I have wanted to sit down and write this blog for quite some time now, and I have been putting it off as i don't really know where to start.
We all went into Lock-down in our homes at different stages but the UK was locked down as a whole on Monday 23rd March 2020, pretty much 2 months to the day of writing. All schools were closed, non essential businesses ordered to halt trading and for everyone to stay in their homes to try and stop the spread of Covid-19. We had personally been isolating for the best part of a week by then as our eldest daughter Rhianna had been poorly, but watching the announcement which finally ordered the lock-down made me feel overwhelmingly sad and uneasy. The whole sense of the unknown was scary and I knew we were facing an unprecedented time of our lives, things weren't going to be the same.
After being on lock-down for a few days I got a Facebook notification, I had been invited to join a Facebook group by one of my friends. I had a look at the group and thought it was a great idea and after checking the idea hadn't already been used locally, I started .....
The Rainbow Trail Lowestoft is a fun way to spread some joy and love during the Coronavirus Pandemic 2020. Since we had been ordered to stay at home with limited exercise every day we weren't interacting with our friends and family like we were used to. Our children were missing their school friends and the Rainbow Trail was a great way for them to stay in touch with their friends and to keep them entertained on their daily walks.
When I created the Facebook group I didn't expect it to be still going strong almost 3 months later. To be honest, I didn't think we would still be in lock-down and unable to live our lives they way we were beforehand. The Facebook group's description is
Share your family’s art work that you are displaying in your windows!! Our aim is to brighten our community and spread a little love
My intention was to keep the group local, to invite my local friends and family and for them to add their local friends and family; so we can share photos of the rainbows that we see when we are out and about.
It didn't take long before the group started to grow and before we knew it, we had 1000 members! I had a few people send me private messages thanking me for starting the group and that they were looking forward to seeing what was going to happen over the coming weeks. The rainbow photos started to get posted in the group and people were sharing where they had seen them and giving shout outs to the roads they saw them on.... This made my little heart burst!! I wanted the group to be interactive, for everyone to experience the pride of having their rainbows recognised and that was exactly what was happening!!
These are some amazing photos from some of our members, these are from Melanie Collinson. She shared the rainbows and butterflies that they had drawn on the wall outside of their home.
Jane Fulford shared these amazing crochet socks and blanket that her lovely mum made to cheer up her grandchildren!! They are so cool, I would love one!
After the first few weeks of lock-down and once the "Clap For The NHS" started I thought about doing weekly themes. I had no idea how long the group was going to stay active and whether people were going to be interested in keeping up the art work after a few weeks. So, i started a poll in the group and it was an overwhelming "Yes" from our lovely members.
Each week I announced a new theme on the Monday morning and our lovely member's families didn't disappoint! The pictures and creations that were shared were beautiful and went a long way to put a smile on people's faces.
We have enjoyed doing the rainbows and pictures every week . We have been busy going for walks, having water balloon fights. The kids have enjoyed playing in the garden and Baking some yummy treats
As you can see in some of the photos already, people have been decorating their brickwork, driveways and pathways with chalk also. These next photos by Suzi Girdwood
Rainbows mean there’s always something ahead after a storm every days a day closer to a better clearer future. To keep busy I’ve decorated every room in the house helped with my children’s school work made craft things with my boys that I got from Baker Ross, played board games and taken our dog for walks xx
This is what Clare Cooper had to say about the rainbows and what she and her family have been doing during lock-down.
Beccy Osborne kindly shared these photos from her home, just look how bright and colourful her window and front of house is looking! have you spotted it while you have been out and about?
Both myself and my partner are key-workers, Steve is a delivery driver and I work at Tesco. We have both been working throughout lock-down, but as Steve is working full time I get to stay home midweek and only work weekends. I have felt very lucky to both have the opportunity to stay home and be with the children as well as do my part to help #FeedTheNation.
As a photographer I am always looking for something new to offer my clients, a little something that will make me stand out ahead of my local colleagues. I was browsing some Facebook groups when I came across something that made me stop in my tracks! It was a time capsule photo documenting the time that families were spending together in lock-down. I wanted to offer this to everyone and raise money to help the local NHS trust.
I set up a JustGiving page to raise money for the Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Charitable Fund and started advertising the time capsule images for a minimum £5 donation.. and boy, were they popular! Before i knew it I had a good 30 on order and at the moment the total stands at £359! I am still waiting on a few people to get their information back to me so I can complete theirs... Thank you, each and every one of you for your donations!
A huge Thank You to Nelly Oakley for sharing these images of her home.
In between working 6 days a week part time, me and the children have enjoyed painting rainbows, drawing them, wearing rainbow colours and dying our hair rainbow colours, they symbolise being together in these strange times and hope that we can soon have our normal lives back soon. We have enjoyed camping in the garden, baking, bike rides, drawing chalk rainbows on our paths and colouring our house bricks in rainbow colours..... Sara Dukes Burton
These beautiful rainbows & butterflies are courtesy of Mel Evans.
During lock-down I have been busy looking after my daughters. Home schooling my oldest, baking and going on lots of walks together - giving my husband a rest from decorating. I've been doing online courses that link into my work as a woodland play worker too. I have enjoyed seeing everyone's beautiful rainbows they have been a sign of hope, love and community spirit in uncertain and difficult times. Francesca Burgess.
How cute is this photo from Charlotte Eade? That looks like quite the craft box you have there!
As the country starts to make slow and steady steps to ease the lock-down I can't help but wonder how the rest of this year is going to look. We are on the verge of Summer and I know that I probably speak for a lot of you, I would like the freedom to go to the beach and to public spaces without the fear of our family becoming ill. Living in a coastal town, having these beautiful beaches and tourist spots on our doorstep is going to be a huge temptation for a lot of people. I just hope that we can enjoy it in moderation and still do our bit to keep ourselves safe and healthy.
Lock-down - it has been very tough, and continues to be. One thing I have taken from it, however, is that people will not stop for anything to show someone how they love and care for them. I've seen so many imaginative and thoughtful ways of people showing their affections during this time of separation. I have kept busy by sewing memory blankets and bears for people that have lost loved ones and sending homemade cards, letters and food parcels to my loved ones. And them to me. There has been a coming together effect, a real sense of community. That is what the rainbows symbolise to me - a mutual respect to one another and our amazing NHS and other key workers, a brightness that can't fail to make everyone smile (even if that's the only time they smile that day, and that's ok), and a coming together of the people in this time of crisis. The rainbows are a happy and positive sight in this world full of worry and uncertainty.
A big Thank You to Leanne Bird for sharing this wonderful collection of photos. It looks like she has had a great time with her family.
Thank you for reading and supporting our lovely group during this difficult time. After every storm comes a rainbow and it won't be like this forever.
Take care of yourselves and each other, stay safe x