By Joy Blundell
We stand at the hinge point of history. As we emerge out of Covid-19 Lockdown #3, the history books will record how we as a generation rebuilt from the rubble of the devastation of this disease.
A disease that has not only ravaged bodies and stolen lives but has broken hearts, closed down businesses, challenged relationships, taken jobs. The relational and economic fall out will take years to quantify in full. What does rebuilding look like?
Research shows that a city is more resilient and can bounce back after an emergency or disaster if it has active citizens who behave like “glue” and hold things together. People who understand the complexities of their own local community and have lived through its problems – these “sticky” people are the ones who are most likely to be able to find solutions for the future and enlist others around them to get involved too.
Building back looks like motivating and mobilising people to understand they have a role to play in contributing to their communities and them knowing that doing this in partnership with others is powerful and transformative.
This is something I have seen in the people who engage with the work of Acts Trust. I have been incredibly inspired by the tireless contribution of volunteers who have served their hearts out, with the primary agenda of loving and caring for the city of Lincoln and its people. The way people have pulled together and offered their time and their talent to plug the gap in the crisis has been nothing short of inspirational. What is even more brilliant is when relationships have been built through helping – recipients of help and helpers become friends – connecting over their common humanity. It’s even better when people who have found support can find ways to contribute back – restoring a sense of purpose where it had been lacking previously.
Roy, who volunteers with the Shed project (a project connected to Acts that creates a space for men to connect and build friendship) has been such a brilliant example of this.
Throughout all the lockdown periods, Roy has continued to build community with the men from The Shed, when he wasn’t able to bring them together in groups he initiated one to one bike rides and formed “the slow bikers” group. He has helped find donated bikes for men with no access to a bike and members of the group have contributed their bike maintenance and fixing skills to help others. In a time where many people have retreated inside and away from people, Roy has pushed in and created a space for men to connect and build new friendships but also contribute and help other people.
If we want to build Lincoln back better and help heal the scars of Covid then we need to keep working hard at building strong relationships that create space for people to contribute and play a part in their communities. It’s not just about making sure people get help, it’s about activating people to play their part. When we engage we become “sticky”- like glue; we pull people together, we strengthen and encourage, our relationships bring hope and support and it’s these relationships that are the building blocks with which to rebuild.
Acts Trust is all about providing a space for people to be empowered to act and connected together to thrive. Acts aims to facilitate us all to be more “sticky” and “glue-like”, to activate us in pulling people together. If you would like to get involved there’s a place for you, we would love to connect with you and empower you to be part of rebuilding this beautiful place we call home.