Covid-19 Stories Blog

COVID-19 COMMUNITY STORIES

These stories have been kindly shared by children, young people and adults in our community, from personal accounts to the experiences of key-workers. People have described their lives at home, work and and school and shared their feelings, challenges and hopes. At Gladrags we wanted to capture local living history and create this resource for teachers and community / youth workers processing the events of Covid-19 within their schools, community projects and well-being settings.

Our FREE initial collection of 30 stories, written between May and September 2020, is now available in pdf (download copies below) and editable powerpoint verisons (please contact us for a copy).

Covid Wellbeing Resource - primary schools - whiteboard version (pdf)

Covid Wellbeing Resource - primary schools - print version (pdf)

Covid Wellbeing Resource - secondary schools / community projects - whiteboard version (pdf)

Covid Wellbeing Resource - secondary schools / community projects - print version (pdf)

You can take part!

As we continue to live in the age of Coronavirus, we are still inviting people of all ages and all sections of our community to give voice to their experience, so do please share this page freely or download our E-POSTER. For more info and to submit your story please download one of the following forms:

       Worker perspective        Personal perspective        Child Perspective

For detailed questions that help with putting a story together, either your own, or those of people you are working with / interviewing, please download one of the following sheets. They can be edited to suit your specific purpose.

Questions - worker       Questions - adult / young person     Questions - child / young person

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"As a Primary Deputy Head I am keen to source real accounts of different people’s experiences of life since lockdown due to the coronavirus. It is vital for pupils to hear about these experiences to support their understanding of how others have and are coping and to develop empathy with different people."

Nigel Watson, Coldean Primary School, Brighton 

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Thank you to East Brighton Trust for funding this project.

 Some names and places have been altered to protect identities.

A Teacher’s Heart in the Community

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I work as a Nursery Practitioner at Bevendean Primary school providing free education to children aged 3-4 years.  The school is large, but undersubscribed, allowing us to have classes of up to 30 children. Our awareness of the virus began slowly – first of all being aware of cases in China, then Spain, then France.  Soon we were all aware as a member of staff had had potential contact with the virus and due to a lack of central guidance for managers, the school made the decision to close for 1 day while they waited for advice from public health England at the beginning of March. 

We reopened briefly in mid-March, before closing as lockdown descended. Like many schools we still were open to children of key workers and vulnerable families. We used our staff ‘snow leads’ system to manage the situation, which was a funny title when we had all the heatwaves! I’ve been really impressed with the level of planning our managers have put in place.

Brig uprightI’ve seen how differently people react to Covid-19: some people are really cautious and have kept their children out of school, others are not worried, but didn’t want their kids going to school while others were off. As a result, we’ve had as few as 3 children to care for on some days and at most only 7 kids.  I’m looking forward to returning to work in September but am not sure how many kids we’ll have as registrations have been very low so far.

Personally, I’ve had to reduce my working days and been redeployed across the school. We have a minimum number of staff working with kids, so I’m always working with other colleagues and under lockdown I ended up working with people I’d not regularly worked with before. With my extra time outside of work, I found myself feeling strongly that I needed to do something and reconnect with my community. I was aware of other people working harder and doing longer shifts than they had been before lockdown and I did feel guilty sometimes.

I considered using my prior nursing experience, but the NHS was inundated with volunteers. So, just 2 days after lockdown I was volunteering for my local pub, The Bevy, helping them deliver their ‘meals on wheels’ to local people who could no longer come to the pub for their community group days. I also helped out at the school with providing free school dinners for kids and collecting food from depots and driving it to outlets. Plus, at home we’ve had the usual ‘open door’ policy for waifs and strays, so I’ve been as busy as usual in different ways.

I’ve been walking and gardening and there’s been a real holiday-feel during the crisis, despite all the cancelled events in my diary, and I have sometimes felt like I’m treading water and that the situation is unreal and dreamlike. There seemed to be a lot of positive change and possibility coming out of the situation and although I am hopeful, I do feel suspicious about laws and regulations coming in which could affect the bigger picture long term. I do feel that I’ve learnt to be more aware of others' perspectives about how they react to the virus and to be inclusive and not judge. After all, we need to look after each other.

By Brig, August 2020

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