• Zara Skidmore

Goodbye 2020, guarding mental health in 2021

2020 for many is year they wont wish to remember and many of us have faced big lifestyle changes and challenges. However, thanks to the many amazing people from our community things were made a little bit easier for some of the most isolated members of our community.

Since March, Operation Community have been working with many individuals to ensure we can best support them and provide much needed services to support their needs both emotionally and physically.

Over the last year, we have delivered a mass of services including 4059 meals, 1062 shopping trips and errands, 1050 care packages, including 120 Christmas packages delivered by our many volunteer Elves, Rudolph and Santa himself, and managed over 4500+ calls offering befriending, advice and guidance.

Our 160-plus volunteers have collectively delivered over 7500 hours of support, excluding additional staff hours and behind the scenes admin support and will continue to do so for as long as is needed.

All of which has been possible thanks to the generosity of our community members and support from local and national community organisations and funders, Bauer Technologies, Yay, Home Instead, CPS Printing and Market Layer businesses and local school support such as Birchwood Primary and Richard Whittington. We cannot thank you all enough for the support you have provided us to make sure we can deliver our support to the community.

Yet, more needs to be done. It is clear that the impact of the pandemic is affecting most of us in our everyday lives none more so than on our mental health and wellbeing. Whilst our befriending services have offered some light relief to older members of our community and provided opportunity for them to feel more connected to the world around them and for some it has been considered a lifeline. What if anything are we doing to help protect our own mental wellbeing?

Having seen the light at the end of the tunnel, with the amazing news of the vaccination roll out, it seems the tunnel has once again been dimmed as we enter into another lockdown.

Now more than ever we need to be talking about how we look after each other and our mental health. Thankfully there are a wealth of resources available to help us consider and take action to help guard our mental wellbeing and we have listed some great resources below:

Yet, we also urge each and everyone of you to become a lifeline and support the #bemoreus campaign, make a call to an old friend or colleague, reconnect to someone you used to hold dear or reach out if you are struggling. To find out more ways you can help by visit

Please get in touch with us should you need signposting for support or if you are just in need of chat.

Call us on 01279 942025 or email

or see details of additional services see below: You are not alone.

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Operation Community

C/O Age Concern

Bishop's Stortford

22a Apton Road

Bishop's Stortford

CM23 3SN

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