The Empowerment team talk about how the lock down has changed things for good and for the years to come..

As Blackpool (and the world) start to ease on lock down measures, the Empowerment team reflect on what things we have learnt, and what we might take into the ‘new normal’ way of life.

“I learnt how to live my life on Zoom, Teams and Skype” said one member of the team. And so true that work and social activities have adapted to mean we can still continue to connect. Will this replace face to face? Absolutely not! But it does mean we might reach out to others via video call in the future who live far away rather than a quick text, like, comment or share.

“I have perfected batch cooking, especially Lasagne and will continue to share this face to face with friends once lock down ends” says another member of the team. The very act of making shopping lists, carefully planning meals and sharing what you have with the community is something that most of us have experienced. From coming together to ‘Clap for Carers’, to making sure neighbours and the community are supported via CoronaKindness. We have learnt that helping someone else can give a great sense of connection to others. The ‘new normal’ has already seen a group of local young people start a fundraiser in memory of their friends father to help funding towards the Empowerment garden. Again leaving a legacy to help people post Covid.

Being faced with the prospect of living and working in the same space with family is another aspect of Covid some of the team have had to navigate. The challenges of the everyday being amplified due to that constant contact but that has proven to be a revelation for one member of the team:

“I haven’t really had the time to learn a new skill working from home and being really busy with a rising case load. The one thing I have discovered about myself (and my relationship with my teenage daughter) is that we can get along and I’m quite tolerant of her teenage ways which I wasn’t prior to lock down. “

Reflecting on the pandemic as a whole one team member says that “When I look back I will look back at my work life with a smile that I helped support people in crisis overcome their worst fears, we all survived and pulled together and came out the other side safer and stronger. Personally I will look back at 2020 with pride that I managed to survive working and living 24/7 at home with my children safely and successfully. They are a credit to me to walk away from a national pandemic without fear and anxiety.”

I think this last comment from a member of staff struck a chord with most of us as we have worked so hard during the pandemic, each with unique set of circumstances. Thinking back in years to come we should all be proud of the work within the local community and our contribution to the pandemic efforts as one team.