Nicole LeBlond, Service Manager of our Communities, reflects on the difficulties of the past year and the simple joy of being able to create new memories thanks to the StressLESS Get into Summer Fund
Saying that the past year has been difficult feels redundant at this point, but it has been hard, and the effect of the past 12-18 months cannot be underestimated. Collectively we all have some healing to do, perhaps some reflection on where we’re at now compared to where we expected to be. Neither of these things will be easy.
For the residents of our Communities it’s been a real learning curve, and not always a particularly pleasant one. Our community members have all experienced the difficulties of multiple lockdowns, lost opportunities, constantly changing plans, on top of all their legitimate worries and fears about where they’re at, where they think they’re supposed to be, and indeed how they’re going to get there when it feels like the whole world came to a standstill.
Recovery from an experience like this isn’t straight forward. We’re all suffering different losses and trying to come to terms with it.
Recently we were fortunate enough to receive funding through the StressLESS Get into Summer Fund, and have used this to get out of the community spaces to spend time together and experience new things, away from all the worries and stresses of life. Our Farm community chose to play laser tag, and spent a few hours feeling free and silly, and enjoying each other's company. Our Lotus community choose to head up high and go-Ape at Dalkeith Country Park, while our City community are off to an escape room, to try and do just that.
These may seem like small events but they provided a space for our residents to restart community life, to feel alive and connected to each other again in a positive and carefree way. And by doing so, they meant so much to us all.
The tenacity of our community members, and indeed my colleagues, over the past 18 months has been truly incredible. The constantly changing restrictions, the uncertainty of it all, the ups and downs with physical and mental health while we all tried to cope has likely meant we’ve just experienced one of the most difficult years in our services’ history.
I know that there’s lots of work still to be done to repair some of the hurts of the past year, but I am humbled by all of our residents, volunteers and colleagues' ability to keep trying, and giving 100% regardless of what hurdles are put in their way. I am privileged to be part of this team, and hopeful for more interesting opportunities for all of us for the future.