Coming together in times of crisis
Ellie Tudor, PR & Marketing Executive
- The Cambridge community coming together during COVID-19
- Supporting those in need during troubling times
- How can you help support those around you?
The start of the new decade has certainly been one to remember. With the outbreak of COVID-19, businesses and communities are having to readjust how they work and adapt to the new environment. The Conscious Communications team is now all working remotely, and we have really come together as a workforce to ensure that we continue to provide the best support to our clients and to one another. Although I may be slightly biased, I believe that this has been executed perfectly. The morale of the team is at an all-time high, team members are carrying out online training sessions for one another and we are catching up with each other at daily virtual meetings, to make sure that everyone is aware of the latest goings-on.
As well as our working practices being adapted to the ‘new norm’, it has been fantastic to see the warmth and extent of how the local Cambridge community has come together during this uncertain time. Although causing chaos, COVID-19 has united Cambridgeshire, and there has been a number of inspiring stories that have truly shown what it means to be a community.
In Cambridge, we are lucky enough to have many independent restaurants and cafés that are able to provide a delivery and takeaway service during lockdown. Vanderlyle is a small restaurant on Mill Road that works directly with farmers and suppliers to make short, seasonal, ingredient-led menus. During lockdown Vanderlyle is offering a ‘to-go’ service to customers, allowing orders to be made and collected while customers maintain a safe distance. Similarly, Stir Bakery is carrying out daily deliveries to the local community, determined to carry on helping those in need and unable to leave their houses, for as long as they can, in these troubling times.
There is also a number of other local businesses that are banding together to support and protect the most vulnerable during the chaos. Camcab, a local taxi company, is offering a free delivery service to the over-70s, allowing those in need to continue to use its services and travel to necessary appointments. Similarly, the bike delivery company, Zedify, is continuing to run so that it can help businesses throughout the city get their goods to customers and continue to operate.
Companies haven’t just been supporting those who are physically in need during this time. While the majority of us are stuck inside during lockdown, daily life can become monotonous, and as a result of this, mental wellbeing can take a back seat. Aiming to combat this, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens are offering weekly wellness wanders. The video walkabouts of the famous gardens are available across all social media platforms for those who want to immerse themselves in nature and are even complete with the soothing sounds of wind and bird-song, bringing the beautiful surroundings of Cambridge into our homes. Another way to escape the same four-walls is to lose yourself in a book. Local second hand book stall, Bookish, is offering free delivery of its stock, supplying the community with a distraction during unsettling times. Finally, Satyam Yoga is offering a range of its classes to clients via Zoom, allowing everyone to connect, feel the zen and ensure that we are looking after our bodies and minds.
Now more than ever, the vulnerable within society need our support. The Cambridgeshire Coronavirus Community Fund has been launched by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, alongside a number of other companies, to support those at risk or affected by coronavirus. Money raised by the fund will be used to tackle the impact of financial hardships, reach out to isolated individuals and enable home education for children and young people. So far, the fund has raised a staggering £300,000, with donations continuing to grow. I feel an incredible warmth to be part of such a strong community, when you see people pulling together through initiatives such as this, it shows that, regardless of the circumstances, positives can come out of tough times.
It can be very easy to focus on all of the negatives and sadness to come out of the current situation that the world is facing. But, in addition to the above, throughout Cambridge, there has been a wonderful increase in community groups offering shopping runs and support to their neighbours, or those in need. There has been greater communication between colleagues and friends, and people are taking a step back and enjoying the simple things in life. Although this can often be a scary and uncertain time, I feel extremely proud to be part of such an inspiring community, that is helping one another and shining a positive light during dark times.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times. If one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore