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Lockdown Jigsaw Puzzles for Isolated Residents

Supporting isolated residents during lockdown.

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I am a Scheme Officer in Ipswich for a Sheltered Housing Scheme for the over 55’s. Many of the residents are self isolating due to their age or an underlying medical condition and are isolated from their friends or family. Due to Covid-19 and lockdown we have had to close the communal area and all events that we do during the week to protect the residents. As you can imagine this has had a huge impact on some of the residents, those social interactions they were having may have been their only contact with people that week. Since the lockdown has happened the residents are staying in their own flats and occasionally go for a walk around our beautiful communal gardens. Many of the residents are even frightened to do this in fear they may catch something.

During my daily wellbeing calls I have notice how low some of them are feeling, and the highlight of their day is me phoning them and letting them know that someone at the end of the phone does care about them. During our calls we talk about the current situation, the effects it is having on them and how I can help. Many of them do not have a hobby so it is frustrating for them and boredom is taking over.

“A few months ago I asked the wonderful people of Felixstowe if they had any jigsaw puzzles as the residents loved doing them in the evening together. So last week I took to social media to ask the people of Felixstowe again if they could help me and here’s what happen…!

On Wednesday the 22nd April I spent 2 hours driving around picking up puzzles off doorsteps; end of driveways and in people’s porches. WOW is all I can say the generosity blew me away, not only had people put puzzles out but there were, large print books, knitting needles, colouring sets, arts and crafts. When I got to work I set them all up on a tables and asked people to come in 1 at a times and get something and take it back to their flat. The residents were shocked at the donations.

Over the last 4 weeks I have also been getting basic food items from Morrison’s, they have kindly let me have some fresh veg, fruit, long-life milk, sauces, instant mash and juice. This has been a life saver as it means the residents do not have to go out as much to get items. Every week I empty the veg out and make up little packs and put them outside their doors. Gemma at Gemma’s Crafty Cakes has got 10 bags of flour for me so that they can do their baking and she also kindly made me a mask along with Matt Read who made a face shield for me.

I must admit I could understand why my residents didn’t recognise me this week, might have something to do with forgetting I had my son glasses on under face shield.

Thank you so much Felixstowe and please do stay safe and stay home.

Emily Todd

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Art, Music, Books & Theatre

142 Opens in June!

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Dear fellow artists and art enthusiasts,

We hope this message finds you well, that your family is safe, and that recent months have been kind to you. We are pleased to announce the gallery will be reopening in June, with social distancing measures in place.

The 142 Team recently had a meeting (at a distance, photographic evidence above!) to discuss future plans for the gallery and spoke of our personal experiences during lockdown. 

Lockdown has allowed us to reflect on our artistic endeavours, connect with nature, to embrace a slower pace, cycle, create music, bake, and binge on boxsets! But jokes aside, we are all very grateful to the hard work, dedication and support from the NHS and all the key workers. Without them, these last few months would have been a lot tougher for us all.

Thank you to everyone who has played their part in social distancing, staying at home, following the government’s advice and staying safe. Together, we can get through this.

Reopening 142

As you will be aware, from mid-June, some retail units are allowed to reopen, as long as appropriate social distancing measures are in place. With this new governmental guideline, we have decided to reopen the gallery from Thursday 18th June 2020.

Our first exhibition since lockdown will be Lisa Berry and Jim Nind. You may have seen them in the gallery before, but since their isolation and lack of interaction with fellow artists, it will be interesting to see what artworks the pair create during their residency at 142!

More details will be announced in due course, including a layout of how the gallery will operate from 18th June 2020.

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Community

A Family View

#SpreadHappiness #HomeLearning

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The Seesaw app has kept communication open with Scarlett’s teacher, as well as providing support for the family if they are stuck on a task. Scarlett is able to feel connected with her teacher and class during lockdown which has helped with her well-being.  We love the interaction aspect of it. Particularly that we can make videos and send them to the teacher. We also like how tasks are able to be completed over the app with voice, video and completing the written work without having to worry about too much paper and confusing worksheets. We love getting feedback and my daughter loves messaging her teacher to tell her what she’s been up to. It’s important to engage with Seesaw because it helps with maintaining a routine at home. My daughter’s like to sign in and say hello to their teacher encouraging them to do some activities. It’s a great source of support for the whole family and helps us feel less alone during lockdown especially when we can’t see our own families.  It also takes pressure off me as a mum to be a super teacher as well because quality teaching is still going on with the app. It’s clear the teachers love and deeply care for the students and want them to be ok and happy.  

My part 

Since going into lockdown using Seesaw to communicate with the children has made all the difference to me as a teacher, I can still teach them and see what they are up to. It has been lovely to see all the work that my class has been doing and learn new things about them. So many are great cooks and this week they tried their hand at being PE teachers and made up their own PE lessons to video and share. I have also seen a new confidence in some of the children when they have shared videos and recordings of them completing tasks or reading books. It is lovely to see that with the support of their parents they can still progress and we can still be actively involved in their learning journey. 

Miss Hay, SET Maidstone Infants School

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Art, Music, Books & Theatre

New Skills Learnt in Lockdown

A little thought from the lovely Penny Parker.

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Well lockdown has certainly given some of us time at home we hadn’t planned on and if you were like me you dived straight in with gardening, baking, cleaning everything etc. Now I guess it’s almost time to do all that again, except the baking as I’ve eaten way too much cake.

Many I’m sure had plans to learn or do something new, but did we actually do it.

I did dabble in baking cakes, scary thought for the neighbours and the fire brigade I know, as I do manage to burn most things. However they weren’t bad, looked and tasted ok ( except the garlic bread, let’s not mention that!). What wasn’t on my to do list was sewing… I hate sewing, I blame my teacher at high school who shouted at me rather a lot for my lack of skill. I usually leave sewing to my sister unless it can be glued then I’ll do it. But glueing face masks wasn’t an option.

I’d got material, odd I know for someone who doesn’t sew but it was Disney and who doesn’t like a bit of that!

I dredged up my ancient cast iron sewing machine, chuffed I hadn’t dumped it in the clear out. Swept out the cobwebs and spiders and plugged it in, well so good so far. Funny how using a sewing machine is like riding a bike, you never forget. I threaded her up, remembered my teachers screams about keeping your fingers away from the needle and off I went, slowly. It was rather like riding a steam train as it rattled about on the table making so much noise we had to turn the telly up. Never mind the ancient beast churned out almost 100 face masks for people. I lost count of the number of times the cotton snapped or the needle jammed but we made it.

Now she back in her case and back in retirement, not because I’ve stopped sewing but because I’m using a new machine!! It’s only borrowed from Recreate social enterprise who very kindly brought me some fabrics, thread and elastic from their shop but it’s helped me find a love for sewing. This machine is quiet and doesn’t shake the table, it even threads the needle, and the cotton hardly breaks. Masks are now being made so much faster and yes I’m loving it!

I’ve fallen in love with sewing… please end lockdown soon I can’t afford another hobby!!

Written by Penny Parker

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