CREATIVE Rotherham folk discovered new simple pleasures when lockdown forced them to take a break from the norm. Now an alternative guide is bringing together some of those passions, and encouraging people to share their own.
FANCY an idea of something different to do in the summer holidays — or just something new to fire your imagination?
Then we may have just the trick, as this week sees the launch of The Great Big Rotherham To-Do List, in which Rotherham residents share their feel-good things to try.
Rotherham Council reckons it is the perfect way to inspire people to do more things that make them feel happier and healthier as we emerge from the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Whether it was jumping in puddles, learning to knit, finding a pen pal or simply listening to the birds, the people of Rotherham have found countless ways to keep themselves going through the upheaval of the past 15 months.
Many discovered an inner strength they didn’t know they had but for experts in health and wellbeing, this new-found resilience isn’t a surprise.
RMBC’s director of public health, Ben Anderson, said: “Lots of the things people made a special effort to do because of COVID-19 restrictions are actually things that make us more resilient to stress – such as being physically active, learning something new, helping others or just pausing to reflect.
“Many of those new behaviours were actually helping us to stay healthy – in mind and body.”
To help people continue good habits, RMBC and the NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group asked residents to share the things which had helped them feel happier and healthier.
These were used to create The Great Big Rotherham To-Do List — an illustrated record of simple pleasures that helped Rotherham get through months of COVID restrictions.
Included in your Advertiser this week, it is packed with things that you can find on your doorstep and cost no more than your time.
Mr Anderson added: “We want The Great Big Rotherham To-Do List to be the start of an ongoing conversation and for people to keep on sharing the things that make them feel healthier in mind and body.
“We hope people will keep it handy and use it to inspire everyday moments of calm, kindness, fun and fascination — because those little actions can make a big difference to how we feel today, and our ability to adapt and cope when times are tough.”
The guide also shows how these activities relate to the Five Ways to Wellbeing — a nationally recognised, evidence-based set of actions that help people function and feel at their best.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Cllr David Roche said: “It’s been wonderful to hear about the range of things that have helped people stay strong through COVID-19. In the coming months, as we all work to recover from the many effects of the pandemic, it’s going to be just as important to keep a check on our own wellbeing – whether we’re nine years old or 90.”
Distribution of the Great Big Rotherham To-Do list has been made possible through funding from the ‘Welcome Back Fund’, which provides councils across England with a share of £56 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to help build back better from the pandemic.
The Great Big Rotherham To-Do List is also available for free in libraries across the borough and can also be found as a PDF download at www.rotherham.gov.uk/great-to-do, along with an accessible text-only version and more information to help people take steps to look after their wellbeing.
Rotherham residents can share their own ideas for activities with @RotherhamCouncil on Facebook, or @RMBCpress on Twitter using #Rotherham #greattodo.
Find out more about Five Ways to Wellbeing at www.rotherham.gov.uk/five-ways.
Adults in Rotherham can also find further support at www.rotherhive.co.uk — including the Wellness Hive, which is packed with wellbeing top-tips, downloadable resources and online activities to help people take notice of their thoughts, feelings and the world around them.