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The first face to face visit since March

Join Richard from the YPWD services team as he goes on a visit to see a YPWD family for the first time since March:

Lockdown has seen our Attendees at the Charity sing like hummingbirds, write poetry like Keats , take the Chaser to trial, brought out the Alan Hansen’s in us all and knitted attire fit for Louis Vuitton. But as the lockdown began to ease, it seemed like a good time to start taking some of the conversations outside of the virtual confines of our laptops and have some face-to-face interaction. 

The last week of July was upon us. The consistency of the sunshine was also being kind. “That week” of rain had been and gone. Gardens were ripe with colourful flowers of every kind. The chairs were set and spaced out evenly as we began our socially distanced garden visits face-to- face with our attendees … for the first time in four months!

From a personal point of view, working from home and supplying as much support by all means possible via emails , phone calls, texts and video workshops/discussions, has  quite simply been a joy.  Despite what has been going on - to see what has been delivered and how it has been received - has made things all that more worthwhile, whilst further motivating me to do my best to deliver (a little?) happiness to help relieve some of the isolation in the current climate. The inclusion of all of the above has brought with it some thinking outside of the box. From being out and about to the sudden confines of all of our homes, I never thought that the Charity would be able to transfer a cosy set of face-to-face, big group workshops in to the virtual world, but I am thankful to say that I have been proven wrong. 

Having had to shield for several weeks myself, I think that it further helped me to understand the extra strain and pressure that must have been on people to cope with being confined to their homes for such a prolonged period of time. So, I used that knowledge and experience to try and help make the online workshops and telephone calls more beneficial. 

My first garden visit last week was filled with excitement. The thought of seeing one of the Charity’s attendees and their partner,  having been speaking to them down a telephone line for the past four months felt surreal as I donned my mask, jumped in my car and headed to their home in East Berkshire!  A friendly greet at the door welcomed me before heading out to the lovely little courtyard. We sat down and had a fantastic chat for a couple of hours. Reminiscing about the Charity’s workshops, the local area and good times from the past, including a rather interesting Greek Hotel! Possibly part of a chain owned by Basil Fawlty! As birds gathered around the feeders, we spoke about Sunday morning football matches and a swift half before the Sunday roast. 

The transition from our everyday out and about workshops has been a smooth one. Refreshed online workshops and garden chats will be the flavour of the month - and I am sure next month will bring another new and exciting twist!  In the meantime have a great month everyone. And stay safe.


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