As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, we wanted to create a safe space (virtually) for people to be able to get up to date information, to connect with others across the county and to process what was going on.
We started out by hosting organisations live on our Facebook who led sessions such as mindfulness, illustration with Daymond Design and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) with Bespoke Minds. We thought they would be useful sessions for people struggling with anxiety due to the lockdown and pandemic.
The group became a little bit more casual as the weeks progressed - we got to know each other better; shared music, book, film and TV show recommendations; played games together; shared what we’d been learning and doing in lockdown and made plans to see each other in the future. We learnt about each other's cultures and experiences of coming to the UK and shared ideas of how to make life more inclusive for different ethnic minority communities in Cumbria.
It became a space where individuals looked forward to the following week - to reconnect with their new friends, relax and laugh together. We connected with individuals from nine different countries who live in Carlisle, Kendal, Sedbergh, Ambleside, Ulverston, Workington, Maryport and Cockermouth.