Hold on to and nurture that local community spirit

Torquay seafront

Torquay seafront - Credit: Archant

Leah Whitcher is community builder for Torre and Upton:

Goodness me, it’s been a tough 14 months, hasn’t it?

How have you been? What did you do to get yourselves through it? Did you pull together a bit more in your street or neighbourhood?

Did you move to participating in Zoom groups or chatting to people on the phone more often?

Did you get fitter and healthier to keep yourself well or did you indulge in one too many glasses of wine or more than your share of treats or comfort food?

Or perhaps all of the above? 

A recurring thought that’s helped get me through the past few difficult months is that I am so very lucky to be living somewhere that others would bite my arm off to get to for a seaside break.

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I get myself into a holiday frame of mind, try to cast away any troubles and head to the beach where I can indulge in holiday type activities such as eating a cone of delicious Devon ice cream, or have a coffee and a bacon bap.

I’ll walk along the promenade from the harbour to Preston and back home, which really helps to clear my head and recharge the batteries.

You might have thought that nothing at all has been happening as the whole country has been in its Rip van Winkle slumber but events and activities are starting again.

The Bay’s fantastic independent shops and cafes are emerging from their chrysalis and the sun – fingers crossed – is shining.

So, yes, things are starting to open up.

For those a bit uncertain about dipping their toes in the water, there are a number of outdoor activities and groups to help build confidence and some online activities that are continuing.

A number of people around our lovely Bay have expressed an interest in joining or starting a local litter picking group in their area, which is wonderful to hear.

It seems that our enforced captivity has unleashed a desire to not only embrace life to the full but to repay the neighbours or local community who looked after them - either by shopping, collecting prescriptions or just being available for a chat - by holding on to and nurturing that local community spirit.

Boris has said there won’t be another lockdown, but let’s keep that connectedness going just in case.

For anyone still a bit unsure about getting out and about, there are telephone activities happening. 

We community builders have tried some of them out on your behalf and you’ll be amazed at the variety of group activities that take place over the phone.

Contact your local community builder for details. 

And finally – let’s raise a glass (mine’s a G&T), to a fantabulous summer and make the most of our beautiful Torbay.