Village life under lockdown: how we are supporting the Lynwood Village community
Lynwood Village: life under lockdown
Our usually bustling village has been in lockdown since the 16th of March; one week later and the whole nation joined us. All of our social gatherings, exercise classes, excursions on the minibus and meals in the restaurant have been curtailed and no visitors from outside the village are allowed, other than essential workers. Our community’s population are mostly aged over 70 with plenty of 80 and 90-year olds too, so we have to be cautious and we are following government advice to protect this high-risk group. Our owners are isolating in their apartments and cottages, waiting out the pandemic with their usual stoicism and patience, counting themselves lucky to be in the village with support on hand, access to food and help if they need it.
A team effort!
Our amazing village team has well and truly stepped up to the plate, working day and night to look after everyone in the village. We even have staff who volunteered to live on site full-time to help look after the owners while minimising the risk of bringing the infection into the village from outside. These team members are going above and beyond to help in these extraordinary times and their commitment is very much appreciated by everyone. Many owners have made a point of expressing their gratitude to the staff who are working so hard to make isolation tolerable. Amongst many other things, staff make daily phone calls to every owner, checking in, asking how they are and seeing if they need anything. They are also keeping families updated, delivering shopping, prescriptions, parcels and offering help if problems arise.
Many owners have expressed their gratitude for the effort being made to look after them:
“I am trying to count my blessings being in Lynwood but there are too many to count.”
“When I hear from friends who are self-isolating at home, I realise how lucky we are at Lynwood to have such a caring and hard-working team looking after our welfare.”
“The Lynwood staff seen and unseen are being wonderful, some of whom left their families to be here to care for us. They should all be applauded for their no-fuss attitude. So glad I’m here.”
Feeding the village
There’s nothing worse than running out of food or worrying about how you’re going to get hold of some shopping so the village team has been hard at work trying to keep everyone in the village well supplied. Our chefs are in the kitchen every day (observing social distancing measures) making hot lunches for anyone who orders one, supported by our restaurant team who are taking orders and delivering meals. Shopping can be difficult at the moment, with delivery slots scarce and over 70s advised to stay indoors so being able to have a hot, freshly cooked lunch appear on your doorstep is a wonderful benefit of being in the village.
To enable owners to maintain their larders, the village shop has been stocked up with additional lines including essential provisions, fresh fruit and vegetables bread, milk, frozen meals, household items and treats. We’re so grateful to Waitrose for waiving the restrictions and allowing us to buy what we need to support the village community, and to our local butchers for setting up a delivery service. If there’s something specific owners need they can just call reception and we’ll get it in for them. The same applies to deliveries from friends, family, pharmacies or shops – our wonderful reception team delivers all the parcels to the owner’s door to minimise the need for them to leave their home.
Read all about it in the Lynwood Daily News!
To help keep people occupied and to share the latest news and developments (and a lot of jokes about toilet roll!), Lisa, a highly dedicated and valued member of our superb liaison team, writes a brilliant daily newsletter. There are quizzes, crosswords, puzzles, useful information, poems (often from pet owners on behalf of their dogs!) and messages from owners. It’s a daily tonic and owners are creating their own additions to keep themselves amused including a sweepstake on the date when the restrictions might be lifted. If someone has a birthday, it is announced in the daily newsletter so people can send them cards or notes to wish them many happy returns. Answers to the quizzes are collected from people’s front doors each day and there is a friendly competition between apartment buildings (Cedar Lodge, Mulberry House and Woodland View) to see who can get the most answers right. The cottages have now joined forces too, so the competition is hotting up!
Lynwood is blessed with beautiful outside spaces. Accessible paths weave through the ancient woodland at the rear of the village and the croquet lawn, outdoor bowls and English Garden provide additional spaces to get some fresh air so owners can enjoy the beautiful spring sunshine (while keeping a safe distance from each other).
All the properties at Lynwood also have their own balcony or private garden which, as well as providing another place from which to enjoy the sunshine, is the location for a socially-distanced workout! Debbie, a multi-talented member of our reception team who is also a qualified personal trainer, has been donning her spangliest lycra to run balcony /garden workouts for owners who are unable to attend their usual exercise classes in the village. These outside spaces are also where we all gather to clap for carers on Thursdays, it’s a very moving sight to see everyone standing on their balconies, at their front doors and in their gardens to show their appreciation to everyone who is working so hard to get us through this pandemic.
It’s not an easy time for anyone at the moment but what this has shown us is that our community really does pull together in difficult times. When this is all over, hopefully we’ll look back and remember the many kindnesses being shown and the effort our keyworkers, in the village and beyond, are making to get us through this strange and difficult time.