I remember that moment I read the first major announcement on physical distancing, and thought, “Whoa, how is Meet & Move going to adapt to no face-to-face sessions and no playgrounds, but still activate the community to get outdoors and be active?” What I’ve learned during COVID is that our community is increasingly adaptable, and I’m constantly reminded of that classic phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” A lot of us have been learning to make lemonade lately, and fast!
Overnight Meet & Move went from facilitated sessions helping mums, bubs and kids to connect outdoors through physical activity, to purely an online information source. The program started mapping walks, sharing local bear hunts and photos of Canberra’s great outdoors. We knew the family dynamic was quickly changing, more parents/carers at home, kids home learning and everyone feeling overwhelmed to some degree. Our message really focussed on making time to get outdoors together and the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing benefits.
What we found during COVID isolation is that more people were joining us and becoming online information volunteers. They were posting to the group information about walks, answering each other’s questions, providing advice, posting photos, etc. All of which helped to build community and a sense of being in this together. When our Facebook page started receiving comments like “…so beautiful to see how community has come together like this and thanks for your efforts to spread the word and keep people fit!” and “Thank-you so much for all your amazing posts. I have never been to a Meet and Move due to my work schedule but follow your page closely!” and “I really appreciate all your posts! Such great ideas – we usually do one of them every weekend!” we knew we were activating the community and creating positive change.
Face-to-face sessions have returned, but the adaptations to the program during COVID will remain. The Meet & Move program continues to map our walks, providing the community with resources to explore independently, and ultimately get more families active together.
See Facebook for this program – www.facebook.com/groups/MeetandMove to share information, articles and resources.
Keep on moving from …Nicole