Labour Lockdown Lowdown: Sarah
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 Sarah, Chair of Poole Labour, carer and local activist, who lives in Parkstone.
What have you found most challenging about the lockdown?
I’ve missed my eldest daughter a lot – Ruby lives in Cornwall, but only left home last year. We haven’t seen each other since Christmas, which is the longest we’ve ever gone without seeing each other. At times I’ve struggled to know how to channel my anger at how horrifically the government is handling this crisis and the pain that has been inflicted on so many and the gross inequality it has exposed (that we knew was there!).
What have you found positive during the lockdown?
My other two daughters who I am the carer for, have now been fully shielding for three months. We were already close, but this has definitely brought us closer together. We’ve made a conscious effort to try and see the positives and have some fun and laughs, whether that be making a ridiculously elaborate den (they are 15/17!) or catching up on old classic pixar movies we hadn’t watched for ages to distract us from the craziness of the world. I’ve been very blessed to have a garden to escape to as well, which has been so needed. I’m very aware many aren’t so fortunate.
What have you been doing to support others and how have you been inspired?
Together with my good friend Emma Lang, I have helped to set up the Covid-19 Support Group for Poole. Emma had the brilliant idea, very early on in the crisis as she could see that many people would struggle to remain home if they didn’t have a network of help around them. So she asked me if I would help her set up the mutual aid group. I was more than happy to help and flattered that she asked. I’ve been so inspired by the brilliant team of volunteers who have been so keen to help. We have delivered prescriptions, shopping and carried out many many dog walks for local people in need.
What is the one thing that you have learnt and will take away from being in Lockdown?
That it is actually quite possible for measures to be taken to include people when they are stuck at home for whatever reason. Having spent the last 5 years trying to get education, medical appointments and other activities delivered in a way that meets my children's needs, and been faced with numerous brick walls – its now clear that this was always possible had the will been there. We can’t go back to ignoring the needs of people who are always in some kind of lockdown – we have to be more inclusive as an intrinsic part of how we structure society, and not as an add on.
If you could nominate one person or business for being a community hero, who would you nominate and why?
Apart from Emma, as already mentioned - a special mention should go to a lady called Caroline who works at Poole Convenience Store and has made sure literally hundreds of people have had the food they need – its been such a great partnership between local business and the community support group.
What are you most looking forward to once lockdown is over and it is safe to go out?
Apart from a massive latte, I’m looking forward to just seeing friends and family face to face – zoom meetings have been great to stay in touch, but there really is nothing like real life human interaction. We all need it. I’m also really hoping that people will remember that for those with chronic health conditions like my daughters, life won’t just go back to a new normal, it will stay much the same, and whilst they seem and often feel invisible, they are not, they are still here along with literally thousands of others. Lets make social/work and other activities inclusive as we’ve seen they can be, when the whole world is affected. Most of all I’m looking forward to continuing the fight to bring down the Tories once and for all – especially as so many people have now had their eyes opened.
"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