Independent Age Anxiety Guide Are you feeling anxious about mixing with other people again as we come out of lockdown? Independent Age has produced a handy guide helping people to recognise the signs of anxiety and to learn where to get support. It is natural to feel worried about the relaxation of restrictions and there are some really useful tips and helpful advice available. The guide can be downloaded from their website, or printed copies can be ordered for those who would prefer them. You can contact their helpline on 0800 319 6789.
Local news and information for Suffolk Villages. Suffolk Village Info is a great, clearly presented Local News website offering countywide info, news, job listings, property news (including new home developments), charity activities and local restaurant reviews. Their homepage includes beautiful snapshots of Suffolk villages and info on population, local facilities and history of the village name.
Paint a rock or pebble with kind words to leave on a neighbours doorstep. A lovely way to connect with your neighbours and spread a bit of cheer to folk, particularly those who may be isolating on their own, giving them a reason to pop outside and interact. Here’s some examples from The Kindness Rocks Project. Paint your own ideas or look at the Kindness Rocks Facebook page if you need some tips and inspiration. There are other Kindness resources and free downloads on their website.
Spread a little kindness by displaying a ‘Community Kindness’ Poster. Jack Arts, in partnership with sister agencies Jack and Diabolical, have created a ‘Community is Kindness’ poster campaign which they have rolled out across 10 UK cities. They have made the artwork downloadable so that it can be printed out at home and displayed in any window! Click on the images for the link to the PDF file of the posters. If you would like to make a donation, they would love for you to support their charity partner End Youth Homelessness. For many, self-isolation can mean a time of discomfort, but for Britain’s homeless young people, it can mean much worse. Please make your donation to their COVID-19 appeal here.
Backyard Buddies. Why not suggest this to folk in your community? If neighbours are able to lower their hedges or remove part of their fence panelling to open a ‘window’ to chat to a neighbour through, then it’s a great way to keep people socially connected. Remember the 6ft / 2 metre distancing rule of course! Please encourage people to share their photos of this to Rural Coffee Caravan Cascade of Kindness Facebook or RCC Twitter pages and let’s get a gallery of #friendshipnotfences together! Don’t forget to tag #backyardbuddies when sharing your photos!
The full stories behind these photos can be found at EADT & Ipswich Star.
The Friendly Bench is a safe, easily accessible mini-community garden with integrated seating and sensory planting, situated within communities for people to meet, chat, connect with nature, and build friendships and a sense of belonging. It is an active social hub in your community, managed, funded and run by its own voluntary group, where free community led activities are held. The Friendly Bench CIC aims to tackle loneliness, social isolation and build community cohesion using their innovative, purposely designed outdoor social spaces that reconnect people back to their own community. Find out how to bring The Friendly Bench to your neighbourhood by following the link.
Rural Coffee Caravan #RandomActsOfKindness printouts. A “Thank You!” poster – display it in your window, tape it to your bins, give it to your local delivery driver or the person behind the counter at your local store. Print one for the volunteer, carer, friend or family member who helps you out. A little thanks can go a long way to lifting people up and acknowledging the difference they’re making.
We’ve also created a ‘Cuppa For a Friend’ printable card kit which you can make at home. Tuck a tea or coffee sachet into the pocket and ‘share’ it with a friend or neighbour, ’til you can next have one together in person.
And here are a couple of ‘Word Hug’ posters to display in your windows and raise the spirits of anyone walking by! You never know how isolated or alone someone might be feeling, and offering a little motivation to keep going could make all the difference.
Frontyard Pen Pals. When out for your walk, post messages to your neighbours by hanging them on a tree or shrub in their garden. Use it as an introduction if you don’t know them. It’s fun but also a useful way of giving folk a reason to go outside and interact. We are already hearing some people say their confidence is diminishing. They could post messages back and it’s something that children could do. Maybe use a jar with wire so that you can hang and even post little gifts in! Definitely an idea to play with…