Lockdown Gazette Issue 2

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THE COVID-19 CRISIS HAS HIGHLIGHTED SOMETHING WE ALL KNEW: TOP-DOWN, CENTRALISED,

ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACHES, HEAVY ON REMOTE BUREAUCRACY AND DIKTAT, DO NOT WORK WELL.

LOCAL RESPONSES HAVE BEEN FAR MORE EFFECTIVE, DRAWING ON THE INHERENT SKILLS AND RESOURCES WITHIN NEWCASTLE AND GATESHEAD: PROFESSIONALS AND CITIZENS, STATUTORY

ORGANISATIONS, CHARITIES, CO-OPERATIVES, COLLECTIVES, AND COMMUNITIES. PEOPLE FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS HAVE WORKED INNOVATIVELY AND FLUIDLY IN RESPONSE TO THE COMPLEX,

MULTI-LAYERED CHALLENGES, PULLING TOGETHER IN A MUTUAL,

RECIPROCAL FASHION TO ALLEVIATE DISTRESS AND MEET NEED.

THIS WAY OF WORKING IS NOT NEW FOR MANY OF US; OUR AREA HAS HAD TO BE WELL PRACTICED IN FINDING ITS OWN SOLUTIONS THROUGH YEARS OF HARDSHIP AND AUSTERITY.

EMOTIONAL HEALTH, WELL-BEING AND LIVING WITHOUT FEAR,

DISTRESS AND ANXIETY ARE FUNDAMENTAL AND A RIGHT WE

ALL HAVE. THE GREATEST ASSET A PLACE HAS IS ITS PEOPLE. IN NEWCASTLE AND GATESHEAD, WE NEED AND WANT VISITORS AND

RESIDENTS TO FEEL ACCEPTED, UNDERSTOOD AND SUPPORTED, SO THAT THEY FEEL PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY SAFE, KNOWING

SUPPORT AND HELP IS CLOSE AT HAND. WE HAVE THE TALENT, RESILIENCE, AND ABILITY TO WORK TOGETHER DIFFERENTLY TO

TACKLE DEEP-SEATED AND WIDESPREAD ISSUES. IT’S WHAT WE DO AT RECOCO, IT’S WHAT EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE LOCKDOWN GAZETTE DOES (LOOK AT THE BACK PAGE FOR A LIST OF

PARTNERS AND CONTRIBUTORS), IT’S WHAT YOU DO, BECAUSE

YOU’RE A DECENT PERSON. IN OUR DIFFERENT WAYS, WITH OUR

VARIOUS SKILLS, OUR DIVERSE EXPERIENCES AND KNOWLEDGE OF LIFE, WE HAVE THE SAME PURPOSE: TO LOOK OUT FOR, CARE

FOR AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER. IT MIGHT BE THAT WE ARE ALL THAT WE HAVE, BUT THAT IS MORE THAN ENOUGH. BE CANNY.

By Alisdair Cameron (ReCoCo) and the rest of the editing team. The Lockdown Gazette has been produced by organisations that are part of the For Solidarity Network. See the back page to find out more about this network and how to get involved.


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Nicola Sokell instagram: @thedreamcoat instagram: @nicolasokell www.nicolasokell.com


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Title: Lucy’s Mirror

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Title: Through the nights

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artwork by

Marjorie Todman

My mum, Marjorie, stayed in our home in Gateshead for the

first 2 months of lockdown. She used to be a head teacher and, back in the 70’s, did some pretty avant garde art. One time she painted her entire body in gold and another time she made a massive womb that she could walk around in. I was 14 around then and it seemed seriously weird at the time, but I guess on reflection it inspired me to go into art. Now my mum has Alzheimer’s. She gets a lot of pleasure from colouring books, but because I was doing a lot of drawing in lockdown I tried to get her interested in doing some old-style observational drawing. She chose to draw some ornaments she liked and an old teddy bear. She found it hard to begin with and often forgot where she was on the drawing, but she always enjoyed it. I think the results look a bit like Francis Bacon. I would love to know if anybody else has experience of exploring creativity with people who have Alzheimer’s. Please feel free to post any responses to marktodman.com

Mark Todman


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artwork by

Sarah Tulloch

Title: Telegraph, Tuesday 23rd March 2020


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The GraFFIti Map of the North East is a collective project

. We’ve invited people to share their favourite pieces of graffiti in the North East on the map. You can use it like an art trail. We figure in these times this is a very true way that people’s voices are reflected and represented around the city. Graffiti has often been an act of protest as well as a beautiful mural or something funny that’s been quickly scribbled. We’d like to invite you to submit to the map and share these small experiences from your walks so that people can find a new route, or get a snippet of what it’s like to enjoy the space in the same way. We’ve personally been enjoying looking out for graffiti to plot on the map during our usual walks and hope you will too. Lots of love, The Spaghetti Factory (Jenny Mc Namara & Eve Cromwell) x

MAP KEY

1. Don’t worry life make no sense 2. Fed Up Octopus 3. Make the rich pay for COVID-19 4. We’re lost in music 5. Love thy Self 6. Hang Cummings 7. Dog Boy x 8. Lil cacti 9. No one gets rich without someone going poor 10. Tory Coup 11. Flowers by Rebecca Reed 12. Mural by Mul Draws 13. Ooh La La 14. Spongebob space door 15. My life is a disco 16. It’s all matter, mate 17. Lime green girl 18. NO CURVE 19. Mural by Mul Draws 20. Florence Bell


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Submit your favourite gra ffiti to the map!

We’ll add it to the graffiti map for others to enjoy Fill in the form below, tea r this page off and post it to: The NewBridge Project: Gateshead and NewBrid ge Books 232-240 High Street Gateshead NE8 1AQ OR Email your submission to

1. What it is, what does it

spaghettofactoro@gmail.c om (along with an imag

look like/what does it sa y?

___________________________ ___________________________ ________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ________________ 2. Where is it located? ___________________________ ___________________________ ________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ________________ 3. What do you like abou t it? ___________________________ ___________________________ ________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ________________ ___________________________ ___________________________ ________________

e if possible!)


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artwork by

Stef ke Heydec


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Articles

by

Eric

Nicholson

Three drawings I did during lockdown. The lion is outside Saltwell Towers, the tree is in the Towers’ garden and the Buddha represents the qualities we need in a crisis.

Lockdown in Bensham

It has been said that during the pandemic we have all been subject to greater change in crisis-conditions than any time since the Second World War. In his book Embracing Change, Tony Buzan writes,

Courage does not mean the absence of fear; courage is the state of looking fear in the face and having the faith and the belief in the change process to see it through. I wouldn’t say I have been immune to fear and I do believe that extreme challenges can be the harbingers of better ways of doing things on a personal level and in society. There have been some incredible examples of people demonstrating courage in the face of much suffering. I have been among the lucky ones not to have had the virus (as far as I know) so far. So, my difficulties pale into insignificance compared to those of many others. In the following I do not mean to downplay the suffering many have experienced and will continue to experience.

