2020 - the rollercoaster year and why we must look forward to 2021 - an update from Active Withernsea

Fri, 18 Dec 2020

For the last two years the Active Withernsea team has been working with the community to better understand the things that are important to them and how we can support them to have more of what they want in their lives in terms of physical, social and wellbeing opportunities.

With the challenges that have been brought on by the global pandemic - it sure has been a rollercoaster year for everyone.

Here's a selection of standout moments from the last 12 months.

During the first lockdown the Active Withernsea team supported the East Riding Council Hub, which served as an outlet getting direct help to those most vulnerable in the town, which included helping people get access to food, who were shielding as a result of COVID-19.

Door-to-door visits and check-ins kept the team very busy, but it was important to them that they knew their community was safe and well.

Lockdown has had a different effect on many people and the team felt it was important to share people's lockdown experiences to help break down barriers.

Throughout lockdown Active Withernsea worked with a number of residents to record their life experiences in lockdown.

These lockdown stories and experiences were shared via a series of photographic postcards created by Ethnographer Les Monaghan and illustrations by Sarah Smizz in the team's printed magazine, called Zine.

The purpose of the postcards and Zine were to promote the challenges and obstacles that residents have been facing in lockdown. The postcards and Zine can still be viewed on the Active Withernsea website.

In July the Love Exploring App was launched with a series of walks and routes around the town, giving residents the chance to reconnect and rediscover Withernsea via their mobile phone.

Residents are advised to keep their eyes peeled across the Christmas period because the app will be bringing them some festive cheer.

The team supported the Withernsea Ladies Choir and Manchester Camerata to create Unlocked Voices, a virtual music-making project that aimed to help ease social isolation and lift wellbeing.

The project produced a specially commissioned film of choral sounds from eight care homes and people from the wider community.

The project showcased the important role music plays in creating community and making people happy.

If residents get the chance, they are encouraged to visit Active Withernsea's social media feeds and watch the music video.

John Skidmore, director of adults, health and customer services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: "The team has done some fantastic work in helping to create a happier, healthier Withernsea by bringing the community together to focus on what is strong and building on this by using community connections.

"This year has seen us face a lot of challenges and I am proud of the work the community has done in partnership with Active Withernsea in order to make the town a more active place to be."

In November the CEO of Sports England Tim Hollingsworth virtually visited Withernsea to meet the team and reflect on the successes and future plans for Active Withernsea.

Back in the summer Sport England extended the Active Withernsea project, investing £1.4 million.

This is great news for the community because the team can continue to work together to make Withernsea a more physically and socially accessible and active town.

Looking forward to 2021

At the start of next year residents will hear more from the team about the opportunities that will be available, whether that be getting out safely and discovering more of the hidden activities on your doorstep, exploring more ways to get involved in shaping the community or seeking help to develop a new local project that supports activity in Withernsea .

How to contact the team

No idea is too big or too small - it all starts with a conversation. Everyone can work together to make Withernsea a better place for everyone.

Get in touch and receive the latest information by following Active Withernsea on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit eastridingcoastandcountryside.co.uk/active-withernsea or email active.withernsea@eastriding.gov.uk

To get the latest updates and news directly visit the website and get signed up to the monthly newsletter.

The team would like to thank everyone in the community who has worked with the Active Withernsea project to date.

They look forward to making new friends and making existing friendships even stronger.

Let's all make 2021 the best year yet!

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