We have paused all party campaigning and local meetings and are instead getting involved in supporting our communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. We wanted to catch up with some of our brilliant members and find out what they've been getting up to recently...
Today, we're catching up with Emma, Youth Officer at Poole Labour & Trade Union Organiser, who lives in Newtown & Heatherlands.
What have you found most challenging about the lockdown?
I’ve missed seeing my grandparents, one of whom has dementia, so it is hard to explain why we can’t see them. I’ve also been missing my routine, as before this I used to be very busy with work, travelling a lot.
What have you found positive during the lockdown?
Two things – the slower pace of life & the community coming together.
It’s been really good for me to slow down a little bit and be able to spend more time at home with my husband and pets. It’s taught me to appreciate the small things in life - I’ve been able to watch all the wildlife outside, when normally, I wouldn’t have a moment to! It has also been incredible to see the community coming together, supporting local businesses and helping out wherever they can.
What have you been doing to support others and how have you been inspired?
At the beginning of March, before lockdown and social distancing had begun, I realised that lots of people were already self-isolating but didn’t necessarily have any immediate support nearby. From my background in crisis management, I thought that I would be able to set up a local community support group with the help of friends with similar skill-sets. Within a few days, the group was up and running and we’re now helping over 125 people a week. I’ve also been inspired by the strength of all the key workers – from the NHS staff to supermarket staff, they’re all working incredibly hard, sometimes with very little recognition and on low pay.
What is the one thing that you have learnt and will take away from being in Lockdown?
That our local community is stronger than we realise! I really hope that people continue checking in on neighbours and continue helping one another out, regardless of the situation. Also, that it is possible for flexible working and working from home AND to be productive at the same time – despite what big bosses have said for years that it won’t work!
If you could nominate one person or business for being a community hero, who would you nominate and why?
This is such a difficult one, as I could nominate so many! I would nominate Sarah Ward (Chair of Poole Labour), who was the person who helped me set up Poole Covid-19 Community Support Group and has worked unbelievably hard day in, day out, to ensure those that needed help, received it. I honestly couldn’t have done it without her, so she really is a community hero!
What are you most looking forward to once lockdown is over and it is safe to go out?
I think it’s an obvious one for many, but to see my family & friends in person and just give them a big hug! It’s been so difficult, and nothing beats a hug with your loved ones. I’m also looking forward to being able to continue on with the community support group and hopefully make a difference in our local area!
"Labour Lockdown Lowdown" is a series of catch ups with members, so keep an eye out for future catch ups! If you are interested in being featured, please email firstname.lastname@example.org