Here’s the first response to the idea from Sovereign Way that we should share examples of what groups of neighbours are doing in response to the crisis:
Grove Avenue is a Moseley road of two halves. Oxford Road, which divides it, is not exactly the Berlin Wall, but sometimes they feel like two different roads. Both sections have been dealing with lockdown in different ways with small groups getting together, but all coming out to ‘clap for carers’.
Several weeks ago, Siobhan Cutts launched a WhatsApp group Grove Avenue Connected. Like other groups it is a way of keeping in touch with people who might feel isolated or need some help. Last Thursday, some members of the group decided it would be good to join the two halves by inviting residents to join in a leisurely evening stroll or Passeggiata. The plan was to create a one-way system – up on the right and down on the left, with some people just coming out of their houses for a distance chat. Come Thursday, it was obvious why the custom of evening walks to chat and meet the neighbours is not the norm in the UK! However, the drizzle held off for long enough to entice about 20 people out into the road where they were able to meet new people and catch up with news from neighbours who had been isolated for weeks. Justine and her family at No. 2 brought out a table for donations of non-perishable food to donate to Birmingham Community Solidarity and will be there every Thursday in June between 7 and 8.30. If the weather allows, the plan is to have some other pit stops along the way – maybe some music. It felt quite special to be out connecting to different parts of Grove Avenue and it would be wonderful to see more residents out on Thursday even if it’s under an umbrella!