This week we speak to Claire Dowds for our #memberinfocus feature: “The Challenges and Opportunities of 2020”.
Q1. If you could describe the year 2020 in one word, what would it be?
Q2. What was happening in your life when the pandemic struck?
I was occupied with the day to day of running the Ormeau Baths and planning events and programs for the rest of the year.
Q3. Why and when did you decide to get involved with community-based support?
I have been involved with community based support in some way shape or form for a long time. Although I have stepped away from serving on a day to day basis. I see it as essential especially in today’s climate. I guess I was always taught that it is important to be thoughtful and generous to others with the talents and time I’ve been given. That’s why I was so excited to join the Community Calling team in what they are doing.
Q4. What is the biggest challenge you have faced since the world went into lockdown?
I lost my dad to COVID-19 at the end of April. Not being able to mourn him properly or be with family when I needed it most was one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. Trying to navigate it all when family members were shielding and self isolating was tough, but I was thankful for friends and community who rallied round and did what they could in the midst of lockdown.
Q5. Are you excited about any opportunities that have arisen this year?
I’m excited about the creativity that is emerging. I have spoken with a lot of people who decided that in the midst of uncertainty, they were going to try something different. The new life that is being created in businesses and personal lives is something that I look at when I’m feeling a little uncertain about the future and it gives me a lot of hope.
Q6. How are things looking for the remainder of 2020?
Things are definitely a bit rocky right now and no-one seems to know what tomorrow is going to bring. Even though the dark winter is here, spring is only just around the corner, so I’m looking for every drop of hope I can find in people and hanging onto it to get me through. I’m thankful for the stories of human kindness and generosity that the Community Calling team share with me. I think if we keep on showing kindness, love and respect for each other, we’ll make it through.