In March 2020, life changed for many of us. Times were tough for many folks, but amidst all the bad stuff, people round the world were doing amazing things – in the NHS, care homes, council services, local shops, delivery drivers – keeping us going.
No less important was how in communities we were supporting each other. Neighbours, community emergency resilience teams, clubs and community organisations rallied round with practical help and support- picking up shopping and prescriptions, walking dogs, giving a cheery wave, baking cakes, raising money and cheering each other on. We relied on each other and we made friendships we want to keep as part of our ‘new normal’.
For DFEL, we couldn’t do real world Friendship Groups or Gatherings but we could help practically in our community. The Friendship Group went digital with weekly Zoooms, more regular e-mails and letters. Zoom helped us bring the world into people’s homes when we couldn’t get out – from trips to Loch Lomond and Skye, flying with gannets and a tour of Dundee’s V&A. We learnt how reading is caring, did seated dancing and marvelled at the abundance of nature along our coasts. We worked with fantastic local and national projects, blending digital and real worlds.
By the end of 2020, there was a lot on-line but we still couldn’t meet, so we asked people across East Lothian what they wanted, what should DFEL do to make a difference. The message was clear – people wanted fun, something to look forward to and to be part of a community. So many people said how much they looked forward to a time when we can come together and have fun.
Serious fun became our mission and we set up Celebrating Communities and were kindly funded by the Life Changes Trust. Over the next few months, we will work with people with dementia and carers across East Lothian to build on the wonderful relationships and projects developed in Lockdown. You can see an example below:
The plan is simple. We’ll bring communities and national projects together to create community events and activities to bring fun, joy and hope into all our lives, working digitally and in the real world as we (hopefully) leave Covid behind us. Some of the projects we’ll be working with include Captal Theatres, the Scottish Seabird Centre, Hearts and Minds, Dementia Connect, Edinburgh Leisure, Dogs for Good and Scottish Ballet.
Our aims are simple.
- A look forward to fun, friendship and joy in tough times
- Celebrating and valuing communities – how they support us all, what we all built during Covid and what we want to keep
- Building friendships and bring national and local projects together to bring the world to us – experiences, fun and joy
- Work with service providers and communities, together as valued partners in how we look after each other
- Inspiring and encourage each other to dream and plan
- Changing the world together
We need your help!!
We need your help. We’ll be holding informal conversations and workshops on Zoom (at least for now) and everyone is welcome to join in, watch, get involved, share ideas and start to make plans. We’ll keep you updated on the website and through e-mails and we can post letters if you don’t have internet access.
You can phone or e mail for more information or just use this link to register to join the Zoom.
Link for Zoom Meeting: Thursday January 14th 2021 10:30am
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Thank you all for your help and support to us and each other.
We wish you, your families and all you live and care for, health, happiness and hope in 2021.
Take care, stay safe
Sue & Maya