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We've come a long way

Lockdown has proved a challenge for many, and it feels like we’ve spent the last five months with everything turned on its head.

Here at LRSN we’ve seen how Lincolnshire’s farming and rural communities have coped and overcome some of the challenges, found news ways of working, come up with ingenious solutions and helped their neighbours through these difficult times.

LRSN’s services have remained mostly unchanged, though of course, we’ve had to suspend our healthcare clinics, which we know was difficult for some of our friends who rely on us for a chat or a check-up. We hope to be back at the markets as soon as we possibly can, though you’ll have to bear with us while we get used to the new, socially distanced ways of working that we’ll have to adopt. Nurse Heather and Nurse Sandi will still be the same underneath some added layers of PPE!

There’s no wonder that tech shares have soared on the world money markets. Zoom, Facetime, Skype and Microsoft Teams have been, and continue to be, a boon for everyone, whether for business or pleasure. For us staff, for LRSN’s trustees and volunteers of all kinds and for our caseworkers and clients too, our “new ways of working” have included video conferences, video team meetings and video counselling sessions. But we’re hoping the days of talking face to face over the kitchen table won’t be too far away.

One casualty of the continued pandemic is our AGM, reception and charity auction, which has been transmogrified into a Zoom meeting. So on 12 October, we hope you will join us at our virtual annual general meeting without the joyous social contact, friendly banter and wonderful jokes from our Sean that we've enjoyed in the past.

But we are so proud of all our LRSN volunteers who have taken all these changes in their stride. They’ve “mucked in” in their own communities too, helping out at local food banks, being good neighbours for elderly and vulnerable folk in their communities, starting up new delivery services, making meals for NHS and essential workers and slaving away over a hot sewing machine making scrubs at the height of the PPE crisis.

Our rural communities have joined in with the “thank yous” to our NHS and other essential service workers. From ploughing a great big “thank you” and a rainbow in stubble or mowing the words in a grass field to making a superb maize maze for social contact-starved members of the public to enjoy (safely, of course), our community remains grateful for their support and dedication. And not forgetting the wonderful staff at the Showground, who went above and beyond to host the Covid-19 testing service, providing sandwiches as well as space for this highly organised service.

And we mustn’t forget our farmers and growers, who through the whole shebang have continued to grow and produce our food, battling not just coronavirus, but the weather, too. Thank you to all the staff, the pickers and packers, drivers, quality standards managers, mechanics and engineers, agronomists, lab technicians, buyers, sellers and marketeers, foresters, fishermen, fencers, accountants, vets, shepherds, land agents and lawyers. Without these people and the work they do, our rural economy wouldn’t function.

You are our essential workers and we say “THANK YOU” to you. We’ve come a long way together and we’ll be with you, helping you get back on track, whenever you need us.

Please remember, if you need a shoulder, or a listening ear, LRSN is here for you. Our helpline remains open every day of the year from 8am to 8pm. Our trained volunteers are there for you, whatever the issue you face, however big or small: please ring us on 0800 138 1710. You are not alone.