Jurassic Coast Committee’s year in the life of Covid-19
What a year this has been and looking back, what a challenge for our association and this branch. Thinking back to the beginning of March 2020 neither I nor our committee could possibly have imagined how this year was going to pan out. Normally the branch follows a set format of events that allows us to get together [husbands included] three or four times a year.
2020 was not normal. How were we going to keep our members in touch with one another and how might we need to support people as Covid-19 gradually took on an almost strangulation hold on the country. What came out of these questions was amazing and the committee and our members very much lived up to our “Dynamic Dinosaur” name. In the past, we had obviously sent gifts to members who were in hospital or had a close family bereavement or indeed visited some of our older members. RHQ realised that more would be needed, and every branch was given a generous grant to use as thought appropriate. We decided on going down the route of looking at everyone individually and responding according to what we thought was needed rather than one size fits all. A number of our members sadly suffered from Covid infections and we were able to send gift boxes of goodies or flowers according to what we knew that that person might like. We did the same for those who were shielding or isolating, taking into account of the fact that many of our members are married and sharing with husband might be appropriate. Gifts on their own didn’t seem enough and camaraderie was also needed; so the Saturday night Zoom drinks party was born. You have already heard about our zooming from Merrill and Kay. I hadn’t previously realised what an adventurous group the Jurassic Coast branch is as we have heard of feats of daring do as well as the challenges facing members who are still working.
Still, more support has been needed and I was more than happy to visit QAs in hospital when it was allowed as well as like so many of our group spend time on the telephone with those who just needed a chat. Sadly, Pat McKay and I represented our Association at the funeral of one of our oldest members, but the appreciation shown by the family certainly made it worthwhile.
I am proud to say that the Covid restrictions have not stopped us fundraising for our branch with the sale of face masks for those not so handy with a needle and a virtual raffle with all of the prizes so kindly donated by branch members. You have all been so generous and we have raised £400+ for our funds.
The effort of living up to our motto “Friendship” has certainly paid off and we have been pleased to welcome new members during the year. As the vaccination programme gradually rolls out reaching ever-younger age groups, we are gradually seeing a light at the end of what has been a long dark tunnel. I am so proud of the members of the Jurassic Coast branch who have supported the committee throughout the year with help and innovation. I think that most of us agree that we know each other so much better now, so much so that everyone is comfortable to say if necessary, on Saturdays “I have had a bad week.” Surely this is what was intended when our association was set up in 1947.
One last thank you to the committee and those who have taken a lead in producing not only a weekly get-together but our branch Facebook page and a Blog. I hope that when this group don their QA apron to cook supper, they realise just how much I appreciate the support they have given to make my life so much easier during such a difficult year. Hopefully, we are now looking forward to getting together in person, how wonderful will that be?
Lt Col [Retd] Marjorie Bandy RRC Branch Chairman Served 1975 – 2003