We’re back in lockdown and there’s still a long way to go before things get anywhere near back to normal. But we’re now into a fresh new year and here’s hoping that 2021 will ultimately bring better things.
Having said that, looking back over the last 12 issues of The Rudd – especially the issues published since the first lockdown began in March – it’s amazing to see how much positivity, goodwill and cheer there was to be found in the village during the last year.
And as we finally say “Goodbye” (or “Good Riddance”) to a year that will go down in history for all the wrong reasons, let’s take a look at some of the better reasons to remember Ruddington in 2020.
Community spirit – and then some!
When COVID-19 changed our lives in spring 2020, communities around the country pulled together to support those who were shielding or otherwise vulnerable, lonely or isolated. Our village was no exception and the swiftly formed Ruddington Community Response Team sprang into action.
On hand to help with a range of activities from shopping, dog-walking and collecting prescriptions to staving off loneliness with a friendly chat, our team of volunteers went above and beyond to provide vital support where and when it was needed.
It says a lot about our village that, when the UK-wide HelpMyStreet initiative was launched to bring community support groups together online, Ruddington’s version of the website was the fastest to reach its target of 60 volunteers.
Tireless teachers – in school and out
Faced with the challenges of remote teaching, both our village schools and their hardworking teams rose to the occasion. During the Easter holidays, local teachers teamed up with the Ruddington Community Response Team to deliver around 480 specially prepared learning packs to village pupils, to support online teaching in the summer term.
When the schools reopened, things got even tougher for our teachers, with the pressures of coping with social distancing requirements and countless other COVID-19 regulations. Further challenges lie ahead in 2021, but our teachers and schools have our village’s full support to overcome them.
Speaking of teachers, let’s not forget all the Mums, Dads and carers in Ruddington who found themselves plunged into the world of home-schooling – a very tall order for many.
Our tenacious traders
With much of the High Street closed for much of the year, 2020 was nothing less than a nightmare for our many independent traders. Hardest-hit were our hospitality businesses, with takeaway food and drink still being their only source of income under the new lockdown, and our non-essential retailers and service-providers, who’ve once again been forced to close.
However, even when the chips were down, our traders were still ready and willing to help others when the need arose. Two big shout-outs go to Ruddington Fish Bar, who offered free meals to schoolchildren in the autumn half-term, and the 14 traders who clubbed together to create Christmas gift hampers for 9 local nurses.
Like the stalwarts they are, our local traders are determined to stick it out and come back fighting when the restrictions are lifted. Check out their social media pages to read more – and please keep using them when they reopen.
…And there’s more!
There isn’t space in The Rudd to cover all the fantastic things local people, groups, business and organisations got up to last year. Here’s a quick round-up of a few more, to remind you of the good times we had despite the circumstances.
- Turning the village red, white and blue for the 75th anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day, plus socially distanced street parties and a doorstep singalong.
- Launching Incredible Edible, a new initiative to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs in underused green spaces around the village.
- Scooping two awards in the 2020 Celebrating Rushcliffe Awards – see separate article.
- ‘Random acts of kindness’ – gifts of £100 donated to several village residents by an anonymous benefactor over Christmas.
- A funding boost of £5,359 for the Ruddington Village Centre Partnership, which organises our monthly Village Market.
- A 14th consecutive Green Flag for Rushcliffe Country Park.
- Celebrating Christmas with a fabulous light display, giant Advent Calendar, Christmas Lights and Nativity Trails, plus late-night shopping.
- Planting a new willow to replace the one on The Green damaged by Storm Ciara in February.
- Our village Co-op’s Local Community Fund coming up trumps for local charities, raising £11,458.25 during 2020. The funds were split between the NG11 Foodbank – more in demand than ever since the pandemic – Ruddington District Girl Guiding and Together@Clifton.
- Countless online and socially distanced events and initiatives to keep people in touch; tackle loneliness; provide advice, services and support; and raise funds for local causes.
All that’s left to say is a massive “Thank you” to everyone in Ruddington for pulling together and making our village what it is today. You’ve done us proud and given our community the strength and resources to welcome 2021, whatever it might bring.