Community Spirit in the Snow

Well that was fun wasn’t it, all that snow! The whole of the U.K. was hit this week with a massive snow storm nicknamed ‘the beast from the east’. While some places only had a light dusting, those of us in South Wales were snowed in and under a red weather warning for the best part of 3 days. I didn’t even know there was colour coded weather warnings until this weekend. I felt a bit worried when I read we were under a red one which is the most severe.

Different Snow

Sure enough they were right and we had blizzard conditions. A fluffy sort of snow that we’re not used to in the U.K. Along with snow drifts. Due to the mix of fluffy snow and high wind there were banks of snow in some places and patches of bare ground in others. It was strange weather. My little boy’s 2nd birthday was completely snowed off and the schools were closed. We were stuck in the house for 4 days.

snow

 

Community

One unexpected pleasure of this severe weather was that it really brought out the best in our local community. I live on a new build estate which is still being built so the oldest home here is 2 years old. That means we are all from somewhere else, and a lot of people are really making an effort to make friends. There is a Facebook group which we can all post to and it has been brilliant for nurturing a sense of community. The estate has been targeted a few times by opportunistic criminals and we’ve had people going round trying car doors. Straight away people share their CCTV images on the group and let others know to be wary. Fun things like Halloween and Christmas discos have been arranged for the kids and families to get a chance to meet each other and make friends. I can say we’ve never lived anywhere like it.

It wasn’t any different in the snow. Some people who had 4×4’s and could still get out offered to help anyone who needed to get to work in the hospital. Rich’s friend took him and our 7yr/o daughter to the doctors as she had a high temp and a headache and the Dr on the phone was concerned (she recovered fine at home). At a risk to themselves and putting their own plans aside to help others. I thought it was very admirable. People who were making a trek up to the shop on foot were offering to get supplies for anyone who needed them. Two people off the estate even went up church with Rich and helped clear the church car park with spades and shovels.

Lip Service

I’m often very sceptical when people offer help. My default is cynic. It’s so much easier to pay lip service than to actually act, and I’ve met a fair few people who will offer help just to make themselves look good with no intention of doing so. I was so impressed by all the community spirit in our neighbourhood over the weekend. It made me think of Coronation Street in ye olden days. I think the power of cultivating community is hugely underestimated in these modern times where we all feel so self sufficient. I’m really glad we moved here.

If you get the chance to say hello to your neighbour, do it. Don’t assume to know the kind of people they are, you may just get a pleasant surprise. 🙂

Here’s a short vid of me meandering around our neighbourhood in the snow:

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