It’s now six whole weeks since we were asked to stay home, protect our NHS and save lives. It’s not been easy. We are missing family and friends, concerned about elderly relatives, worrying about our livelihoods or businesses, struggling to entertain and educate our children. Some will, sadly, be dealing with even worse problems – and if that is you, whatever the problem is, please, please reach out. The help and support are there for you.
What HAS shone through, though, is the most wonderful community spirit. Neighbourhoods and communities have really stepped up to help each other – and to help strangers. Mums have left out boxes of toys and books to share. Young children have sent cards to elderly folk, or decorated streets and houses. Churches Together in Cheadle Hulme collect regularly for Chelwood Foodbank. Groups have been formed purely to help those who are vulnerable or isolating – Helping Hands Cheadle Hulme and Helping Hands Bramhall as well as volunteer teams from Manchester Rugby Club and Handy Ladies Cheadle.
People have been donating scrubs, masks and hand creams. Restaurants and shops have given food, goods and time to those who need it most. Linda of Rainbow88 has now cooked over 1000 portions of fancy fried rice – accompanied by sweet treats from an army of bakers who all want to help. Those shops still able to open are delivering for the elderly, vulnerable and key workers. Pimlott’s, Waterhouse’s and Snape & Sons have been amazing.
Tracy Bradbury, a talented permanent make-up artist and owner of Enhance 0f Cheshire, has set up a ‘sharing wall’ near her home on Yew Tree Park Road. Already a pretty amazing lady, having recovered from a stroke while retaining the most wonderful positive attitude, she’s also a volunteer shopper and has donated all her surgical gloves and masks to Mastercall. Tracy is mum to three, including the lovely Maria, already a gifted make-up artist. Her sharing wall initiative is already proving popular. On Sunday alone, over 100 people viewed, donated or chose items:
Please help yourselves as you go past to whatever you need or want.
Everything is brought in overnight – or when it rains! Once lockdown is over, Tracy will donate any leftover items to the local food bank and charity shops. This fabulous project started small, with just one box of items left out for passers-by. Now, all generations are visiting and donating, there’s an overflowing clothes rail as well as oodles of toys, books and household items.
Not far from Tracy, Hayley Ekgren – part of local Xero experts Your Support Team – and family have left lots of their watched DVDs outside for people to help themselves. On bringing inside for the night, Hayley found this little note inside with a packet of Haribo stapled to it. Little things like this can make all the difference – what a lovely thought.
We would LOVE to see these idea spread throughout Cheadle Hulme and Bramhall. Please do let us know if you have anything similar in your area. And if not, what are you waiting for? It can all start with a box of bits…