I am a 73 year old living on my own in Bensham and I found the early days of lockdown quite difficult. At the best of times I experience social isolation. I’ve had to cope with anxiety and depression all of my adult life. I have a daughter who lives in North Shields and she kindly ordered recipes and ingredients online which were delivered to my flat. Along with everyone else, I didn’t meet anyone face-to-face for weeks on end. The following are some ways I managed the challenges. Saltwell Park is nearby so I walked there most days in the first weeks when exercise was restricted. I really noticed the bird song during spring; people have remarked that things were quieter, with little traffic on the roads, so nature was more audible. Some of the song thrushes in the park were so vocal I recorded their musical offerings. Another life-saver for me has been the discovery of Zoom! Gateshead Learning Skills offered free courses so I signed up for an art course and yoga. Having your own personal tutor, albeit


13 on screen, definitely made me feel more connected with people. During spring I would take my sketch pad to the park and spend an hour or two drawing there as homework for the course and for my own interest. I even did a Buddhist retreat on Zoom. Who would have thought before lockdown that 40 plus meditators all over Britain and the continent (and even someone in Australia) could feel a sense of deep spiritual connection online? WhatsApp has also been something I began to use at the start of lockdown. I certainly appreciated seeing the face of a friend and having video chats. I’d like to emphasise the positive aspects others have commented on; how people have come together to offer practical help such as food and prescription deliveries. How we have all appreciated key workers from NHS workers to Refuse Collectors. The pandemic has underlined how interconnected we are; both in the effects of the virus and in the ‘pulling together’ worldwide. I find myself thanking the girl on the supermarket checkout whereas before I might have just mumbled a habitual ‘thanks.’ Is it too much to hope our societies could be more equitable, more cooperative, more eco-aware and less materialistic post pandemic? I have a feeing that at least at grass-roots level this will be possible. Initiatives such as Gateshead Mutual Aid have proved that there is the will and the know-how. I read recently that 70 plus suicides were prevented through the intervention of members. How wonderful that people can be so compassionate and selfless. Tony Buzan itemises many qualities which come to fruition when extreme challenges are met with courage. The following are a few I think very relevant to the situation now and for the future:

• You realise how flexible you can be • You realise you have dignity in any situation • You empathise with others and become more compassionate • Material wealth is put into perspective • Many discover the power of their spiritual connection • You are likely to develop patience • You learn to let go of your personal needs out of recognition of what is best for the other person • You discover the amazing gift of love and support from friends and acquaintances. Let’s hope that a year or two from now more of us are recognising these changes and optimising them so that we can build a fairer society together.


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by

Alice Wilson It’s funny what the brain will do with memories. Some, you can’t get out of

your head (usually, as fate would have it, moments of extreme embarrassment), some pass out of recollection with time and some, although recently formed, are pushed out of our mind because they’re simply not very pleasant. Sigmund Freud had a ‘repression’ theory, whereby a memory is so distressing or painful that it is evicted from our consciousness. Although I’m sure there are many scientists and biologists who would have a thing or two to say to Freud about that theory (and, no doubt, many of his others) some of it does ring true for me. When I look back on my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Expedition, I remember the jokes with my friends, the campfire cooking and singing Disney songs to keep us moving. I can hardly recollect the gruelling mountain slog, squelching feet and moaning voices which probably made up a decent chunk of the journey. When I look back at my undergraduate studies, the dominant images are drunken hugs, flamboyant dancing and laughing in pub gardens, not the dull days in the library or revision blues in my bedroom. The same, I think, can be said for lockdown. It seems a distant memory now when the jazz night I was going to with a friend was cancelled, or when my parents and I took the decision to move me out of my Gateshead flat. So much has happened since that fateful day in March (FOUR months ago now!): Tiger King, panic buying, Normal People, PPE shortages, clap for NHS, zoom calls, rainbows in windows, more zoom calls. I’m almost tempted to apply to go on Pointless when things open up again, what with the amount of Zoom quizzes I’ve done over the last 14 weeks. We’ve all come a long way and hopefully, with time, we’ll be able to look back on lockdown and remember the good bits, rather than just how awful it was not being able to hug or see anybody. When we look back on this difficult and unprecedented time, hopefully we won’t just see masks, hand sanitiser and long queues outside supermarkets. Hopefully, we’ll also see grateful smiles, rivers flowing with clean water and gardens filled with homegrown vegetables. We should remember the kindness that was shown by so many people; foodbank donations have surged during lockdown, an estimated £100 million has been raised in response to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 appeal, and over 750,000 people signed up to volunteer for the NHS within 24 hours. There are plenty of wonderful, reckless acts of love which should be savoured and celebrated. But contrary to what Freud theorised, we shouldn’t forget the sad and uncomfortable truths that lockdown brought to light. It is only when things are uncomfortable that we realise something has to change. We can’t go back to the same 100mph lifestyles we were struggling to keep up with pre-COVID, we shouldn’t relapse back into our careless treatment of our beautiful planet, especially when it’s just shown us how easily it can heal itself when given a chance. We can’t allow the horrors of domestic abuse to continue and we cannot let the heroes of the NHS go un-championed. As lockdown draws to a close, there’s so much of humanity’s response to celebrate, but there’s also plenty for us to learn from and act on.


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by

Joe der Molan

What 13 weeks with family taught me about talking politics I spent roughly the first three months of lockdown with my family, and passing the time proved difficult. Once the novelty of Zoom abated, the realisation set in that sooner or later, we would be forced to talk politics. Thanks to the lack of inhibition you find only in a family, we soon found ourselves arguing quite a lot about quite a lot. Here’s what I learnt. Appealing to logic doesn’t work. As much as we like to pretend to be rational, people use logic to support what they already believe. What people believe manifests most clearly in their values. When we talk politics, this is what we should try to engage with. As with a lot of households, the issue of homophobia in religion came up. My dad opined that churches should be able to refuse to wed same-sex couples. My attempts to engage with logic - to explain why it’s wrong to deprive one group of people a right that gets afforded to another - failed. What succeeded - and what has succeeded every time I’ve had a similar discussion - is appealing to values. My dad values anti-discrimination, but gay rights are in such a stage of infancy that we often don’t recognise discrimination when it happens to LGBT+ people. So instead, I asked him how he’d feel about churches refusing to wed mixed-race couples. He was rightly angry at that idea, and became more receptive to the notion that churches also shouldn’t refuse to marry LGBT+ people. The other thing I learnt was to engage with empathy. When people become aware that other people are suffering, they might start to care. Part of what makes an issue political is its potential to create winners and losers, and where there are losers, there is suffering. Understanding this is the key to humanising politics. Across the political spectrum, there tends to be little sympathy for sex work, for example. Explaining to your uncle why sex workers deserve protection and the right to unionise might not be effective. However, once you explain that they suffer from humiliating overpolicing and high levels of violence, he might reach that very same conclusion. You’ll notice that all-too prominent “might”. People are often acutely aware of suffering and refuse to empathise. We saw this during the 2014-19 refugee crisis. We see it now in discussions about transgender teenagers, and about every war and conflict in which Britain is engaged. Sometimes, people know about suffering and simply don’t care. At this stage of talking to your family, you might find yourself missing Zoom. If you want anyone to care about anything that doesn’t affect them, though, empathy is still your best and only shot. Finally, you cannot have contempt for the other point of view. For every time I talked my dad over, there were five times where I was dismissive or impatient, which - surprise surprise - didn’t work. For some people, it isn’t safe to be receptive to their family’s alternative points of view. Someone in a strictly religious household who plans to leave the faith will want to keep heated discussion to a minimum. Those of us who are able to engage have to remember that no-one has had their mind changed by being told off. Provided what they say doesn’t veer into extremism, when we talk politics with our family, respect and patience are a must.


