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A day in the life…

6 April 2020 · Categories: Communities Care, Small Good Stuff

Our Catalyst Anita who supports people to set up their own enterprises in Dorset tells us about a day in her working life as we all adapt to social distancing and working from home…

Wessex FM wakes me up with its regular traffic updates – usually they are an important start to my day as I plan where I need to travel to, but not while I’m on lockdown.

I manage to cram in an hour of work before my 14-year-old son wakes up and I start him on his home schooling.

I’ve been looking at different ways to communicate with people and WhatsApp is a good tool for this – I have expanded the group I originally set up for the Sherborne Community Micro-Enterprises (CMEs) as this has the highest concentration.

The WhatsApp group with the enterprises is going well and since the COVID-19 situation they are using this more to support each other.

I received some email notices around the COVID-19 advice and guidelines, generated by Government and Community Catalysts, which I share with all of the enterprises in an Outlook email group I created.

Time for a break from the screens, cup of tea in the garden and say hello to the neighbours over the garden fence. A sharing of disbelief and concern for others but a few laughs and giggles thrown in lightens the mood and we get back to work.

I call a woman who has made an enquiry to set up her own community micro-enterprise and we talk through her situation and what she would like to offer. I offer solutions to her concerns and answer her questions, she says she is feeling very positive about the programme and possibilities.

I will send a follow up email and some information to start her off. Great news, this gives me a much-needed motivational boost. It is amazing that people continue to want to support others in their local community even at this time to back up the volunteers that are helping people across the country. As an organization, Community Catalysts is sharing daily updates for our enterprise leaders about COVID-19 and how to stay safe on our website Small Good stuff

I’ve had some emails from some CMEs about the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), expected deliveries haven’t arrived and CMEs are running out of gloves, aprons and masks. I share these updates with the Council’s Adult Commissioning teams.

I use Eventbrite to search for webinars and other online events which are relevant to the CMEs and myself for staying connected to my existing network. So many fellow organisations are making really good use of the amazing technology we have to hand.

I’m a great believer in routines, achievable goals, maintaining my motivation and connection with people. Keeping the communications open and flowing are all key to adhering to the lockdown while appropriately taking the opportunities that this unfortunate situation presents. The more CMEs I can support to continue to provide their amazing services then the more of our population can get through these challenging times.

We’d love to hear your stories about supporting people through these uncertain times. Post a story on Facebook or Twitter and include our hashtag #brightlightsinadarkworld.

by Anita Wingad
Community Enterprise Catalyst (Dorset)

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