Holly Hendry from SRN tells us how the ‘Highland Hello’ project is helping people to maintain connections while social distancing.
I live rurally, am a parent of a young child and like many others I am working from home. This is no small feat when your job is about meeting and connecting people. I am having to adjust to a way of working that, although still possible, can be quite isolating.
This is why I am so passionate about the Highland Hello project. It encourages people to remember that simple gestures, whether off or online, can support us to feel more connected with others. This is especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with myself, the original Highland Hello project was launched in 2019 by Tiffany Bottomley – Highlands Migrant and Refugee Advocacy Project, Reverend James Curral, Rachael Duff – Fèis Rois, Anne MacDonald – Highland Senior Citizen Network and local woman, Gail Duff – passionate about sustainable living, health and wellbeing with funding from the Highland Third Sector Interface. The main aim is to connect people by the simple gesture of saying ‘Hello’ in their own and/or other languages.
In recent months, life has changed for all of us and there is a lot of fear around how we can appropriately connect with people. Social distancing has meant it is now more important than ever that we find different ways to stay connected with our family, friends and communities. I know that a wave to and from my neighbours means a lot to me.
So building on the success of 2019 we have relaunched Highland Hello to encourage positive connections during this challenging time.
There are a number of ways to get involved:
- Say hello to those passing by, send a text or make a call to friends / family, wave at neighbours and so on. These are small gestures that can have a big impact.
We also have Hello postcards being sent out to local networks. These are available to download on the Scottish Recovery Network Website (this link will take you away from our website) and the HiMRAwebsite (this link will take you away from our website).
- Join our film challenge. We are asking you to record a small clip introducing yourself, saying a Highland Hello and sharing something that you have been doing to keep well during lockdown then tag 3 x people to continue the challenge. These films are also being collated to show in care settings for those who can’t get outdoors.
- If you have an idea of how to take the concept and use it in your community please do. We would love people from everywhere to get involved in the film challenge too.
Maybe you could start a hello campaign where you live and we could see it develop across Scotland? Make sure you tag us with @highlandhello or #HighlandHello so we can share with our networks too!
At the core of this project is connection and I hope that regardless of what the future brings that we continue to stay connected with each other via different means.
It might seem strange but I am going to end my blog with a beginning! Here is the film ( this link will take you away from our website) I uploaded as part of the challenge. So it’s hello from me and over to you to upload you own!
Find out more
You can find out more about this project on Facebook – Hello Campaign or on Twitter using @highlandhello or #HighlandHello
You might also be interested in the Scottish Recovery Network eUpdate (this link will take you away from our website)