Coronavirus castaway

A colleague’s experience of being stranded in a small Welsh village

Suddenly, and without much warning, I find myself moving from the bustle and buzz of a busy open-plan office to working from home. The witty banter of my colleagues is replaced with the needy looks of two Jack Russells (‘…it’s been ‘minutes’ since you last fed me….this is cruelty!!’).

When home is in a small Welsh village where the sole communal point of focus is a post box (we don’t even have a shop), the prospect of spending months at home made me worry about going stir-crazy.

That’s not to say that there weren’t loads of positive and motivational communications from my employer, and the media. But still, I got to thinking….

Who are these people living near me?

Instead of making this about me, what about thinking about this community that I live in? Those people who live a stone’s throw from my front door. People I smile at when walking the dogs, people I occasionally see at the local supermarket (about four miles away). We nod at one another and say ‘hi’ (from a respectable two metre distance), but that’s about it.

These are people that I frankly just don’t know and never really thought about until now (I’m ashamed to say). Gone are the days when the villagers got together for a ‘witch-burning’ or other such jovial events. Opportunities to meet are rare. I know many of these people are older, retired and some do live on their own, so maybe it’s time to act?

Having been through Brexit, which we know (unless you’ve been living under a stone) has divided the country, perhaps coronavirus could be the thing that brings us together. In fact, as far as my village goes, that’s what’s going to happen. My personal goal has been set!

‘Corona won’t make me a moaner’

(I’m copywriting that strapline now…and clearly in the wrong job!).

A ‘Community Strategy’ is what I’m working on whilst having breaks from my ‘day job’ and taking the dogs for walks.

Step one – once I’d dusted off the home-printer – was to write up a flyer that I can post through the front doors of those in the village.

By the way, we do actually have an old graveyard in our garden. We live in an old converted Victorian schoolhouse – used to be part of the church, hence the graveyard…so no, I’m not a Goth!

When walking the dogs, I post these through the doors of people that I either know or think may be in these higher risk categories.

My plan is in place for when the calls start flooding in.

Some time later…

So, the weekend has passed and we have had two calls. One was just to say ‘Thank you’ for the community spirit, and the other was to ask if we had seen a black and white cat called Clive.

It’s early days!

Today I’m launching phase two (incidentally, I’m now renaming this ‘Project Clive’ as it is clearly developing a life of its own and deserves a name). Phase two consists of… another flyer.

So, as I continue on this journey…will it work? Frankly I just don’t know.

Half of me is expecting a visit from the police: ‘Your neighbours have been in touch and want you to stop stalking them – in fact, could you consider moving?’

Alternatively: ‘We’re investigating the disappearance of a cat and believe you might be able to help us with our enquiries.’

Wish me luck!

Can we help?

Chris is one of our Client Relationship Managers here at PES. When not not helping elderly neighbours or feeding his Jack Russells, he can be found providing excellent customer service to PES clients.

Many businesses are struggling during this crisis and we want to help. Find out what support we can offer to you and your employees. Please get in touch – we’d be delighted to chat with you.