"The local community really rallied - making visors, raiding the local swimming pool for goggles and sourcing hand sanitisers..."
Community rallies for lockdown
Just a week before Yarrow merged with Certitude, the UK went into an unprecedented lockdown and people could no longer enjoy their usual activities or see family and friends outside their household.
Maura Ireland, who has been working at Yarrow for 20 years, became part of Certitude’s Coronavirus Task Team almost immediately. She took a dynamic and ingenious approach to sourcing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other materials in short supply, reaching out to local businesses, schools and individuals for support.
Responding quickly – and being resourceful
“At one stage we had all sorts of essential materials being delivered to my home so we could sort things in the garden and then deliver the right items to staff and people we support in my partner’s van,” explains Maura. “It was a question of being resourceful in those early days and we begged and borrowed as necessary. I’m pleased to say that the local community really rallied – making visors, raiding the local swimming pool for goggles and sourcing hand sanitisers – so that we always got what we needed somehow!”
Tough times and positive attitudes
“Inevitably, there were some cases of coronavirus and very sadly people at Certitude and Yarrow died. It has been a sad and distressing time, but support teams say they generally felt safe and people we support have shown emotional resilience.”
Stay busy and connected
As the reality of lockdown settled in, everyone kept busy, entertained and connected with their friends and family. One of our houses in Hammersmith ‘rocked lockdown’, taking advantage of the amazing springtime weather to organise arts and crafts, DIY, story writing, and, of course, barbeques in the garden.
People living in a house in Islington focused on the power and importance of friendship, thinking of friends, family and neighbours who stayed connected with them in lockdown.
Meanwhile, at a house in Fulham sumptuous afternoon teas became a regular weekly feature, while in Kensington and Chelsea, people made use of the time by honing their cookery skills. All over London throughout lockdown, people have thrived; coming up with creative ideas and activities, while being supported to explore new skills, stay connected and enjoy the sunshine while staying safe.