Hello from a very busy and sunny Cornwall!
Being half term this week and the first time in what seems for ever, restrictions are starting to lift, people can now holiday in the UK and Cornwall is high on the list for many people. I read that just over 400,000 visitors have arrived this half term and I cant say I blame them. Cornwall in the sun at any time of the year is a place of beauty.
Life for us continues come rain or shine but for us, at the moment, it feels as if life is in Limbo. It's on hold and it's hard to get used to. I think part of the problem is that we have been really busy over the last 3 years, strong plans for delivery in place, a clear direction and a real positive attitude. As we exit Covid, the restrictions that it brought, we find that its taking time to rebuild, our direction seems to be in the hands of others and until they make a move, our charitable work is on slow down. We havent stopped, its just vastly reduced, reduced staff, reduced volunteers, reduced services and slowly reducing reserves. The demand from the community hasn’t slowed in the slightest, our ability to keep up with demand has had to though as we just don’t have the resources or support in place to keep up.
On the good side of coming out of covid, our PolyRhythm music Library has had a real upturn in demand and is growing week on week. We are now just over 60 members and each week we have between 8 –10 items on loan. The youth that are involved with the project are really getting involved with promotion and finding ways to do other things that support and involve the community. They have applied to take part in festivals that would enable them to bring and promote PolyRhythm to more people and each week we have donations of more instruments that they get to referb, learn and lend out to others.
Our food support has slowed a lot and what we have found is a different, new, group from the community have come forward in their hour of need. These seem to be older people in our community who are finding it real hard to make ends meet. The stories they bring are emotional and its not really possible to say no to helping them. They are the mums of the people we went to school with, they are the men that we have seen going to work on a daily bases until their health stopped that from happening and we see those with lifelong problems that have found it so difficult during covid. Each help make up the colourful tapestry of our community and each is as important as the next.
Having life in limbo has also helped us look and focus on the future and how we can be more sustainable. This was something we were close to becoming before Covid struck but sadly, those paid contracts and that work that gave us income disappeared during the lockdown as those companies we worked with failed to find ways to continue. We are now looking at ways as so we can replace those contracts, provide a service and support the community but starting from scratch. It’s a challenge but determination will get us there and as we often `Get things Done` we thing one of our next ventures will pave the way to sustainability in some way.
Youth are also a big focus for us. They make up our team and our staff our children and our community. We collectively feel that they have suffered the most from Covid and its how we can support them going forward. Its going back to our roots as it’s the reason we started and the reason we will continue. 6 years ago an idea was formed while taking part in an Erasmus project in Italy and still today it forms a large part of our future and direction. Although we can no longer do Erasmus projects due to brexit, we feel there is still a lot more that can be learned and taught from the involvement of youth in our daily projects and therefore it will play a large part of our direction.
So, although our lives might seem like they are in Limbo, its been a great opportunity to spend in reflection, in finding direction and for listening to the heart beat of the community. Its beating well, its strong and its eager to grow again. From the fire, great things will grow and we will be found fanning the flames.
Our blog is designed to keep you up to date on Cultivate Cornwall news and all the different projects we are working on.