A lifeline in desperate times: lockdown learning from Time to Shine delivery partners

From March 2020 most Time to Shine delivery partners rapidly adapted their services and support to provide an organisation-wide response to Covid-19. As lockdown eased, we asked Time to Shine delivery partners to reflect on their learning during the pandemic and the challenges, opportunities and legacy resulting from their change in approach. Read the full Time to Shine report, A lifeline in desperate times.

Project actions circulated around five key themes: the provision of essentials, enabling digital connections whenever possible, caring for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, creating social connections whenever possible and responding to the specific needs of diverse communities.

Tracy, one of the community development workers at Sage, documented the daily challenges the project faced during the first days of lockdown. Sage is one of Time to Shine’s longest running delivery partners, working to support older members of the LGBTQ+ community in Leeds.

Like many of Time to Shine’s delivery partners, they had to adapt very quickly. Everything Sage did was initially face to face, and not many of their members were kitted up to go online. So what would happen? How would they cope? Read Tracy’s lockdown diary ‘Adapting rapidly to change…’

Dave Tomalin, Chief Executive of Lippy People, also reflected on their learning during lockdown. Lippy people was part-funded by Time to Shine to deliver Life, Loss, Learning and Legacy, which supports people who are bereaved, or who are at the end of their life, to tell and share their stories and lived experience using video storytelling.

Part of Time to Shine’s role as a research project is to collect, and then disseminate this learning, making it available to help others. This sharing of learning has been a vital tool throughout. Almost all of the Time to Shine projects were able to quickly adapt what they were doing, and found that the chance to meet people from other projects helped them to reach creative solutions.

Delivery partners tackled challenges around bureaucracy and the need to move at speed with goodwill and commitment, and little time for planning. They were also able to make the most of opportunities that were thrown up, with increased partnership working and more flexible services for local people.

At the start of 2020, no one could have imagined that so many changes to so many services in such a short period of time were even possible. It’s amazing to look back and realise how hard everyone has worked to continue delivering services in the best way for their communities. Time to Shine, our delivery partners and the people being supported have all adapted, so it’s great to share the report and the diary to see what we have all achieved.

Jessica Duffy
Learning Facilitator, Time to Shine

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