Diversity through adversity

Bright lights in the lockdown

The significant changes to daily life for all of us have taken some getting used to, but the Wychwoods have risen to the challenge and responded with creativity and generosity. Any attempt to be comprehensive in this account is doomed to failure – and some of the efforts may be covered more fully elsewhere in this or future issues – so here are just a few of the ways in which local groups, businesses and individuals have committed their ideas, skills, time and energy to improving our lockdown experience.

  • The WI and many individuals have been busy sewing hospital scrubs and other protective accessories needed by medical professionals on the frontline.
  • Local pubs and restaurants have diversified into home-delivery or ready-to-collect meals, with other catering businesses using their suppliers to help make up food boxes to relieve the demand on village stores.
  • Still-open shops have added phone orders as an option for those who cannot risk venturing out to collect necessary items, and individuals are volunteering to deliver groceries and prescriptions to their neighbours. A local ‘hub’ enables people to order and collect eggs through a central point. There’s a busy trade in surplus seedlings as seasoned gardeners and enthusiastic novices have clearly made the most of the glorious spring weather.
  •  A fundraising marathon has been re-routed to the runner’s drive and garden.
  • Desmond Lee’s 100th birthday was marked by a ‘party box’ of cards from village children and ‘Happy Birthday’ called safely from his gate.
  • A new Facebook group, ‘Wychwood Kids’, provides a space to share ideas for teaching, entertaining and generally supporting children at home. Youth groups and other shared-interest groups have been meeting virtually, with lessons, quizzes and social drop-ins, and an online chess club has been set up to teach local children and give them the chance to practise.
  • Household clear-outs offered kerbside have provided ‘new’ toys and books and tools and supplies.
  • Bears have set up camp in windows around the village to add interest to the daily walk, and they sit alongside the rainbows which symbolise solidarity with key workers and a hopeful spirit that we will weather this storm together.

Eve West

June – July 2020