During this time, we know many people are re-focusing on their local community. People, groups and businesses all play a part and you may be wondering how you can offer your support, particularly if things are tough financially.
Here at the Angel Inn, we’re extremely luck to be based in the middle of our community, geographically and figuratively. When our doors were open we were proud to be one of the hubs of the village (as well as the shop, church and town hall) and we are sincerely missing everything that went along with that. In the meantime, however, we have had a lot of generous support from our community, which has totally overwhelmed us.
Support comes in many forms, and doesn’t necessarily mean spending money. We have tried to highlight some of the ways our community has helped us and each other which we hope will help you in turn to find ways of aiding your local businesses, groups and people.
Supporting Local People
Check in with your neighbours
Whether your immediate next-door neighbours or people you know may be especially vulnerable, now is the time that we are getting to know everyone better. One of the plusses of this awful situation is that we are making more connections. It seems normal now to be able to drop some shopping on someones doorstep or to have a socially-distanced chat over the fence where before we may not have done. We’ve found that just being able to have a brief conversation has made our day brighter, and we’re all in need of that at the moment.
Start a community hub
In Grosmont, we have a very useful town hall which has an open undercroft. This has always been a place for people to drop off their extra vegetables or leave unwanted bits and bobs, but it has now become more important than ever. Locals might pop a message on our local Facebook group to say they are putting a load of tomato plants there, or you can walk past and see that there is a collection for toiletries for the local hospital. In a time that we can’t be together, it still brings us together in spirit.
Utilise technology to keep socialising
Everyone is now learning to use technology in a way they haven’t before. More people are using Zoom, FaceTime or Skype to keep in touch and we’ve seen lots of people online that we wouldn’t have expected. Our local book club can’t come to the pub to discuss their latest read, but they’ve taken it online. Groups of friends will have quiz nights and we’ve even had a Grosmont ladies’ night online. It’s a great way to get to know people who you might not have had the chance to catch up with in the flesh. Facebook groups are also a hub of activity with more and more people checking them than usual.
Sometimes we may feel as though we have not a lot to offer, but even the smallest things can make a difference. In a time where money might be tight, you might wonder what you can offer to others. One of the things that has touched us the most is our neighbour spraying the weeds at the front of the pub as he was doing his driveway. Others snipping a hedge where someone may not be able to get it done themselves or nipping to the shop for someone who is shielding. It all makes a difference and paying it forward will probably mean that it’ll come back around to benefit you too.
Supporting Local Businesses
Spread the word
Our customers have been amazing at sharing what we’ve been doing with others. Whether this is through post sharing on social media or word of mouth, we’ve had people come to us who we haven’t met before and it makes us very happy! It’s a totally free way to support your local businesses and independent traders. Share a Facebook post, put a picture of goods or services online or simply tell your friends.
Many places have to close. This includes pubs and restaurants like us as well as salons, non-essential shops and many more. Many of these places though are still offering gift vouchers so, even though you may not be able to use their services at the moment you can still give a financial boost to many places. Not only will this help with cash flow, but it’ll give you or a loved one something to look forward to after lockdown!
Talk to businesses
Many places, ourselves included, will be missing the day to day contact they usually have with their customers. We always appreciate feedback, and it’s even more important now as we’re adapting our services constantly that we know that the new services we offer are working. Have an idea you think would benefit a business? Tell them! Think that their services could be adapted in a certain way that they haven’t tried? Let them know. Just want to tell them how well they’re doing? Do! For us, it offers such a boost when we hear positive or useful comments and ideas!
Use their services where you can
Its an obvious point, we know, but one that could be overlooked. A lot of our customers have been using us, the village shop and other local tradespeople wherever they can because it matters to them that we all keep going together. Where you might have previously bought bread from the supermarket, you could buy a loaf from your local shop instead. It’s a difference of pennies but it will make a big difference to a small business to have that extra trade.
How is your community doing? We’d love to hear about how your community is coming together during this strange time and what your tips are for pulling together getting through the crisis. Leave a comment or get in touch!