Our Community Centres may remain closed but neighbourly spirit is definitely still shining brightly throughout Blackpool. Community Activities Officer Debbie Kerr has been busy making sure our communities stay connected with regular contact through various means; from weekly digital quizzes to keeping active through maintaining communal garden spaces, residents continue to be involved in their local neighbourhoods.

WhatsApp has been a lifeline for residents to share stories, news and keep in touch with neighbours during lockdown and Debbie has helped many to set up groups as well as individual accounts. In partnership with Blackpool Council’s Adult, Community and Family Learning, Debbie has helped with hosting Wellbeing sessions through digital platform Zoom. Having grown in numbers, a weekly one and a half hour session now takes place, with residents hosting the meetings and sharing their fantastic skills, including decoupage, upcycling, aromatherapy and crocheting. The sessions have been enjoyable and informative and give those involved a task to complete for the following week.

For those residents who find it difficult to get to grips with technology, Debbie has made contact through regular phone calls to help alleviate social isolation and has referred people to available support services where appropriate, including to Blackpool Empowerment which has set up a volunteer-led befriending service for vulnerable residents in the Bispham area during this difficult time.

We’d like to commend our communities for their hard work and dedication to improving their local areas and supporting each other. The groups Debbie works with have pulled together to help and continue to go above and beyond…

  • The Bispham Bunch, Rita and Joanne, are continuing with digital quizzes and have been helping with dog walking, collecting prescriptions and shopping for vulnerable residents.
  • Lowmoor’s communal garden is blooming beautifully thanks to local residents John, Roy and Trevor who have worked hard on its maintenance.
  • Bostonway residents Carol, June, Pam, Simone, Mandy, Anita, Karl and Amanda have continued their group digitally through Zoom and WhatsApp, providing daily contact to neighbours along with sharing tips and support. They have also transformed the communal garden at Bostonway, which is now a beautiful and tranquil space for residents to enjoy.
  • Graham is a relatively new resident at Lostock and has been supporting his next door neighbours by cooking regular hearty homemade meals, even taking requests.

Thank you and well done to you all!

 

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