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by

Benji Spence


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by

Daniel Hall

Seven years of using Grindr and dealing with hook-ups, ghosting and gaslighting, isn’t good preparation for a relationship. So you can imagine how scary the thought is, of

moving in with someone you’ve been seeing for a few months. But in March this year, as lockdown loomed, my boyfriend Lewis and I didn’t feel we had any other choice. Since we met in September 2019, there was always the feeling in the back of my mind that something might go wrong. Insecurity and low self-esteem from coming out quite late (I was 20) meant that, though I’d wanted a relationship for a long time, it had eluded me. Lewis had his own issues too. His family thought that his two younger brothers would not understand that he was gay, so going back to his family home was never an option. Moving in together worried me. Were we ready for it? Could we last? Would I have to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race with him? (Yes, and it’s actually not that bad). With matters still unresolved with his family, it seemed like there was no option but to find out the answers to these questions. It was certainly better than either of us spending lockdown alone. Happily, we’ve not grown sick of each other. The fact that we’ve both had our degrees as a distraction helped, but we’ve spent a lot of quality time together too. Cooking up exotic new dishes, making the most of our hour of daily exercise in local parks, and playing the irritatingly addictive card game Llamas Unleashed, have replaced the grand ideas we had for our first holiday abroad. But there have been dark days too. We’ve had to deal with more than just our own anxieties and personal issues over the last few months. Lockdown has been a scary time for the LGBT community. We’ve seen Donald Trump’s administration reverse healthcare protections for LGBT people, Polish towns declaring LGBT free zones and JK Rowling launching attacks on trans people with a frighteningly familiar rhetoric. It hurts to see other LGBT people being persecuted for doing nothing more than being themselves. And it scares me that the actions of those with large platforms is enabling hate speech. Coronavirus has highlighted the inequalities in society across the board, and seeing how Trump’s government has undone decades of progress in the US in just four short years is potentially an uncomfortable glimpse into the UK’s future.

Even in Newcastle, the reaction to peaceful BLM protests by the ‘Defenders of Newcastle’ shows that our city isn’t as open-minded and tolerant as I had once thought. Seeing events like these and the increasingly polarised debate around them, has led to a feeling of powerlessness and despair. The world is a far scarier place than the one where we made our decision to move in together in March. I’m just glad that neither of us have been alone through lockdown. We’ve laughed together, cried together, and supported each other through anxieties, weird pandemic nightmares, money worries and some godawful TV series. We’ve got to know each other in a way that may have taken years if we’d carried on with the daily grind we were so used to beforehand. Most importantly, we’ve had to face each other’s demons without the option of running away. I can’t say I’ve enjoyed lockdown, but I value the time we’ve spent together and how we’ve grown, not only as individuals but also, as a couple. It has given us that ‘normal’ relationship that I was never sure I’d have.


just breathe 19


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faith

Grey Hair Matters!

Cobaine

I’m 48-years-old and started dyeing my hair in my early twenties. During lockdown, I ditched the dye and have never looked back. Being furloughed and living alone gave me time to reflect on my lifestyle choices and of course I wasn’t going anywhere, so could hide in my burrow when the badger stripe of regrowth appeared.

Day), I adopted a rescue cat. A day later, in line with corona virus guidelines, the charity stopped rehoming animals – lucky timing – so I named her Shamrock. She also happens to have grey fur… so maybe, subconsciously, she has influenced my decision to transition to grey – to look more like her!

Hiding was harder during my weekly trip to the supermarket. I’d go at off-peak times to reduce public exposure of my bonce and skulk about wearing hats or hairbands. I declined Zoom and Skype calls with friends and family and even stopped looking in the mirror.

Here are 11 reasons why I’ve ‘ditched the dye’:

However, there is only so long you can hide from yourself. Lockdown has been a great leveller providing an intense, albeit enforced, opportunity for introspection. I realised that feeling at peace with yourself is much better for your health than battling with your perceived imperfections. I concluded that my journey through life has earned me the right to showcase my ‘wisdom highlights’ and furthermore, what other people think of my appearance is none of my business. Moreover, I am fortunate to have hair – not everyone does. Also, it seems a largely sexist expectation for women to colour their hair. I’ve noticed younger people can have naturally occurring grey, silver and white hair and it can look beautiful. Also, grey hair can actually make older people look younger than if they dye their hair; it’s more complimentary to their skin and eye colour and can look fashionable, elegant and striking. I’m approaching ‘going grey’ as a four-year project, a timeline similar to having braces fitted; it will be worth the wait. My hairdresser was surprisingly supportive too and gave good advice on managing the regrowth – many of her clients have decided to stop colouring, perming or straightening, a result of enjoying chemical-free hair during lockdown. I still love being pampered at the hairdresser’s but instead of time spent waiting for a dye to fasten, I’m going to ask for a head massage instead – bliss! I’ve also gleaned it’s not only grey hair that makes people seem ‘old’ – negative attitudes, stagnant mindsets and outdated approaches to life are all extremely ageing! So now, I have cast aside the hairbands, the hats, and the feelings of shame. The world can help itself to looking at my hair. I love my new colour, even the ombre, or ‘grombre’ look. I’m happy to be openly grey! In any case, it’s said owners look like their pets. Usually this refers to dogs, but just before lockdown, on 17 March (St Patrick’s

1. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that women who use permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who don’t use these products. 2. Time saving: I would much rather go out for a run/walk/bike ride than sit in a hairdressers’ chair for a few hours. 3. Cost saving: I would much rather not spend approx £90 every few weeks to have toxic chemicals applied to my scalp. 4. Less mess: I no longer want to mix dye at home, getting it all over my new bathroom. 5. I’m embracing the ageing process rather than fighting it; I don’t want to reach age 60+ and look like ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ with a ‘stuck-in-a-rut’ colour that I’ve pinned my identity on for the previous XX decades. 6. I believe my natural hair is more flattering to my skin tone and my ‘new’ grey hair is much softer, shinier and more luxurious than the old dyed hair. 7. There is a sense of freedom, liberation and authenticity with not ‘conforming’ to social norms and no need to keep on top of covering the regrowth (yawn). 8. I’m trying to reduce the chemicals I use in my life generally, to be kinder to the environment. 9. I’m comfortable about ‘looking older’ because I am older. I’m glad to be here, not everyone makes it this far. (The alternative to stopping the ageing process is death - or to some artificial degree, cosmetic surgery - neither of which appeal to me). 10. I would much rather focus on keeping my body and mind fit, active, healthy and ‘young’ than thinking about the colour of my hair. 11. Shamrock is grey so I want to match my pet!


