Life in lockdown: Cambridgeshire people raising everyone’s spirits
We’ve been asking for your photographs of life in lockdown - and we've had a wonderful response.
When the lockdown began, the president of one Women’s Institute branch decided the best way to keep in touch with vulnerable members was to bake them some cakes and drop them off.
Now over a month later, Jean Gawlinski- Reeves has baked more than 1,000 cakes and has been delivering them all around her village of Burwell.
And she plans to carry on baking because she loves the reactions from the people who receive her cakes.
Jean says: “It all started because I was concerned about other people in the WI and how we were going to keep in touch and I thought I don't want to just keep ringing around so, because I love baking, I thought I could make cakes and scones and put them in little boxes and take them round to people as part of my daily exercise.
“It gave me a chance to speak to people at a distance and see how they really were which is better than on the phone. Then I extended it to neighbours and I heard about some people who were grounded with elderly parents or spouses with dementia.
“So I put a notice on the Burwell community Facebook page asking if anyone needed a visit and it took off from there.”
So far Jean has baked almost a thousand small cakes and slices, including cupcakes, Victoria sandwiches, chocolate tarts, orange cakes, flapjacks and brownies. Burwell Co Op has helped her to source some of the flour but she is paying for the ingredients herself.
“The response has been absolutely fantastic,” she says, “that's what spurred me on. I have a little stool I put on their doorstep with a little tablecloth and the box of cakes. I ring the doorbell t and step right back.
“People have been absolutely thrilled to get a little treat and have someone to talk to even at a distance. It has warmed my heart, particularly a couple of men. One who has got a wife in a care home and he is on his own and another who is looking after his dad."
Jean has a donations page here for Caring Together.
Another villager putting a smile on people’s face is Gill Edgar, who also lives in Burwell. She has been dressing up mannequins outside her home for people to enjoy as they walk past.
Gill says: “This started as a joke when my partner Marcus placed a mannequin outside our house to give me a shock. He was dressed in overalls and had been sitting in a tractor for several months to deter thieves.
“After that we started to have some fun dressing up Dave with fancy dress costumes from a shop that Marcus's mum used to run in Fordham.
“We’ve had Captain Jack Sparrow, which was very popular and now we’ve dressed him up as the Tiger King and carole baskin from the netflix documentary. We get lots of reaction from people walking past, and some stop and say hello to them. Lots of people have been saying on facebook how much they have made them smile. It’s a bit of fun and it’s great that we can cheer a few people up during these difficult times.”
Meanwhile, nurses on a mental health ward on the Fulbourn Hospital have been lifting patients' spirits with their daily Tik Tok dance challenges that they have been sharing on Twitter and Tik Tok.
Chloe said: “Mulberry 3 is an acute recovery ward on the Fulbourn Hospital site, welcoming adults living with a range of mental health diagnoses. The TikTok challenges started just prior to lock down and are a patient led activity. Patients choose our challenges for us, choreograph and film our content. During unprecedented times this collaborative activity has really kept up morale amongst staff and patients.”
All of the challenges can be found on TikTok @nhs_chloe.
More Life in Lockdown images
Ray McMurray, of Swavesey Camera Club and Cambridge Camera Club, took this composite image, which offers some advice for superheroes.
And Dr Mark Farrington, of Cambridge Camera Club, has been ‘Plucking up Courage’ to tackle his own haircut...
We’ll have more images of life in lockdown next week. You can email yours to firstname.lastname@example.org, marking the subject Life in Lockdown, or tweet them to us @CambridgeIndy using #lifeinlockdown.
More by this authorAlex Spencer