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Bikes, buttons and wellbeing

Much as we avoid generalisations at CADAS, I think it’s fair to say that human beings struggle with change, and so we also struggle with uncertainty – which might be described as knowing that things are likely to change but not knowing how. And that gives me the break I need to admit that I’m finding the current situation difficult – as an extrovert who gets her energy and joy from being with other people, as a planner who loves to know what’s coming to be ready to make the best of it, and as someone who thrives on ‘feeling useful’ and, frankly, not being a keyworker, feels pretty useless in the face of ‘all this’.


The sunshine has been a great help for me – who knew a Cumbrian spring could be so perfect? And my cats (that’s Snufkin in the photo). And I’m getting lots of exercise and also trying to play my much-neglected piano once a day. So I am looking after myself. And I’m using all my CADAS training to support neighbours, friends and family over the phone, email, Facebook… But I wanted to share something I’ve been doing over the past few weeks which has made me feel a little bit more connected to the COVID-19 ‘frontline’, and a little more useful. It just about ticks all the Ways to Wellbeing boxes, too, as you’ll see…


A friend from my church, Linda, who’s recently had surgery for breast cancer and is shielding at home with her daughter and grandchildren, got the idea to knit and crochet little wool pads for holding face masks for nurses and carers, to save their ears chafing from the elastic. A few weeks ago she told me she was running out of buttons. So I put an appeal on Facebook and emailed all my local friends. (CONNECT) Lots of people – some I haven’t been in touch with for ages – have got back to me right away with cheery messages (‘at last! a use for Mum’s button tin!’ etc) and left little envelopes or tins or bags of buttons on their doorsteps for me to collect. I get the feeling there are other people out there who really need something positive to do. And I’ve been cycling out every now and again all over Kendal (exploring nooks and crannies I’ve never been to – NOTICE and LEARN) to pick up buttons and take them to my friend, who lives at the far end of town, up a steep hill! (BE ACTIVE)


So far Linda’s given 200 of her face mask holders to local care homes. She’s got orders for about 50 more as I type and I am just so proud to be a little cog in her production line. (GIVE)


As a Volunteer Coordinator at CADAS I know that many of our volunteers are doing lots to support us and others at the moment, too. But that’s for another post..


Lois Sparling, Volunteer Coordinator (North and West)


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