Rediscovering our Doorsteps
Blog by Helen Willmott, Programme Director, Made With Many
With so many of us staying at home, for both leisure and work, one of the more interesting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is a renewed connection to our homes and neighbourhoods.
As someone who works in a different town to my home, previously I spent very little time in my hometown, as I worked, socialised and shopped elsewhere. That’s now changed dramatically. I regularly chat to my neighbours over the garden fence, whereas previously I would have simply waved from a distance on the street. I sit in the park to meet friends with take-out from a local café. I use the shops in my home town more frequently, often walking to them, instead of driving to large supermarkets. In fact, I regularly go days without moving my car at all.
Research has suggested that a connection to the place we live, and a strong sense of community, can result in decreased feelings of loneliness and better mental health. In essence, local living can make all of us happier and healthier. So, I’ve been thinking about how we can encourage this connection as lockdown eases, or even as local lockdowns become more likely. And obviously, a sense of community can be found online as well as physically on our streets.
With all this in mind, the Made With Many team have been thinking about how cultural activities can foster this sense of connection and community. The Connecting Corby project will re-launch in the autumn and will invite households across Corby to work with artists to create both art and new connections, both online and in person. In Wellingborough, we’re working with partners on local projects on estates across the town which will offer activities in green spaces and literally on the doorstep.
Hopefully, these projects will help us all to get through the coming months together.