Image: Walter Gorman getting ready to deliver food parcels as part of his role working at the Coronavirus Support Hub during the first lockdown in 2020.
Name: Walter Gorman
Department: Education, Leisure and Housing
Job title: Community Learning and Development Officer
Years of OIC employment: 25
Duties: A major part of my CLD duties involves administering and delivering Wider Achievement Awards to young people in our local Secondary Schools and some of our Junior High Schools and amongst a variety of other duties I am available to support some of the community associations that meet in our Isles and Mainland Community Schools.
How has life changed work wise since lockdown? When the national lockdown began I expected to stay at home like the rest of country until advised otherwise. However, within the first week of lockdown my line manager informed me that they were looking for volunteers at the Coronavirus Support Hub. I offered my services and joined the team of volunteers at the Hub and was initially employed to answer the phone to people within the community who had been advised to shield for the duration of lockdown. Soon after, I became involved in preparing and delivering weekly food parcels for them, specifically those on specific diets who required items suitable for their diets to be placed in the boxes. I continued in that role until the end of lockdown and was fortunate to be able to include a young person from a local school in preparing and delivering the food parcels, covering some 1500 miles in the process. On reflection it was great to be kept busy at such a stressful time and to be involved with such a great team of folk at the Hub.
Once lockdown finished, I was involved with members of the CLD team, Education, Active Schools, Outdoor Education and Papdale Hostel in providing a Holiday Hub for the children of key workers and other young people at the hostel over a five week period during July and August. We provided a wide range of activities five days a week with around 20 to 30 young people attending each day. Being part of the Holiday Hub provided a degree of normality, however small for everyone involved and I was more than happy to have been a part of that.
How has life changed on a personal level? On a personal level I've been able to continue getting out and walking, one of the things I love and I'm grateful for that. However, on a low note, I really have missed being part of the local band scene, playing in local pubs and being involved in both the Blues and Rock Festivals. I've a lot to catch up on there and can't wait for things to open up again for both performers and organisers and make some noise.