#TinyRevolutions – the shielder’s perspective

Fun Palaces knows that shielders have a great deal to share, including from isolation and in lockdown. Here’s some great ideas from Charmain Jones of the Rural Community Network in Northern Ireland.

My name is Charmain Jones and I work with Rural Community Network as Community Development Officer for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration.

I have been shielding due to an underlying health condition and needed to do something that would help me remain positive and focused during lockdown – so I have been connecting with my children in a way I may not have had time to in the past.  I have been baking and cooking with them and knitting for my own pleasure.  I have attached some photos of the how to – it worked for me and I hope it works for you too.

My children never want to be in the kitchen. They always expect food on the table. I have taught them skills of keeping a home during lockdown and the first main skill is cooking. I found some lovely recipes for comforting soups such as spiced parsnip; mushroom soup and simple recipes like chilli con carne and spaghetti bolognese. Skills they will need when they leave home or go to college. I also taught them how to wash up and dry dishes (haha!). Download a copy of the mushroom soup recipe.

During lockdown I was conscious whilst shielding I could not volunteer our in the community. I really wanted to be helpful to those in need, so I decided to bake. Something I hadn’t done in years and now I had the time I thought I would start. I made chocolate whiskey fudge and scones – my handwritten recipe for the scones is attached – please read the tip before you start!  I’m going to try apple pancakes next. I’ve even left a few buns on neighbour’s doorsteps. My children leave my worldly goodies on neighbour’s doorsteps. Knock and walk away lol!

Knitting is something I took up during a period of ill health. My good friend brought me back to knitting and crocheting. Something I did years ago as a student to deal with exam stress and boy, aren’t I so glad she did. Now in lockdown I’ve been able to take up my needles and knit Easter chicks for family and friends; birthday presents; wine and beer covers as well as baby blankets which I will be giving to Craigavon Area Hospital special care baby unit this December when hopefully the restrictions are lifted a little. My little Tiny Revolution to help those most in need.

Finally, I used to cross stitch years ago, when I was a primary school. I always remember enjoying needle work. I found it relaxing therapeutic and rewarding. During lockdown I decided to go back to what gave me tiny pleasures as a child and I took up my cross stitch again. I’m making a larger cross stitch to present to my husband who is a key worker during the Covid pandemic of a rural scene which he can display on our living room wall and I will make my very good friend, who introduced me again to knitting, a small cross stitch for when I next see her again. 

I intend to keep on making tiny revolutions and I hope others join me.