A little colour in Covid times – 6 weeks of The Buzz

16 June 2020 · Categories: Communities Care, People Can, Small Good Stuff

When Rotherham was gripped with Coronavirus, The Buzz opened up on Facebook to provide adults with additional needs a daily activity to complete. This brought colour to our otherwise dull days

Julie and Sam – group members

We launched The Buzz in May 2020, led by Catalysts Zoe in Birmingham and Harry in Rotherham in response to Covid-19 restrictions. Two things were driving Zoe and Harry. Firstly, the local community enterprises they supported needed to close, but were keen to find ways to continue supporting people. Secondly, we knew that with community centres, colleges and day opportunities closed, people were seeking accessible ways to keep busy and to connect with others safely. The Buzz was born to connect the two.

The Buzz has been sharing a new video every day, each with a different activity to try – we’ve covered dance, fitness, baking, art, yoga and writing, as well as fun games and challenges. We’ve learnt how to juggle, to dance disco style, to paint like Picasso and to bake biscuits! The videos are made by some of the brilliant community enterprises who have been supported by Community Catalysts projects across the country spreading as far as Birmingham, Rotherham, Nottinghamshire, Oldham, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Lancashire.

The videos have been shared through a new Facebook group which has been growing steadily and is now a community of over 330 people. Community members come with lots of different backgrounds and experiences and include people with a learning disability and/or autism, carers, parents and professionals. Every Friday, for people not on Facebook the videos are added to our dedicated webpage on Small Good Stuff. Around 200 people from across the UK and even Europe have been accessing the videos here each week.

Buzz Members are invited to share their feedback and post photos of what they have been up to. A highlight for us has been seeing what people have enjoyed and how they have got on with the activities. Baking is a particular favourite with the group and we’ve seen some very tempting homemade bakes pop up!

You have shared such a variety of positive activities and ideas over the last month or so. We have found The Buzz inspiring and the page has helped to keep our spirits up

Parent and enterprise leader, Nottinghamshire

From the start we were keen to make The Buzz as accessible as possible so we asked Speakup – a Rotherham based advocacy organisation to help and we used their feedback to improve it.

This week is Learning Disability Week #LearningDisabilityWeek2020. We know for many people with a learning disability that the last few weeks have been very challenging. We all look forward to being able to meet up more freely with friends and family and to get out and about to do the things that are important to us.  It’s our hope that the ideas generated, and connections made through The Buzz can play a small part in supporting us all until that can happen. Do join us on Facebook or follow along on the website – we would love to meet you!

I have recommended the page to some of the individuals I work with as a Community Nurse and this has been a great source of support for one person in particular.  They have done some of the activities and watched some of the videos that are posted on the page.  This has been a very encouraging source of support. I would definitely recommend joining the Buzz

Gize Davies, Senior Community Nurse

If you want to know more about The Buzz contact

Zoe Miller zoe.miller@communitycatalysts.co.uk

Harry Clarkson harry.clarkson@communitycatalysts.co.uk

 

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