Before lockdown, a women’s group met twice a month in Ware. Partners and volunteers would bring a delicious lunch to eat together whilst conversing in English and Arabic.
Sometimes a speaker would visit to give a talk; there were visitors from the Red Cross, Citizens Advice, and the Police Hate Crime service. Other times the group practised yoga, talked about music, or made holiday decorations. The main point was coming together to have fun and to build relationships.
Coronavirus ended all that. The group tried having meetings on Zoom, but they were not possible for some volunteers and partners.
By July, when restrictions loosened, the group arranged an outdoor socially-distanced picnic inviting the families of the original members.
Several families and volunteers gathered on a small island in the river at Ware, near the Priory. It was a perfect shady spot with plenty of space for everyone, even at a distance.
Everyone brought their own food and shared some on a cloth in the middle. The group chatted, ate delicious goodies, fed the geese and took photos of each other. The children ran around and played – and no one fell in the water! For some the best part came when people attempted to walk on an old pair of stilts.
The group hopes to meet again before too long, and to resume in-person meetings again in the future.