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by

Hannah Green

From homeless to unable to leave your house

Most of my life has been chaotic, so whilst initially I panicked at the thought of lockdown, it has actually provided me with a much needed sense of stability. I moved into my own flat in February after spending over a year homeless. Until that point I lived in a hostel for five months, sofa surfed , had a short stay in supported lodgings and stayed in both emergency and temporary accommodation. Everywhere I stayed previously I had always been surrounded by other people. The biggest adjustment was going from living with 18 other young people in a hostel, to completely alone and unable to see my friends when lockdown started. Even after moving in I rarely spent time alone, I guess I didn’t think I could cope on my own with just my thoughts. Don’t get me wrong it was tough getting used to my own company, but I soon realised that I could in fact cope without other people. I had lived in the hostel for just over five months and although it was a hectic environment, with antisocial behaviour and constant partying, it had its positives. It was staffed 24/7 so there was always either a support worker or a security guard on hand if my mental health took a turn for the worse and I needed someone to talk to. One of the most difficult things at the beginning of lockdown was not knowing what I would do if my mental health did spiral. Previously I had relied on not-so-healthy coping mechanisms and it was a worry that I would find myself using these again. Pre-lockdown I had been super busy. My days were filled with volunteering, surfing, seeing friends and writing. I knew I wanted to pursue writing and because everything else suddenly stopped, lockdown gave me the chance to do that. I knew that I needed to give my days structure as much as possible to protect my mental health. It was tough at first; I missed my friends and I felt like my mental health would get worse and worse the longer I couldn’t see them.

However after a few weeks of lockdown I got this strange serene feeling. The rest of the world had gone into survival mode and because I had spent so much of my life in exactly that, I was calmer than I had ever been. This meant I could focus. I treated every day as a working day, I got up early, spent hours and hours writing, built a website and connected with people online. During the time I spent homeless I would use drugs, alcohol and self harm to cope, partly with my PTSD and partly with the chaotic environments I lived in. I couldn’t physically escape from the antisocial behaviour, the fighting and the noise, but I could mentally as long as I wasn’t sober. Lockdown meant pubs weren’t open, and I was suddenly terrified of going into shops so I couldn’t buy alcohol. It’s hard to say what would have happened had there not been a pandemic and there’s no way of knowing what or how I would have been doing now. Lockdown gave me the time and space to work out what I wanted to achieve and how I could use my experiences to make a difference. So whilst I will never be grateful for the pandemic for obvious reasons, I am very grateful for all the opportunities I have been given during it. by Hannah Green @h_green21


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equal arts

Equal Arts is a creative ageing charity supporting older people in the North East for more than 30 years.

Our work has always focused on ways to help improve people’s wellbeing and reduce loneliness through offering accessible and inspiring creative opportunities. This also meant finding ways to strengthen relationships between different people. But with lockdown measures in place we were faced with a new challenge of providing creative activities with people no longer able to meet others and when many had limited access to technology. We’ve all seen the tragic impact the virus has had with more than 16,000 Covid-related deaths among older people living in care homes and over 92% deaths in the UK in people over 60 years old. Inequality in our society has come into sharp focus, social issues become heightened and the voices of Black Lives Matter and mental health and physical disability support groups has been justifiably strong. How strong is the voice of older people, how clear is their message? As the issues of adult social care, care homes, care staff, local government, funding and central government politics rumble on, the voice of older people has become diffused. Even now, as measures relax and people begin to enjoy a sense of greater freedom and choice, there are many people living in care continuing to shield in their bedrooms and only just beginning to have any visits from relatives. Many of us have older relatives, neighbours or friends and we’re all getting older! As a society we need to be more age-friendly. A simple way you can help people keep connected is by sending letters, poems and artwork to the people we support living in care. Post your HenPals contributions to us at Equal Arts, 33 New Bridge Street West, Newcastle, NE1 8AX or email them through to henpals@ equalarts.org.uk and we’ll pass them on. Douglas Hunter, Equal Arts chief executive


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Not your typical lockdown

From becoming a local celebrity to coping with burglaries and renovating buildings, Nico Ali and Dave Harper share their lockdown experiences

Nico Ali

Dave Harper

by Pamela Bilalova interview with

Nico Ali

“I’ve seen you on Unsung Heroes on Channel 4, is it you?” When a shop assistant asked Nico Ali this question, he realised he’d become famous in the middle of a pandemic - without meaning to. “I said it was my brother. I don’t really want to be recognised. I just want to go out there and help as much as I can,” Nico says. It all started with a trip to the wholesalers in March. Nico, who runs a shop in Jarrow, witnessed over 200 other retailers queuing and arguing over loaves of bread. As he found it difficult to stock up his shop, he started thinking about his community. “If I couldn’t get the bread, how are the older, vulnerable people going to get the bread? Then I realised I have to go out there and help.” During lockdown, Nico delivered free loaves of bread, milk, pizzas and even birthday cakes to people in the area.

interview with

Dave Harper

Usually, Frankie and the Heartstrings drummer Dave Harper runs Pop Recs, a coffee shop and arts venue in Sunderland. But lockdown has given him an unlikely break into fashion. “I’ve gone from being a cleaner, barista, accountant, director of a shop to being a designer, a packer, a picker of things, a postman,“ he says, speaking of the merch he created to keep the business going. Alongside, Dave has had another unusual venture: renovating a Grade II listed building during a global pandemic. The building on High Street West in Sunderland is set to become Pop Recs’ new home and it could house a dedicated youth service, as well as a music venue and a coffee shop. But in July thieves broke in for the fourth time, stealing a coffee machine. Instruments belonging to the Young Musicians Project were stolen when the building was burgled for the third time back in May.

“I wasn’t bothered about myself. I was more bothered about the people.

“When it’s the fourth time you get this strange feeling of...You can’t grieve for it, it just becomes part of what’s like a really unpleasant normal,” Dave says.

“I just wanted to keep them all happy and make sure that anything they needed in the household was going to be there for them. It kept me going because I knew I had to help everybody out there whoever needed help.

Despite the setbacks, Dave remains focused on everyone he hopes Pop Recs will be able to help :

“It’s been an emotional, really, really tough journey,” he adds. “When people talk about it, I actually break up crying.” With restrictions easing, Nico has been trying to go back to his prepandemic routine, running his shop and playing football in his free time, but the community is still on his mind. “I don’t know if I’m actually back to normal. I’m trying to get back into the shop track and my mind’s not there at the minute. “You still got these people in your mind, who needs help.” “I still go around to knock on some of the doors and see how they’re keeping. It’s become like a duty now.”

“If I was to stop doing this after being part of a team that’s attracted millions of pounds, to stop doing it, just to go home and go ‘Well, that was a waste of five years and now the people we support are not going to be able to take anything from that’, that would be failing not just me, but the people I feel heavily obligated to work for,” Dave says as he prepares to reopen.


