This week we speak to Nicola Hinds 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 volunteering with an international disaster relief organisation, bringing emergency shelter to families anywhere in the world, who had been displaced by conflict or natural disaster. Travel was suddenly not a possibility, but a need appeared much closer to home as vulnerable neighbours and friends needed support to stay safely at home.
Q3. Why and when did you decide to get involved with community-based support?
As soon as the lockdown was announced, I got together with family and neighbours to mail drop our area, offering to help with shopping, pharmacy collections, dogwalking, check-in phone calls or whatever support we could offer.
And I signed up with various community groups to do what I could to help out.
Q4. What is the biggest challenge you have faced since the world went into lockdown?
Being unable to cuddle my little grandson in Edinburgh has been hard, especially as babies change so quickly! I was afraid that he would forget me! I missed seeing family and friends.
Q5. Are you excited about any opportunities that have arisen this year?
Out of this very strange year, a great sense of community and goodwill has arisen, and I really hope that this will continue. There will be difficult years ahead as the economy tries to recover from the pandemic, and many local families will still need a helping hand.
This year has shown that there are many caring people in our country, and seeing local businesses adapt and alter quickly to new requirements has been inspiring. Where there is a will, there is a way!
Q6. How are things looking for the remainder of 2020?
As we head towards Christmas, I look forward to seeing my family, and sharing a few nice meals together. I might even finish my latest 1000 piece jigsaw!
I do worry that further lockdowns will be required in early 2021 to curb rising cases, but the vaccine does give us hope that some sort of normal life may return.
Personally, I would like to get back to helping disaster-affected families overseas, as I have frequently seen how providing shelter, water filters, blankets and tools, can give hope for the future, and help people recover from awful tragedy.
In essence, we have all seen how important “home” is, this year. It has been more than a “ roof” over our heads, but somewhere to shield, comfort, and sustain us. And everyone should have one!