Shropshire Council

Get involved with MiR

The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough for all and particularly heart breaking for some. But it has also been eye-opening to see the levels of mutual support offered in local communities and the positive support for carers and key workers of all descriptions.

We are now starting to emerge from lockdown and perhaps view the world with slightly different eyes. I recently noticed these lines on the ‘Mobilise’ website that offers support to carers;  

“It feels like we are about to enter a new phase and just like everything else through the coronavirus situation there are new phrases and words being used.  We've had 'pandemic' 'vulnerable' 'lockdown' and 'shielding'.  We learnt how to 'social distance' and then came 'bubbles' and 'relaxing of lockdown'.  Now feels like the time to start to think ahead to 'the new normal'

Most of us are still a way off 'the new normal' but it feels like there is an opportunity, what if we can shape this to be better and something individual to us?  There's something for us to mull over … how would you like your new normal to look?”

The words really struck a chord with me as I try to emerge after over 100 days of lockdown and working from home. During the pandemic, I have been knocking on doors and contacting people but still the world outside my front door seems a little strange as people scuttle by with face masks firmly drawn like curtains across emotions.

So, together, let’s start to emerge and rethink Making it Real in this new normal. On the TLAP website our good friend and colleague, Clenton, talks about 3 phases of an emergence:

  • Response – what happened there and where are we now?
  • Recovery – not back to business as usual but understanding the experience and impact of the pandemic on people with care and support needs so that we can bring about change if needed
  • Reform – use the lessons learned to inspire and inform social care change

I like this because personally I want to emerge in a measured way and understand what we in Making it Real can learn from the pandemic.

One contact wrote to me recently and said; “I would say that an invitation for people to contact yourself, with their views or concerns could start to get an idea of the types of issues that have arisen during Covid-19, and the gaps in services that can be learned from and improved”. Feedback can then “form as the basis for an initial agenda to start discussions”. Good idea! But don’t forget, there may be positives in all this for some people too.

So, this is a call out to every Making it Real contact and your friends, families or carers and contacts.

What has been your experience of the pandemic – good or bad? Share your experiences and we can start to build our discussions about reform and the future of adult social care in Shropshire. Read Caroline’s Lockdown reflections as a starter and then share your own thoughts.

Remember, at the core of Making it Real is the commitment to involve people who use services in the discussions about how we improve those services and ultimately people’s lives. I’m not sure how we’ll be doing that in the coming months (do we replace face to face meetings with on-line meetings? Do we establish a regular Making it Real newsletter to share experiences and ideas? Can we remain very human while making change? Can we use the massive surge in numbers using zoom and things like Facebook to welcome more people to our discussions?).

There are many questions and practicalities about the way Making it Real works that we will need to sort through, but the key is to start with your experiences – drop me a note with your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes
Stewart (Development Officer)