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My dog thinks I’m a hero by Rachel Charlton-Dailey It’s strange times we live in, no doubt about that lads. As I write this my best friend down in Bradford isn’t allowed to have her Mum round for a cuppa, but she can chat to her at the next table of a restaurant. God knows what ridiculous rules will be in place by the time this is published. On top of the usual pandemic stress I’m also putting myself through a medical menopause at the age of 31, so you can imagine the emotional rollercoaster I find myself trapped on. As a freelance writer my career is now precariously in the hands of those whose budgets are tightening and own careers are under threat, so I’m facing more rejections than I am accepted pitches. I won’t lie, it takes its toll and it can be a really depressing time. As I get yet another “sorry this is a great idea but it’s not for us right now” email, I feel my heart sink and I just want to slam my laptop shut and go hide back in bed. But then I hear a gentle snore beside me and I feel myself smile involuntarily. I look over and see my lovely little dachshund puppy, Rusty, happily sleeping next to me. When he cuddles up to me he doesn’t see someone who hasn’t landed a single successful pitch all week, he doesn’t care how many words I’m churning out or if they’re any good. When I grab his harness and lead and announce “walkies!” whilst trying not to let my voice shake after yet another rejection, he doesn’t see a failure. When I let him off the lead and stuff my phone back in my pocket to stop myself from constantly checking emails he doesn’t think “ugh god nobody wants to read your tripe” he thinks “yaaAAAAAS THROW THE BALL!!” When we get back home and I tell him to go lie down, he’s more interested in if I’m coming with him than if I’d heard back about any pitches. My amazing boy has helped my mental health in so many ways, I can honestly go as far to say he’s saved my life. Dogs are just such good, pure little beings. Lockdown has been so much easier thanks to him. He’s the reason I leave the house but don’t have to go stand in unsafe queues every day. When I’ve cried about friends and family he’s been there with a scraggy old toy. When I had suspected symptoms he didn’t want to leave my side, going for only short walks with my husband so he could get back to protect his Mammy as quick as he could. He doesn’t care if I’m the best writer in the world, or someone who never picks up a pen for the rest of their life. Me getting a pitch accepted is only high in his priorities if it means he can snooze next me while I work. He doesn’t care about deadlines and pitches and bills. All he cares about is that I love him. When you put it like that, how could I possibly feel like a failure?


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Rifts

by Sunita Ghosh Dastidar There they were at the foot of my bed. Three large boxes of things from my life in London. They had been there for the past three months -unpacked. I woke up each morning to the sight of those boxes reminding me of the flat and memories that I had in the capital. My mum complained about the boxes every day, urging me to unpack them. I kept telling her that I would do it tomorrow.

I sought help for my mental health from my GP. After receiving antidepressants for my anxiety, and cognitive behavioural therapy to manage how I react to situations, I found that the fog lifted, and I was able to improve the relationships that I had with my family. We started to smile and laugh more and our house became animated again.

Being a science communicator, I understood that lockdown wouldn’t be over in the immediate future. Yet in my mind, I convinced myself that I couldn’t unpack the boxes. What if I manage to find my ideal job back in London and need to move back soon? What will dad say about my things being unpacked?

I’m not the only one who has seen an increase in family conflict during lockdown. Many of us are feeling more stressed as roles and routines within the family have changed as we spend more time with each other in the same walls. But I’ve learned to be kinder to myself. I used lockdown as a time for self-reflection. Time to help heal the rifts with my family, and most importantly to settle the inner conflict with myself.

For many, lockdown has been a chance to escape the fast-paced every day of commuting and take-out coffees. Time to evaluate their happiness as an individual. A lot of us tend to juggle many tasks simultaneously. We allow the routines of daily life to take over and fail to allocate time to self-reflection. I closed my MacBook – another Zoom video call completed. I hadn’t seen my university friends in three months. For a lot of us, communicating through the internet has become more important than ever. A way to be close to our loved ones in a restricted dystopian world. My mum came into my room and sat on the end of my bed, and I talked about how my friend hadn’t messaged me back in days. I felt lonely and dejected. I talked about it, obsessively recalling certain details of how her brushing me off made me feel. Until eventually, my mum snapped and told me that she couldn’t listen to me anymore. Why wouldn’t she listen to me? She told me that I needed to get help. Feelings of anger gushed over me, I slammed the bathroom door and screamed until tears filled my eyes. I could hear her leave my room and walk into hers. I quickly wiped away my tears with the heel of my hand and walked back into my room. The silence was unusual in our lively home. I felt tension pierce through the wall separating us. When I woke up the next morning, I sat at my desk with a pen and a notepad. She’s right – I need help. I listed things that were affecting my daily life. Re-arranging things; straightening them until I can focus. My foggy brain. The needless crying. But most of all, my mental health was starting to affect the relationships I had with my family members. Conflict was starting to become a new normal.


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information

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ELSWICK & ARTHUR’S HILL MUTUAL AID

Everything for everyone! Solidarity not charity! Taking power back in our communities!


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Hate Crime Important information

Reporting hate incidents and hate crimes in Newcastle During the recent Covid 19 situation, some groups within our community have been particularly targeted for starting and/or spreading the virus. This is unacceptable. Nobody should feel targeted for who they are, and nobody should have to put up with it. You can do something about it. Hate crime, such as racist, homophobic, religious, transphobic or disability incidents, should not happen, but they still do. •

Domestic Abuse

If you, your family or friends are having problems because of your ‘race’ or skin colour, this is a racist incident.

Recent measures to tackle COVID-19, such as the order to stay at home, can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse and for whom home is not a safe place.

If you, your family or friends are having problems because of your sexual orientation or transgender identity, this is a homophobic or transphobic incident.

If you, your family or friends have been targeted because you have a disability then this is a disability hate crime.

Domestic abuse is more than physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to: • • • • • • •

coercive control and ‘gas lighting’ economic/ financial abuse verbal abuse emotional abuse sexual abuse online abuse stalking and harassment.

Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation and it can happen to anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity, or age. For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, help and support is available. Our local specialist domestic abuse services are currently open for business. To protect the health and safety of service users and staff, support can be accessed via telephone, email and text, rather than face-to-face. In Newcastle, our local 24 hour helpline is still operating; you can contact NIDAS 0191 214 6501 or email: Nidas.Team@thirteengroup.co.uk

If you are in immediate danger, always ring 999. If, after ringing 999, it is not safe to speak you can use the ‘Silent

Solutions System’ – if ‘55’ is pressed by the caller, the system will register this and the operator will transfer the call to the police as an emergency. Information about other local and national services can be found here: https://www.safenewcastle.org.uk/violence-against-women-and-girls Support is also available from Women’s Aid’s online chat service (https://chat. womensaid.org.uk) , open from 10am-12pm Monday-Friday.

Some types of these incidents, such as verbal abuse and threats are obvious. Other examples, such as damage to your property, bullying or rude gestures are harder to identify. If you believe you have experienced a hate incident, even if you have no proof, report it. As fewer people are out and about on the street due to social distancing restrictions, more hate incidents/crimes are being seen on-line and on social media. This can still be reported.

How to report a hate incident/hate crime in Newcastle

If someone is in immediate danger, or a crime is in progress, ring 999 or you can report via 101 if it is not an emergency. Some people do not feel comfortable reporting hate incidents to the police and in Newcastle we have an option for people to report to our third-party reporting service: Stop

Hate UK

You can report a hate incident whether it’s about you, someone else or something you’ve seen. You can report anonymously or have your details passed onto the police so that action can be taken or to local services who can provide you with support. In an emergency always call 999. In Newcastle, hate incidents and hate crimes can be reported to our third-party reporting process through Stop Hate UK www.stophateuk.org/talk-to-us/ Stop Hate UK provides independent and confidential Hate Crime reporting services for Newcastle, whether you are a victim of Hate Crime, you have witnessed an incident you believe to be a Hate Crime, or you are a third party to an incident that could be a Hate Crime.

