During the first phase of the national lockdown, many organisations irrespective of size, found that they would have to adapt to new ways of working and delivering their services, faced with this challenge as a small organisation we have had to think creatively about what is possible within the current climate.
Many services have transferred to online platforms, as the application of social restrictions did not allow for the possibility of meeting in most physical spaces.
It has been a new experience for many of us and has led to many adjustments in ways of achieving our objectives.
Online interactions naturally, are not quite the same as being able to occupy physical spaces and the benefits which come from being in community with each other, and where we look forward to the time where we return to some semblance of what we consider to be normality, maintaining continuity is currently often as a result of WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype, and online platforms.
Balm Therapies Covid-19 response involved creating wellbeing boxes which provided equipment and essential items, which we hoped in some way helped to recreate aspects of the workshops and seminars delivered through Balm Women( which focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of women of Black African Caribbean heritage).
We considered elders within the community, many of them of the Windrush Generation, the contribution they have made to the community is immeasurable, and it seemed appropriate that we should reach out to them, as well as others who were shielding during this time.
The wellbeing boxes were a great opportunity to reconnect, on doorsteps across communities.
We were pleased to have been supported in this activity by Nottingham Women's Centre, and it would be true to say that this allowed for the possibility of linking with individuals, enabling us to gain first-hand knowledge of the range of impacts the pandemic has had on wellbeing.
We are looking forward to the continuation of this process, and although the second lockdown is regrettable and not necessarily expected we intend to meet the continuing challenge by reaching out across the spectrum and diversity of our community, focusing on practical emotional and psychological needs.
This assists us in learning and understanding the value of difference and allows us to seize the opportunity to develop and grow as individuals and as an organisation.
Elsa one of our volunteers who helped to pack and deliver wellbeing boxes.