Way back in March – before our life changed so suddenly – I watched the virus creeping up on us and it scared me! I could see how, if it reached St Mawes, it was going to be devastating and a lot of people were going to need a lot of support. I became part of a group of people who, under the umbrella of the Roseland Surgeries Patients Group, set up the local Hub. The website was created to keep people informed and point them in the right direction for help and support.
Now RSPG is supporting the vulnerable members of the Parish; ShopStMawes is up and running to provide shopping for those who can’t (or don’t want to) get to the shops; the Hardship Fund is providing grants and loans to those who have suddenly found themselves in difficulties and the village has been largely virus free – which is fantastic. But lockdown is easing and I worry. Will visitors understand our fears? Can the businesses in the village survive if they have to stay shut? What will happen if everything opens too early? Already I see visitors arriving for a day out who do not think the way that I do. Several of the shops have asked me what can be done to reinforce the social distancing message. On Friday I watched children on Porthcurnick Beach leaping all over each other. They were just being children and were so enjoying meeting up with friends after such a long time but what had happened to social distancing? I chew my nails and fret! I worry about the summer: People coming down for holidays and forgetting that social distancing is not just for cities! It keeps me awake at night!
Social Distancing is not just for cities!
Yesterday I met a couple on a narrow part of the path round Carricknath. ‘It’s OK,’ they said, ‘You hold your breath and we can just push past.’
NO! I backed right up because they were obviously not going to.
Through the last few weeks some pages on the website have had more use than others. The ShopStMawes page continues to get a great many hits – particularly when it changed its opening hours, VE Day produced a huge spike of interest. It had not occurred to me that the website might be useful for events such as that but lockdown meant that communication was difficult and I was approached to see if the website could help. The Heritage Society asked if we could host their ‘Telephone Box Exhibition‘. This section, whilst still under construction, is receiving a great deal of interest. The links to the advice pages get a steady hit rate.
The Heritage Society asked if we could host their Telephone Box Exhibition
But some pages, the online diary for example, never seem to get a look in. I intend to keep the website going whilst there are people making use of it but I don’t know which direction it is going in. Are there other societies which might like to be represented on it? Might it be possible to use it to build an online shopping platform to enable those businesses which do not have their own to continue to stay afloat during lockdown? Should we be using it to support other groups within St Mawes who are struggling in a way that has not been thought of yet? Should I carry on with the diary? How can we use the website to reinforce the way we want things to be, now and later?
I would like people to engage with the website and make suggestions: what might it do for you, for us, not just now but into the future. Wouldn’t it be amazing if this wonderful village could come through the crisis and grow into something even more supportive of our inhabitants, our businesses, our community and our visitors than it is now!
If you have any ideas, if you would like to have a page for a club, if you would like to write a blog about something which would be useful to people or if you would like to be involved in building the website, please use the contacts page to make your suggestion.