Further information and advice can be found here: https://www.womensaid.org. uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/

Stop Hate UK are here 24 hours a day:

If you are worried that someone is at risk of domestic abuse:

• •

• • • •

Do not speak to the perpetrator about their behaviour, this could escalate the abuse and put them in further danger It is also important that you do not put yourself in a dangerous situation you can contact local domestic abuse services or the police for advice If you are worried about giving information to the police, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously with your concerns

• • • • • •

On the phone: 0800 138 1625 Chat on the web: (go to www.stophateuk.org/talk-to-us/. You can chat live to one of their operators. Please note that it may take a few minutes to connect to an operator In an email: talk@stophateuk.org In a text: 07717 989 025. Texts are charged at your standard network rate With text relay: 18001 0800 138 1625. For people who are deaf, or have speech or hearing impairments In an online form at www.stophateuk.org/talk-to-us/ In the post: PO Box 851, Leeds LS1 9QS Report Hate Crime in BSL using InterpreterNow: www.stophateuk.org/talkto-us/


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Are you an EU, EEA or Swiss national? Have you joined the 3.3 million people making an application to stay in the UK following Brexit ? The European Union Settlement Scheme (www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/what-settled-andpresettled-status-means) provides the process for you to apply for a new immigration status. It does not matter how long you have lived in Newcastle or if your married partner and any children are British, you still need to apply. You can do so today and the Scheme is open to applications until 30 June 2021. Irish people do not have to apply, but can if they want to. The European Union Settlement Scheme is an online process requiring applicants to show proof of nationality, of UK residency and declare any criminal convictions. Applicants need to show five years continuous residency to be granted settled status. Those who have been in the UK less than five years will be granted pre-settled status. They will then be eligible for settled status after five years. EU/ EEA and swiss citizens with settled status or pre-settled status retain their rights to work in the UK, use the NHS, enrol in education or continue studying and access public funds, such as, benefits and pensions where eligible. In Newcastle, the City Council offers an Identity Verification service (www.newcastle.gov.uk/services/ births-deaths-and-marriages/citizenship/eu-settlement-scheme) and a number of other local and national organisations can provide support if you need it. For more go to EU Settlement scheme on Information Now (www.informationnow. org.uk/article/eu-settlement-scheme/). There are 26 translations (www.gov.uk/guidance/ settled-status-for-eu-citizens-and-their-families-translations) of information and guidance on the Gov.UK website.


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KEEPING WELL AND CONNECTED DURING LOCKDOWN The Experts by Experience Network is a group of people with lived experience of homelessness, mental ill health, substance misuse and/or offending, who meet up to find ways to influence and improve how local support services are delivered. While the group hasn’t been able to meet in person, recently they have been getting together online to talk about their experiences and recently took over Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead’s website and social media to share the steps they’ve been taking to look after their wellbeing during lockdown. Here are our favourites:

“I planted some marigolds, hot peppers and sunflowers on my windowsill.” Joanne “Doing jigsaws, walking the dog, enjoying the coastline and enjoying the sun in the garden with a good book.” Fiona “Saving photos and quotes I see to inspire me later.” Sheila

“When the country came to a standstill I was overcome with fear, fear of mostly having to sit with myself. When everything was closing I bought myself a journal. I want to take this time to look at me, find out what I really love and where I want my life to go. I want to show others no matter what your past you matter and can come to love yourself again but to show it I must do it. So take this time, work on you, try something new and keep safe.” Haley If you’re interested in finding out more about joining the group get in touch with Lou from Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead by calling or texting 07812 672739.


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How could we do things differently? The impact of Covid-19 has changed the way many of us view the world. And this has given us an opportunity to think about how we could do things differently.

What is Basic Income?

Lockdown has meant that a lot of us have not been able to go to work, which has had a big effect on our daily lives.

Basic Income would be a regular monthly payment to every individual in society, giving everyone financial support and creating a steady floor that no one would fall below.

It has given some people more time and space for other activities like: Volunteering with a mutual aid group Learning a new skill

The payment would be unconditional. This means that you would receive the same Basic Income if you were a fulltime cleaner, a part-time delivery driver or a stay at home parent.

Spending more time with family But has also caused a lot of stress and insecurity about the future, leading us to ask questions like: Will I have a job next month? How I am going to pay the rent?

The idea of Basic Income has been around for a long time and interest in it has grown since the start of the pandemic. But not everyone thinks that it is a good idea…

Some people say:

What happens if I get sick? Covid-19 has also made us question what kind of work is valuable, and what activity is seen as “work.” It has revealed that the jobs which were considered low skill and poorly paid, like carers, cleaners, shop assistants, delivery drivers, security guards and fruit pickers, are actually doing the essential work we need to happen for society to function. It has also showed us that a lot of high paying jobs may not be as important as the size of their pay packets suggest. We can now see just how dysfunctional the world of work is. Lots of jobs do not pay enough to cover the cost of living, and many do not come with sick pay or other rights that provide any security when we are unable to work.

Why give it to people with jobs? They don’t need it!

Covid-19 has shown us that everyone is at risk of losing their job or not being able to go to work. That’s why it is important that Basic Income would be universal and unconditional. So you should still get the Basic Income if you: were made redundant got sick needed to self-isolate or shield need to look after housemate or family member need to back to education and retrain

Some people say:

It would cost too much money!

As the pandemic continues, the future of jobs is more uncertain, even for professions that seemed secure. And it looks like this situation is going to get worse, not better…

Yes, Basic Income would be expensive, but so will not protecting people from the consequences of Covid-19.

So what could we do differently? One idea that more people are calling for is Basic Income.

Basic Income would be this generation’s NHS. It would be a way of investing in society and protecting all of us.


37 Some people say:

It would make everyone lazy and not want to work!

Covid-19 has shown us is that the important work which society needs to function is often unpaid or underpaid. Lockdown has also shown us just how much we rely on other people. Many of us do things which involve a lot of effort, but we do not get paid to do: Caring for friends and relatives Socialising Playing sport Making music and art Volunteering Some people don’t view these activities as work, but they are often the things that give our lives meaning. Doing them also benefits other people. Basic Income would reward all this activity and also mean we could do more of it if we needed or wanted to.

As the world changes we need to think about how we could do things differently. Tell us know what you think. Fill in the speech bubble on the cartoon and send a photo to us at: ubilabnewcastle@gmail.com or post it on our social media pages: Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNorthEast Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UBILabNorthEast You can find out what other people from all over the UK would do differently if they had a Basic Income here: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org/ubi-survey-map To find out what is happening locally or get involved go to UBI Lab North East social media accounts. For more information about Basic Income go to: https://basicincome.org/about-basic-income/

What would you do differently if you had Basic Income every month?

by Toby Lloyd


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ARE YOU UNEMPLOYED? ARE YOU LOOKING TO LEARN NEW SKILLS & GAIN CONFIDENCE? Then look no further than our ‘One Loaf at a Time’ employability accredited programme. We are looking for individuals who are interested in: • Experience of working in a commercial bakery • Barista and front of house (shop/café) experience • Gaining a certificate of completion in our accredited programme From September 2020 onwards For more details, contact: G a i l @ b i g r i v e r b a k e r y. c o m 07817769174


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Bob

Terry

Digital Voice helping older people to become digitally connected during the pandemic.

