We had a break in at Union Corner, it was sad – the idea that someone needed to break in to take donated items like clothes and food that would all be given away for free the next day anyway, and things like… it was symbolic of how desperate people can become through a time like this. The Soup volunteers that have worked tirelessly serving over 1500 lunches since March were really disheartened.
The next week…
….we had so many people offering support, donations, food and replacements for things that had been taken ❤️ – thank you, it was so supportive and got us back on track. Our neighbours had CCTV and the police are on the case. As anyone who runs a community organisation knows – the time, heartache and worry people put in to making spaces like Union Corner work is never really fully recognised but during this week it felt like it was.
Push back on the negativity
Tough moments can quickly affect everything, but with some of our latest projects flourishing we’ve had lots of distractions. Last month we shared the news about working with The Repair Cafe at Borrow Don’t Buy to get devices out to people…well, we have had 64 devices donated and thanks to their hard work 24 going out to people in our community who need them this week! Please get in touch if you have devices to donate or you know someone in Stonehouse who would really benefit from one – firstname.lastname@example.org
Our phone line is now fully supported by volunteers and as calls start to increase, any local person to call and leave a message. Please share it with anyone who may need some support one day.
Despite the break in, the area around Union Corner continues to show local joy. We supported a national flyposting campaign and hid crocheted alien activists around the street spreading mini messages of courage and care. Look out for them around the street and if you would like to add to them yourself use this pattern!
We have been busy getting a host of lovely things ready with some very talented local artists and makers and with restrictions gradually lifting these will appear on the street for you to enjoy. We have also updated a list of all the joy on the street this past year – check it out!
Opening up to the summer
As restrictions are lifting we are beginning to reopen. Manor Street Market will be back on Saturday 27 June from 10-2pm and there are super exciting collaborations cooking with the Diversity Business Incubator and Hope at The Plot, and a summer of colour and fun ready for The Clipper. We will be taking it slow and learning as we go, but we CANNOT wait to see your lovely faces from a distance!!!!
We will do everything we can to open safely and kindly, we all have a whole host of new feelings of anxiety and uncertainty going on now – but we will need your help…
We want to open up in a Nudge way – with joy and cheekiness, but we may make mistakes. Other small businesses along the street will be in the same boat. So we’d like to ask that if things don’t feel right in one of our buildings, events, or in another local businesses – say something, it won’t be intentional, and we’d like a chance to put it right.
This time has called for us all to be resilient at home, at work, in the economy, in our communities and in ourselves.
Resilience def: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness
The risk is that this can lead to quick decisions that may meet immediate demand but will it add up to long term solutions? Some of these quick decisions have kept us and others afloat and we are super grateful for that, but now we need to move to longer term ways of working – however unpredictable that may feel right now.
We can’t sustain the fight or flight immediacy that the last few months have required. We need to think about what we all need going forward – is it the toughest and the strongest or is it the kinder, more gentle and thoughtful that can now make the impact we need to see in our communities? Or a mix of both? Just like the Union Street Discovery tours we need to take a fresh look at the every day.
It’s now clear to us that it is more than resilience. How can Nudge and the people around us have endurance through this time – we are thinking about how we can give each other the energy and resources to keep going. How can we pace ourselves? How do we remain true to our personal and organisational values? Can we find new ways to plan and manage risk and uncertainty?
This is a marathon, and it’s heading into an unknown future. We need to make sure we collaborate, share, and wrap the training, the resources and support around each other to make the difference we want to see.
Endurance def: the capacity of something to last or the ability to continue doing something for a long time
Breaking and taking is not a way to move forward positively at a time like this, we can only get through this by listening and learning together, and finding ways for ne habits and ways of working to endure. So going forward we will continue to build and bend as we adjust to each change and twist this year brings and support others to do the same.
We hope to see you on the street – from a distance – sometime soon!
Love from Hannah, Wendy and all at Team Nudge xxx