Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to everyone who has suffered sadness and loss brought about by the coronavirus crisis. The past few months have been unprecedented and brought immense challenges to many. Our communities have fought back with overwhelming kindness and community spirit, and counteracted each difficulty with action & positivity. Our wonderful MeetUpMondays™ hosts have been a huge part of this, sharing positive messages to uplift their communities throughout lockdown, to raise the spirits of their locals, and they are holding on to that positivity going forwards.
Many hosts have been adapting their businesses and coming up with creative ways to keep the isolated members of their community connected whilst folk have been staying home and unable to attend their MeetUps. Some venues have now reopened their businesses from 4th July, and some have even been able to resume their MeetUp sessions, operating under social distancing & Covid-safe measures following government guidelines. Others remain closed for the time being, looking to hopefully reopen later in the year, and others are keeping their online socials going for now. We’ll keep posting updates as we receive information. Take a look at our blog post to read more about what some of them have been up to during the lockdown.
MeetUpMondays™ was started by Mick Dore of The Alexandra pub, SW19 in January 2018 as he was fed up of reading about loneliness and decided to DO something. He is well worth following on Facebook and Twitter as he is an inspiration! His pub has been voted by Young’s as their community pub of the year 2018, and has also been voted Pub of the Year 2018 in the Merton Best Business Awards
So what did he do? Well, he began offering a couple of hours of free tea, coffee and sandwiches on a Monday lunchtime encouraging those in the local area who ‘are fed up with their own company’. This may be because they are a new mum, a home worker, out of work (for whatever reason) or an elderly person or couple who have started to feel isolated. Since the launch The Alexandra’s #MeetUpMondays has simply changed lives.
Ann Osborn, Director of the Rural Coffee Caravan then fell over #MeetUpMondays on Twitter and thought it was an absolutely brilliant idea. The Rural Coffee Caravan battles loneliness by delivering information and friendship across Suffolk, believing that information is power. They befriend people and offer them access to the information they need to empower them. The fit with MeetUpMondays™ was perfect!
Then Ann met Sally, Good Neighbour Scheme development officer for Community Action Suffolk, another perfect fit! Sally’s work with Good Neighbour Schemes is focused on communities working together to ensure that everybody has somebody to call upon in times of need. MeetUpMondays™ can compliment an existing Good Neighbour Scheme, or can lead to a new Good Neighbour Scheme!