This year, we asked you to share your stories of how disabled people have been involved, included and helped create a kinder world in 2020.
Auntie Val’s Ability centre is a small charity based in West Sussex which works alongside disabled people making our Artisan Jams, Marmalades, Pickles and Chutney.
Usually, we are extremely busy but lockdown brought everything to a halt. With everywhere closed our orders slowly dropped away.
Like many, our volunteers and employees were in the vulnerable group. We said farewell and we haven’t seen them since. Thank Heaven for technology we managed to keep in touch.
Others stayed away to be cautious and stay in the bubbles for fear of carrying the virus to their loved ones BUT three remained. Those Three Musketeers came every day to the unit and changed their working ways.
Our Three Musketeers battled valiantly on. This time they were helping out the food banks and supplying the frontline workers and food banks with a range of dried goods.
Each arrived in a huge sack which was decanted and packed into smaller useable packs that were then distributed.
One day, we were actually mixing our own brand of muesli, providing a healthy start to the workers busy day. Between the measuring and packing we produced our own goods to re-stock the shelves ready for the lifting of lockdown.
The quietness of the unit was eery. Every knock, bang echoed into the stillness and quiet of the building. No chattering of colleagues or laughter between friends.
The lifting of lockdown came and little by little the cafes and tea rooms began to open and our work began to increase. The Three Musketeers continued on. Slowly, bit by bit, day by day those that could return.
So now with the regulations in place, face shields, masks, temperature charts and sanitizing stations in situ we are back but not to full strength as with the distancing measures there is not enough room for everyone.
One day soon, let us hope, we can all be back together so that the air is full of laughter, giggles and the daily banter goes on.
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