Laura Nicholls, head of marketing and communications at Allia Future Business Centre, talks about what is being done to ensure the social connections and spirit of community support is maintained after the Covid crisis has passed.
Recovery. A word we’re hearing a lot right now, as we start to emerge tentatively from the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.
For some, the recovery will be a physical one, to gradually get well again after falling ill with the virus that has affected millions of people the world over.
But many other people in a range of different situations will face recoveries of their own.
We’ve all been affected by the crisis and through the limitations of lockdown in some way, but for those who struggle daily with issues such as loneliness, homelessness, the inability to afford food or those who suffer from mental health problems, the situation has been even more acute.
Yet from uniting nationally to clap for the NHS, to people helping their isolated neighbours with shopping, we’ve seen a whole host of community action initiatives build up over the last few months.
A sense of shared purpose has been activated and working together to help those in need has become part of our national identity.
Boxing Futures, a sport-for-good and rehabilitation outfit based at Allia Future Business Centre Peterborough, took a hit during the crisis. As with many similar organisations they suddenly found themselves unable to group or train together.
Yet the impact focus that drives them – to support young people in local communities with specifically designed programmes which reduce the impact of loneliness and isolation and create positive social connections – was more relevant than ever.
And so, as well as moving some of their training online, the staff team together with some of the young people on their programmes harnessed their energy, time and resources into volunteering in various ways to help the community.
From food and medication drops to vulnerable at-risk groups, to creating online forums to support each other, they even loaned their minibus to help with essential services in the city.
Co-founder of Boxing Futures, Anthony York said, “Amid all the sadness of people losing loved ones, it’s been lovely to see communities pulling together and helping each other.”
Of course, we know that practically businesses now need to get back to their day jobs, find their feet and get their teams back together.
Anthony and the Boxing Futures team are back at the Future Business Centre, where measures taken to make workplaces Covid-safe are welcomed.
“Knowing they meet government guidelines to keep people safe and socially distanced,” explained Anthony, “gave me the reassurance needed to help risk assess and plan ahead for a return to work.”
But as we move forward, can we retain some of the community spirit and support that we’ve been feeling over the last few months – from donating to foodbanks and checking on elderly neighbours?
Can we make that part of our new normal?
Maybe it’s instigating a new charity fundraiser at work, or introducing voluntary days for staff, businesses can benefit from giving their teams a sense of shared purpose that they can get behind and feel good about helping others.
So, as we start to recover from the crisis, let’s try not to lose that community spirit and continue to work together for common good.
However and whenever you’re looking to reconnect, move forward and regroup, get in touch with us at Allia Future Business Centre; we look forward to welcoming you sometime soon.