Our lockdown heroes

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Lockdown has been a very strange time where we have had to learn to adapt to a new, slightly restricted routine. It has been tough for everyone to varying degrees but there are some organisations and individuals who have made this time easier and more fun to deal with.

It goes without saying that the myriad of individuals who work in the NHS and healthcare, education sector, supermarkets, delivery and logistics, to name a few, are the ultimate heroes of this situation. We are also lucky enough to have some of these superstars on our board of trustees and are grateful to them for keeping active in their volunteer roles whilst doing increasingly more difficult and stressful day jobs. Below we’d like to highlight some more lockdown heroes who have helped us get through this time and we’d love for you to share your heroes, whether personal, local or national, in the comments below.

Supporting Verity

  • Firstly we’d like to highlight the volunteer local group leaders who have continued to run their groups during this time and to welcome new members¬†whilst finding new ways to offer peer support during isolation. You can find out more about our local groups on our website.
  • Secondly to our medical and professional advisors, who despite having limited time, have continued to support the charity by producing guest blog posts to inform and support our community during this time. Professor Stephen Franks wrote the first piece on PCOS and COVID-19, Dr Carol Percy provided tools to help manage depression and anxiety, Sharon Newson gave us some fun ways to stay active during lockdown, and Charlotte Footman has given some practical tips on how to manage excess hair at home.
  • Verity Trustees are long time members of the RCOG (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) Women’s Voices involvement panel and the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority). Both organisations have continued to produce up to date information for patients on their healthcare options during this time. This has, in turn, allowed us to support our network both via our main Facebook group and our local groups with the correct information.
  • To those members of our community who have continued to fundraise for us during this time. As a small, entirely volunteer-run organisation we are incredibly thankful to each and every person who chooses to support us in this way. If you’d like to support us and aren’t sure how you can read our recent article about how we’ve been operating during lockdown and the various different ways to fundraise¬†for us (they don’t all involve running!).

Online Heroes

All of us here at Verity have found different ways to manage our time during lockdown be it work and friend run quiz nights, movie nights via Whatsapp, online dance classes or in-person fitness instructors who have continued to do classes online. We decided to share some of the national and more accessible activities here but we’d love to hear about yours as well.

  • Dame Kelly Holmes has been doing Friday night workouts on Zoom, ending with a chat with those who are able to stick around afterwards. Trustee Caroline has joined a few of these and loves them for ‘the realness of it! She is very motivating but also very open about how she struggles as well – very relatable for such a legend.’
  • Irish comedian, Alison Spittle, has been hosting ‘Covideo parties’ every night at 9pm. She selects a movie (usually on Netflix), challenges everyone to dress up in the style of that movie and then all watch along together whilst commenting on social media. This is a great, low interaction way of feeling connected to others and maybe watching something new that you wouldn’t have chosen for yourself.
  • We, of course, can’t leave Joe Wicks off the list. Keeping everyone active (despite initially being aimed at kids) and reminding us of the good old days when the Green Goddess and Mister Motivator graced our TV screens every morning (and they’re now both back at it too!)
  • Geordie comedian, Sarah Millican, has been reading her book ‘How to be Champion’ on Instagram every day (FYI this a not safe for kids or work set of videos) and you can start with episode one on her Instagram. Interesting fact – Sarah has PCOS herself.
  • The National Theatre has been airing recordings of plays every week on their YouTube channel which you can either watch for free or make a donation towards. Thousands of theatre staff, technicians, musicians, performers, stage crew etc have suddenly had their work cut and this is an accessible way to see some great theatre and if you can to help support them during this time.
  • London based comedian, Noel Fielding, has been continuing to host his Art Club on Instagram every Saturday. He sets a theme, you make some art, share it with the hashtag #NoelsArtClub and he collates them all on his Instagram story.
  • Finally, another London based comedian, Miranda Hart, has been doing some lovely, calming rambling chats on her Instagram and has been using them to raise awareness of chronic illness and what those who suffer with them go through on a regular basis. Here’s her latest video (as of 2nd May) called 5 minutes on chronic illness.

That’s our quick round-up of things to help keep you entertained, physically active, creatively stimulated and comforted. Feel we’ve missed something or want to share a local hero? Let us know in the comments.