As tough times continue and we all step up to do our part, we are continually amazed by the ways those around us are stepping up and taking care of their communities.
This week’s Mudder of the Week shines a light on UK Mudder Chris Torrance, who has set up ways to take care of the most vulnerable, the elderly, those living alone, and those unable to leave their homes.
What are you doing within our community during these times?
I work as a Youth and Children’s Pastor and a Mental Health Mentor for 8-18 year olds at Pudsey Parish Church in West Leeds running various different youth and children’s activity sessions, drop-in youth clubs, faith-based activities, and schools work across our community, as well as city-wide youth events and residentials.
Due to the current crisis, we have been unable to physically meet as a congregation so we are having virtual gatherings through Zoom (other online video platforms are available) and have explored other ways to support our community through these challenging times.
Our biggest response to helping our community and the surrounding parishes was to set up a community project to identify and meet the needs of those affected by the lock down and providing on-going support for as long as the crisis continues. Through the project, which has only been running for 5 weeks, we have been able to provide over 500 essential food packages to those most vulnerable, elderly or in isolation, organize & deliver countless prescriptions to those most vulnerable, and work alongside local supermarkets and churches, as well as members of the public who continue to provide us with the most generous of donations to fulfill the daily requests that come to us. To keep the day to day running as smoothly as possible, I match up the requests that come in from our beneficiaries within the community and help source donations to meet those requests, then oversee the deliveries to make sure our beneficiaries have enough to see them, and their families, through the week.
Keeping the adage going of “No Mudder Left Behind” its been so encouraging to see our entire local communities pull together to support our project to make sure that everyone in our local community is being looked after.
How are you using social media as a tool of connection during these difficult times?
Having a presence on Social Media has been vital to the ongoing success we have had in being able to reach as many people in our local community as we can. Requests for assistance, either one-offs, or on-going provision can be made to the project by phone, email, and social media – primarily our Facebook page. With most of our beneficiaries in isolation, our social media platforms provide an opportunity for daily communication for some, especially when they would normally be able to physically meet up with someone for social interaction.
For myself, I think I would currently be really struggling during this time if I weren’t able to connect with friends and family through social media. I have such an amazing community of friends and family around me – relatives, church family, and mudder family and it’s being in constant contact with everyone, through groups and community pages, especially at the moment when we are unable to physically meet up. This is what is getting us all through this and keeping us positive.
How can we use our platform to spread the word, aide donations, etc?
I think the biggest encouragement at the moment is seeing everyone pulling together and looking out for one another, and going that extra mile (social guidelines permitted) to help one another, our friends, our family, our neighbors – whoever they may be. I’d encourage everyone to carry on doing just that. Our society and our communities are coming together and are changing, and I believe changing for the better, and that should continue to be encouraged.
My favorite Tough Mudder sign on course is “On course, there are no strangers, only teammates you haven’t met yet” and I try to live this both on, and off the course and I would encourage everyone to do the same. Be that team mate to someone new. Help and assist as and where you can.
If you would like to know more about the work we are doing with Pudsey Community Project or would like to assist in any way, please check out on facebook.
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