AMANDA FERGUSON in Belfast, Bready, Bushmills, Derry and Randalstown

Thursday, September 10, 2020

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I had the great honour of interviewing 16 community organisations for the Social Change Initiative's “Communities and COVID” project which captured uplifting accounts of how grassroots groups in Northern Ireland responded to the COVID-19 pandemic first wave from March into the summer.

I spoke to the groups over the phone and when it was safe to do so we hit the road and at a social distance caught up with the men, women and sometimes children doing their best to support communities including the vulnerable among us.

I heard many inspiring stories and of groups hope that the solidarity and community spirit so apparent would be sustained as we deal with further challenges.

I think one of the issues raised that had the biggest impact on me was groups realising the extent of the need and inequality that exists in society.

Covid brought people to their attention who had never engaged before.

This was seen as a silver lining of the covid horror show because it meant that now groups knew they existed they could do something to help address their needs.

There was a fantastic response to the storytelling report launch which you can watch in full here on Vimeo:

And you can read all about what myself and colleagues discovered here: FULL REPORT

Keep up the good work everyone.

Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a face covering, maintain social distance, ventilate rooms, limit your contacts and do what you can to support your neighbours and the vulnerable.


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