Having now had three weeks of our new Saturday morning group, it’s incredible and I still get astounded, by the small stories and conversations that are had during the sessions.
These aren’t your stereotypical stories that you often associate with people who start getting involved in a being active, such as of losing weight or completing 5K runs in PB times. These are the stories that are less often heard but are, in my opinion, much more important and something that I wasn’t expecting when we began this project.
An example of one of these stories happened this Saturday and was overheard by Lex, one of our regular attendees and volunteers.
As always, people arrived, signed in, and after a quick demonstration of the activities we were to be completing in the session, we warmed up and then clustered people together in groups that would stick together and complete the circuit.
After four exercises of the first set and as participants began to relax into the format, conversations began.
As you would expect, some of the groups consisted of people that had arrived together in order to support each other and give one another the confidence to come along to something totally new, whereas other groups were made up of total strangers.
In one particular group made up of complete strangers a conversation began that could potentially change their micro-community in a big way. Two of the participants were chatting and the normal conversation of where do you live, how far have you come developed and after a few second the two people had established that the lived “two doors down” from each other. Practically neighbours.
The funny thing is that they had never spoken to each other before even though practically lived on each other’s doorstep.
This is something that you may expect in a large city such as London, Birmingham or Manchester but not a relatively small City like Exeter.
Now, who knows what neighbourly relationship will form as a result of their random Saturday morning meet up at our group, it may well just be a smile and a wave while on the way to work or when nipping out for a loaf of bread, but in terms of community connections and cohesiveness we have broken down another barrier and brought people together and made the tiniest of difference to those two people’s lives.
In a time when there is so much discussion and debate about loneliness and disconnected communities, it’s nice to know that on a tiny scale we have incidentally and unintentionally begun to help people get fit, be more active and come together and meet people that were less that a stone’s throw away.
In fact just “Two Doors Down”.