Dear all,

The second Barnes Forum took place on Zoom on Wednesday 20th January 2021, please view the recording here
Passcode: kPVwey^9
It was good in itself to hear the range of voices expressed last night, though of course we are just a small slice of the wider community.  A few particular themes were:
* the simple value of keeping in touch during lockdown; we can’t expect people to volunteer their needs easily or immediately. It is frustrating for the Foodbank to know demand is out there but not to know who – please spread the word that the Foodbank can help;
* the need to be kind to one another, and understanding that we are all vulnerable in different ways – one person’s concern to tighten observance of Covid rules is mirrored by another’s mental and physical health needs to be outdoors.  Can we put ourselves in the shoes of others?;
* the digital divide in the community; initiatives to address this include the BCA appeal for devices to recycle through schools, and FiSH with simple tablets for older people to make key video calls. Once we know more details through the Barnes Fund research project etc, can we resolve to ensure 100% digital access in Barnes, and ability to pay broadband costs?
* the need for a sense of purpose at the moment- suggested we make Barnes as litter free as possible by taking a collecting bag on our walks. These are available from the BCA and could be set up from the OSO takeaway cafe too.  How can the community be benefit from the spare time and skills of many in Barnes?;
Two other things. Simon from OSO mentioned their Wednesday online entertainment evenings, and also offered to help other groups who might want to make use of what they have set up to do such a thing.
And Judy mentioned that at St Mary’s we have set up a dedicated “Let’s Talk” helpline for anyone wanting someone to talk to an experienced listener confidentially. I would be grateful if you can publicise this where appropriate 07707 329914 and [email protected] Flyers about it are also on the church lychgate & website.
So let’s keep in touch, and be both realistic about the great challenges we face, but also keep hopeful!