set up — find your Street Rep here.

Video Conferencing tools are a great way to spend time with friends and family, and we can use it with our neighbours too.

Zoom is proving to be very popular. It’s free for video calls up to 40 minutes long and 100 people at a time. The ability to show tiled faces across the screen is particularly appealing. It takes a couple of minutes to create an account, and people can join a video call from a link without having to log in. Google Hangouts is another good option. The host needs a Google (ie Gmail) account, and it’s free for unlimited use for up to 25 people. Both Zoom and Google Hangouts have Android and Apple apps for phones and tablets.

For those who are already up to their elbows in social media, don’t forget to take a break. Many of us are using our digital devices more than ever to stay in touch with friends and family, but don’t neglect the people in your household.

If you don’t have access to the internet please give us a call on 01480 589059 and we’ll see what we can do to help keep you connected with your community. 

Looking After Yourself

Perhaps the biggest challenge for many people will be to maintain a positive frame of mind. Our normal routines have largely gone out of the window and the relationships in our households are under a lot of pressure. Of course, there are different challenges for those living alone.

The first thing to do is to accept the things you can’t control. Don’t be angry at the system or at other people. Just take comfort that you are doing your bit, even if that just means staying at home.

Accept that people deal with stressful situations in different ways, so try to be patient when tempers fray in your household. If other people’s behaviour is really challenging, try to respond with calmness and love rather than anger.

Create unexpected moments of kindness for each other — they’ll make everyone in your home feel happier. Say “thank you” as often as you can for all the little things people do for you. Talk to your family about how you can make these relationships stronger.

Find someone to share your concerns and fears with. Expressing our fears doesn't make them more likely to happen but may help us find a way of being able to manage them better. If you don’t have that person, please get in touch with LFCA on 01480 589059 or via help@ourlovesfarm.co.uk or have a look here for other useful contacts.

Make time for the people in your household, but don’t be angry if they are using social media more than ever. Remember that these online interactions are replacing the many other social connections in their lives.

If you’re finding the constant rolling news about coronavirus stressful, switch it off. Spend a day in a bubble of books, films, board games and exercise with your family. Over the next few pages we have a round-up of things you can do to fill your time.

No one would have wished for this situation but there are positives we can take away from it. Use this time to learn a new skill, take up a hobby you never normally have time for, sort out that filing cabinet or cupboard, or become more active in your local community — even if it’s just checking in on your neighbours via WhatsApp every few days.

Make a list of all the things you’re looking forward to doing once we’re out the other side. With a bit of luck we can emerge emotionally stronger, physically fitter and more connected with our community than ever before.

Keeping Active

One of the best routes to mental well-being is through physical exercise. The release of endorphin is your body’s way of rewarding you for keeping it healthy, making you feel less stressed and anxious, generally happier and — at best — euphoric. Being housebound makes it harder to keep active, so it’s really important to build this into your daily schedule.

The NHS website has some great suggestions for people with mobility issues. Scroll down to the section on Home Exercises. There’s lots of other useful information for everyone at www.nhs.uk/exercise.

As we write, the official instructions are that people who are not in an at-risk category can leave the home for one form of exercise per day. The options are pretty limited, as we need to avoid other people and unnecessary travel. Fortunately we’re really lucky on Love’s Farm to have green space within a minute or two of every doorstep.

A walk around the perimeter of Love’s Farm is about two miles, so it should take between 30 and 60 minutes to walk, depending on your pace. Try to push yourself a little — you should be getting slightly out of breath. If you’ve never tried jogging or running, this is a great time to start. Love’s Farm Runners is an amazing community of local people who will support you as you take your first strides. You can also find them on Facebook.

There’s lots you can do within your home. From Zumba to Pilates, Streetdance to Karate, there are YouTube videos for almost everything. Try a yoga session on the Fightmaster Yoga channel, or harness your inner Strictly contestant on the Oti Mabuse Official channel.

Fitness instructor Joe Wicks has been taking the internet by storm with his daily PE with Joe workouts, broadcast live at 9am every weekday. Find them on his YouTube channel, The Body Coach TV. These are suitable for adults as well as children, and it’s a great way to start the day. You’ll also find Workouts for Seniors on the same channel. If you want a supported approach to fitness and weight loss, Love’s Farm’s own NJ Fitness offers various packages with tailored workouts and support, which you can book on their website. They are also offering free Saturday morning family workouts on Facebook. If you or your children are struggling to find the motivation to exercise at home, try dimming the lights, turning up the music nice and loud (although please consider your neighbours) and transforming your living room into an impromptu nightclub. Take it in turns to choose a song for a full DJ Battle experience. Send us your best dance moves at www.facebook.com/ourlovesfarm — we could all do with a laugh.