Lockdown has highlighted the need to get everyone online and Digital Voice is training older people to use devices and to stay safe online. Many older people are still digitally excluded and do not use the internet. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Digital Voice has had to adapt and run its digital inclusion courses remotely online. We have raised funds to give devices to people who need them and to run courses to train older people virtually. Digital Voice has also teamed up with Search in Newcastle, a charity that supports older people, and created a newsletter to tell older people about the training project as well as important information about the benefits of online training and about the internet. Digital Voice has trained Search’s volunteers to act as digital buddies to support older people as they become digitally included and we will continue to support them to roll out this service. Feedback from a digital buddy:

“The training was very comprehensive. We learned some good tips and tricks and understand the challenges better. I feel more confident now to support beginners.� If your organisation would like to run similar training please email julie@digitalvoice.org.uk For more info: www.digitalvoice.org.uk


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by d e t crea on with e d i e Gu rati r o a b C a l l Self n co cca. i o s R o i a Stud den n u m l Chilli A Artist


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Growing microgreens – get the family involved

Recent studies have shown that spending just 2 hours a week doing something with nature, such as tubs and planters, and growing micro veg on your windowsill, is linked to better mental and physical wellbeing. Micro greens can be harvested when the germinated seeds have developed tiny roots and their first true leaves. They have nutritional value, including zinc, potassium, vitamins and minerals. They grow in 7 to 21 days and you can harvest as you go along. Just pick or cut, wash and taste to see how you like the taste. Luckily, many spice and dried pulse seeds sold for cooking will grow fine as microgreens, including: dried peas, dried chickpeas, coriander seeds, black mustard seeds and fenugreek. Alternatively, look for specialist sprout and micro green seed suppliers who supply large packs. Sunflower, radish, rocket (rucola), and mixed mustard seeds are good ones to try. You need: 2 hours sun a day on your windowsill; general compost; a seed tray, crate or container at least 1 ½ – 2 inches with drainage holes in the bottom; seeds; watering can or bottle sprayer; seed label and indelible pen. Microgreens producers include: Nature’s Root and Sky sprouts Taken from InformationNOWNewcastle: www.informationnow.org.uk


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poems by

Eleanor Scorah

Eleanor Scorah is a poet from Yorkshire, writing about her experiences as a young northern woman. Her work appears in Strix and Palm-Sized Press, and has won first prize in the Poetry Kit Winter Competition 2019.

Escalators, Elevators I am wishing for staircases, escalators, elevators, fire doors and fire escapes, automatic entrances that slowly rotate; bus tickets, train tickets, taxi cabs and packed platforms, old office milk from an old office fridge. I am reaching for grass stems, squirrel faces, pond skaters, tree bark and tree branches, green leaves in a light breeze that slowly vibrate; brick walls, stone walls, paving slabs and broken fences, old cobbled paths to an old cobbled street. I am living in bedsheets, bookcases, radiators, screen time and screen tiredness, creaking desk chairs too near to the bed; Zoom meetings, Zoom quizzes, Skype calls and text dates, old piles of photographs near old piles of clothes. I am hoping for a tap on the back, a kiss on the cheek, a too formal handshake, a tipsy tackle, a pat on the arm, a bump without apology, accidental footsie, and a child around the legs.


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by

WHO YET SURVIVE Following the morning after that dreadful night, The sounds you’re hearing and the quiet light, Are altered un-imperceptibly. You had not faltered and have a new reality. The voices, stripped of background. Your choices, pared down to only one. The light just not quite right. The decision once made, forever gone. Some universal constant, Altered by the slightest Angel kiss. A baseline set you do not want. For future deja vus for days like this. Soon, news must be passed along. Then, a date must be set. And you must choose a verse, a song, To sum a life you can’t forget. Those departed have no say, Yet take stage centre come the day, In words that say ‘I was alive.’ And written by us who yet survive. At end of this next street, Busses full of stumbling feet. Gliding away to new adventures, Heads full of rugs and mugs and dentures, The engine roar, too loud, And yet too distant, Will suck you into the crowd, Where you will be resistant, To the call of the herds, And participation in their events. The speaking and hearing of words, The buying, selling, hires and rents. This quiet you hear, disquiet you feel, This curious, calm rage, Is just the fact of being the real, And only mark on a blank, new page … … of a story starting now, Wherein characters will arrive, And wonder at the who and the how, And written by us who yet survive. Eric Scarboro. For the lost also. May 2020.

Eric

Scarboro Hello. I’m a retired Comedian and many other things. Artist, welder, bus driver, surprisingly good centre-half and not a bad actor. I can’t plaster to save my life. I live in County Durham, collecting art and raising stories.


stay calm

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by

Matilda Neill

Leaving Lockdown Small, in the grand scheme of things We clasp hands to brave the world Forehead to forehead we scream Until our noses are permanently wrinkled. You polish my boots as I stitch Leather patches on your frayed elbows. Wax your rucksack and fill it with Sandwiches, screwdrivers and sanitary pads. We prepared for weeks and weeks, Recreated sunlight with tissue paper And head torches. Simulated thunder By bouncing off the walls. I have guessed how the wind will feel From the cool chill of an empty bed. Can navigate in fog as easily as I can Pick a plate from the dishwasher. I imagined the sunbeams as your palm On my cheek and wiggle my toes as Though sand runs through them Like spilled salt on the kitchen floor. Small, in the grand scheme of things We clasp hands to brave the world.


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Social mania of a Mam in lockdown


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by

A better You and Me.

Nihal n Stanto

(A Collective Poem written during a public participatory performance)

We are dreams from the stars. We are rays of Sunlight coming through the storm. We are ocean waves that keep coming back and back. We are the stars that glaze the sky after a heavy rain. We are delicate flowers and the thorns that can heart in the experience of fear. We are drops of rain, connecting in the flow of a river. We are lightning bolts connecting. We are breathing. We are branches reaching out to each other. We are a tree offering fruit and shade and love. We are a sea of change with hearts as the crest and fall. We are winds blowing around in this fragmented world, blowing into, around, under, and over each other. We are brave hearts that open wide to wrap around the Universe. We are grains of light. We are colours, so beautiful, feel and inspiring.

*This is a shorter version of a collective poem

that was written by members of a user-led group with lived experienced engaged in a

creative postal project in Gateshead in July

2020. It beautifully captures the hopes, fears, struggles but also dreams we experienced

during the six weeks of taking and responding

to mini-creative challenges.


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activities Complete this unfinished picture This drawing is only half finished. Look carefully at what is already there. What does it make you think of? Complete the drawing in any way you choose.

by

Alison

Unsworth


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by

Dan

Russell


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by

Iris st Prie


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Colouring Colouring Colouring

by

Mart

ine

Dellar

d

One day I’ll dance again with you x

One day I’ll dance again with you x

One day I’ll dance again with you x

One day I’ll dance again with you x


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Amazing Facts for Kids Why is the sky blue? The light from the sun is made up of many different colours. This is called the spectrum. When blue light hits dust and water droplets in the sky it is reflected and bounced all over the sky, while other colours in the spectrum carry on shining down to earth. On a very sunny day, the sky is really blue because there is a lot of blue light reflecting around the sky.

Banana facts Why are feet often You share your birthday with at Where do bananas the smelliest part of get their name your body? least 9 million from? Why do feet smell? other people in From the Arabic word for finger which is banan. Bunches of bananas Wrapping our feet in shoes and the world. are known as a hand and have ten socks creates the ideal environment

Are oranges named after the colour orange, or is the colour orange named Why are sunsets after the fruit? Until oranges were seen in red? As the sun is setting, just before it goes out of view, it is less bright and appears red. This is because only the red colours in the spectrum can be seen, since the other colours in the spectrum have been absorbed by the sky or scattered.

