Fiona Bevans has joined the Manchester Cares team for a few months to support us over the busy Christmas period. Previously she was working on our 3 Generations project connecting older neighbours, parents and children under 5 together. As we look towards 2021 together, Fiona shares what she and the rest of the Manchester Cares team have been grateful for this year and encourages you to do the same.
This time last year I don’t think any of us could have predicted what was about to take place come March 2020, or the length of time to which our lives would change from the normality that we were used to. We've been unable to do many things which normally bring us joy, such as seeing family, friends, live music, cinema or a trip to the pub. Despite lockdown and the challenges we have faced, there have been some positive moments too.
This year I have made many check-in calls to older neighbours in our Cares’ community. One thing I have noticed from so many of the calls this year has also been the focus on the positive; ‘Yes this is a tough year but I’m so grateful for…’. Older neighbours have told us how grateful they are that they have a garden or that their best friend calls every day, they are grateful for Zoom so they can get involved in a social club or grateful for their neighbours who have offered to pick them up food.
Focusing on what we have in our lives and appreciating all those little things can help us feel happier and more positive about our situation. It is natural to wonder about the what ifs or worry about loved ones, however when we are able to bring ourselves into the present moment and appreciate what we have, it can do us the world of good. Practicing gratitude by finding a couple or even just one thing you are grateful for each day has been proven to help with physical health, promoting a positive mind set and reducing stress.
With this in mind, the team at Manchester Cares want to share with you one thing we have been incredibly grateful for this year and we would love for you to do the same. Take some time today to think about one thing you have been grateful for this year. You can write it down on a piece of paper; call up a loved one to share it; or drop us a message and let us know. We’d love to hear what you have appreciated this year and what has helped make this year better.
Vicky, Love Your Neighbour Coordinator:
“My Whippet, Nelson, for his company, cuddles and literally giving me a purpose to get outside into nature every day.”
Isabel, Development Coordinator:
“I’m mostly grateful for my family and friends all keeping healthy! After that, it’s been really great to join this team this year and I’m super grateful for that too.”
Laura, Head of Programmes:
“I have been grateful for green space. I have a little garden around the back of my house which was an absolute haven in national lockdown, especially in summer. I also live near a park so I would walk or cycle in the park. It's made me more appreciative of what's on my doorstep.”
Heather, Programme Coordinator
“Having time to do lots of nice and more complicated cooking, like trying new recipes! Lots of Meera Sodha and Ottelenghi.”
Amy, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator:
“I’m grateful for my little lockdown doggo Sidney and having the extra time to walk him lots (without any commutes).”
Fiona, Project Coordinator:
“I feel really grateful to have had my loved ones close by to me this year and to have been able to spend time with my gorgeous little nephew. I’m grateful to be working with a lovely team and forever thankful for chocolate, all year round!”
Thank you to the whole Manchester Cares community for keeping us all connected this year through coming to our clubs, speaking on the phone, filling in the activity packs and sharing with us your answers, and all the other ways. With an exciting programme of events planned for January 2021, we look forward to seeing you then. For now, let’s appreciate the good moments in 2020 and hope for a wonderful 2021!
Posted by Fiona Bevans on Wednesday 23rd December 2020
Fiona is Manchester Cares' Project Coordinator