Simon Brown – Member in Focus #16

This week we speak to Simon Brown 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?

Back in February of this year I was lucky enough to travel to Toronto, Canada with my Girlfriend to visit relatives. I am so thankful that I was actually able to go as 3 weeks after I return, we went into lockdown. While there I was able to attend my first NHL game which I had been looking forward to for over 9 months. This turned out to be one of the last games played in front of a crowd with all NHL games now played behind closed doors. When I start to think of how hard this past year has been and I have to be thankful that I was able to have a trip of a lifetime before Coronavirus took over.

Q3. Why and when did you decide to get involved with community-based support?

During lockdown, I was working from home and was fortunate enough that I didn’t have to shield and could go to the shops if I needed to. Watching the news highlighted the fact that a lot of people were relying on family and friends to help with their shopping or collecting prescriptions. This is all good but what about members of the community who were not fortunate enough to have family and friends support them?

I came across the COVID-19 Community Support (Community Calling) page on Facebook and I thought this is something I could help with. I reached out to Sarah and said I could help with the admin side of things and was able to take up the role of Area Co-Ordinator for Ards and North Down for a brief period until work started to pick up. This year has highlighted how all communities can come together when necessary to step up and support each other.

Q4. What is the biggest challenge you have faced since the world went into lockdown?

The biggest challenge I have faced since the world went into lockdown is trying to adapt to the new way of living. The world has completely changed this year and we are constantly being given new advice and new restrictions are being introduced. Even from heading back into the office, things have changed as a lot of people are still working remotely and we don’t have the same social interaction.

Q5. Are you excited about any opportunities that have arisen this year?

I am so glad that through this organisation I have been able to meet so many dedicated and hardworking people with the same goal in mind of helping others. I am excited to see how Community Calling will grow and the opportunities that will arise from this.

Q6. How are things looking for the remainder of 2020? 

This year although it has been very different than others, it has just gone so quickly. With little over a month left of this year, I hope that all my family and friends continue to stay safe and well and hope that a vaccine will be available as soon as possible to ensure no more lives are lost to this virus.

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