Water is the only substance on earth that is lighter as a solid than it is as a liquid.

Britain, an old English word that meant ‘yellow-red’ was used to describe the colour red. The word orange comes from the old French word ‘orenge’ which was derived from the Arabic word naranj. No word rhymes with orange.

A crocodile can’t stick its tongue out.

to twenty fingers. Almost all the bananas that we eat are descended from a type of banana called the Cavendish banana that was created at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, England. Bananas do not grow on trees – the banana plant is the world’s largest herb.

for the bacteria that produce body odour to thrive. Warm, moist and thick skin on feet is perfect for bacteria. It doesn’t help that no air gets to feet to blow away the smell, so when people take their shoes and socks off, feet can be really smelly. Feet have 250,000 sweat glands which is more sweat glands per square centimetre than anywhere else on the body.

How can birds fall asleep on tree branches without How do you cure hiccups? falling off? Obviously some birds live in nests in trees, so they don’t have to worry about falling out of a tree, but some birds sleep on tree branches. Some birds have tendons in their feet that tighten and lock the birds’ claws onto the branch when they fall asleep.

You can’t sneeze in your sleep.

There are many different suggestions for curing hiccups. One of the most popular is to get someone to surprise or shock you. An old method used by actors on stage is to breathe in, hold your breath for as long as you can, then push the air into your stomach. Hopefully this will stop your hiccups.


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Credit: Zymergy Publishing


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Geological activities by

Sarah

Stamp

Colouring in

Short instructions: Colour us in! Longer instructions: These drawings are based on gemstones and geodes. The gemstone drawings are flat, whereas the stones in real life are highly textured. Explore ways of adding texture to each facet when colouring.

Complete the drawing

Short instructions: Draw the other half! Longer instructions: This drawing is based on an agate slice. Agate slices often have rings around the centre of a section of small crystals. The rings sometimes merge into each other or divert off to form their own small circles. The overall shape is roughly circular with irregularities in shape and texture. Start by continuing the lines on the completed half of the image to create your own agate drawing. You might want to simply copy the completed side or you may want to experiment with shapes and lines, creating your own pattern and shape.


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Dot to dot

Short instructions: Join the dots! Longer instructions: This dot to dot is based on a geode. Each dot is labelled with a number. Join each dot to the next in order, to create a picture. Once the image is complete you can work into it by going over lines, colouring in or adding further rings to the shape. Don’t worry if you make a mistake or miss a dot, it won’t spoil the overall picture.

Rocks and stuff

Word search

Short instructions: Look for the words listed below in the grid of letters.

MN N A R T U N K N B V R T K L O E X T F I V B M U GWR V M T V MO E G E D V TWX V A Z E OO E X C S MV C HODDNMQ T Q P A S V O E P AM E T O R C L KM J G K D V E B V O F F B T K HGU O F C U K O J G T A U NHO R G E N R TWL B QMKM E T AMO R J Z LWT ODH P V X J P XMU K N I PWV MX Z R E T V I C V C C Y P DWR N D A N T S V P B D P Y G E O L MG L F S MU R DN N Y F C F T O A UWY K WX NG R K P GU X Z E A Z F A Q L L T S H U B U N T L U C L C A I T U F A H V MWN H DOO S O R F Y E V A C R Y S T A L T C U F D E Y Y J X N ND L V S H V H U F Q J F O J X L WQ Y N D K S E D A A C Y K N K G Y P X M E B I N RWS V G P

I A O R K K P NG E N I OU V L I R B C D I X I WR Z F D J OU L U F Q E F S O E J S E K F MX B M B NMM A J X E A B A X L N A L A Q S K C Y L Z F M F P H I C GO B D B K R B S V R R BM F R F U K F X H V K H R O P O C E OG I C A L L Q P H L N P X D P T E OWG U Y L L UMD V N I K UG R C C I MB J A C N R O C K Q J Y MO CWB G I Y X U R K D V T U A G Y I V B DW J Y I M E N T A R J W I V J P Y MBWK V U R

R C M Y GW P R MM F S P N AMN V A Z K N S T S S R C I G X P X T H K I Y E L WH T E O A Y H C T E I Q L K ND T M Y T D V U A S E B F Z P U RMA NO N X GMU J N S RMM A H QWH D X Z T B Z H E N Y A B T X Z K I B E Z EWT I P I T S G R Y V R X T HWT U B S HM E B N F T R I K A I A E GN A K K R S R Y F X Q S T P C E N E I WE NG Z V J N P Y V F MV H C D J Q A Q T E C T ON I C E K Z J F WDW I N C P T A WM B Z P P G H O Z Q K J X Y OWV D C F K U F L F Z U Y Z H YWV B C F L Q R G K A V R ND X C I S D X U N S MDDON X U B NM S Y S B GN Z D Z Q VM T PWF I EWP Y Z E RWA A G E T D UG X I E GU N R R E Z K X L A E T L Z H K

R C I K P Q E V Y S S G B G P T I G F O T C T F O S S I L C

Anthropocene

Metamorphic

Sedimentary

Geological

Ingenious

Tectonic

Crystal

Fossil

Carbon

Quartz

Strata

Geode

Stone

Epoch

Rock


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Recycling milk cartons

Colourful Elephant craft

Stand the milk jug up and cut into it just below the handle. This will form the elephant’s trunk. Then cut off the entire bottom half of the jug and cut four legs into it, as well as a little tail.

We have a growing awareness of how our chemicals and plastics are filling the oceans and killing marine life, but it isn’t always easy to avoid plastic items. Many items that go into the recycling bin don’t get to be recycled. So why not have a bit of fun as a family and make some items.

Stick the tissue squares on and add another wash of glue over the top to make it dry hard and shiny. Don’t worry if the colour bleeds.

What you need • • • • • •

1 (or more) empty and clean milk jug containers scissors brightly coloured tissue paper cut into equal size and shape squares PVA/ white glue and brushes white card black pen

Draw and cut semi circles from the white card, cover with tissue and stick on at the side of the head.

Draw and cut white circles from the white card, draw black pupils and stick on the front of the head.

Planters that look like faces/face masks Take the 2 litre milk bottle and use the handle as a nose. Cut off the bottom. Draw eyes and lips and you can use material to make a head scarf or bandannas. Use a few stones for drainage and then add compost and a small plant.

*Ideas taken from InfoNOW news and Plastic Free July:

www.informationnow.org.uk

Seed trays

You can also use the bottom of a 2 litre or 4 litre milk carton as a seed tray and yoghurt pots to grow seedlings.


59

by

Peter

Hebden


Contributers:

This publication has been put together by the For Solidarity network in response to the exceptional circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. For Solidarity is a growing peer-support network, initiated by The Newbridge Project. It is made up of organisations, projects, initiatives and individuals across the North East. Collectively we aim to strengthen and grow existing networks of solidarity for a more democratic, socially just and ecologically sustainable world that supports all of our material and social needs. To find out more about the For Solidarity network please contact:

admin@thenewbridgeproject.com The NewBridge Project 232-240 High Street, Gateshead, NE8 1AQ

Get on the For Solidarity map:

www.forsolidarityne.solidarityeconomy.coop

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