Sunday morning in Charlton was a hive of activity. There were whistles blowing, people in high vis clothing pounding the streets on foot, bikes, and skateboards, all armed with cameras. The Charlton Neighbourhood House had a team of photographers helping the project ‘Out Standing In…’ become an outstanding success.
The team of over 30 photographers, responsible for one street each set off to snap a few pictures of not just the residents, but their pets, projects, and activities they have enjoyed during coronavirus. The laughter and story telling that could be heard as neighbours who had not seen each other for weeks reconnected, was delightful. It was not just the town, but the surrounding districts have been captured too and EWHS worked with CNH to take pictures of the patients also.
The CNH committees’ concept was to simply capture a moment in the history of Charlton, to share with loved ones that are geographically separated. “While COVID-19 is invisible to the eye, a very visible component has been the wearing of masks and physical distancing in our community, said CNH President Kaylene Cossar. “We wanted to be able to capture residents smiling faces, so we needed to keep them on their own properties to adhere to the restrictions.”
Kaylene added “We want to use these images as a way of keeping people connected, there will be multiple end products and many possibilities are being explored, a film, photo cards, calendar and book, but for now we are sharing them on social media for friends and family to enjoy”. These have been well received as past resident Jenny Southwell said “ Being unable to get back to visit, these photos have given me a huge smile every time I see them, particularly when mum and dad popped up! What a wonderful idea. Congratulations on a superb project for Charlton. Charlton will always be home despite living far away.”
Congratulating the Neighbourhood House resident Robin McRae said, “What a great community exercise & something that only happens in a great community! Some amongst us have taken a massive financial & life hit and you pray they pull through ok. For us, the passing of a lifelong friend we could not say goodbye to. Through it all I know we say "no we are ok" where in fact we are not because the same as all of us distancing & masks take away two of the most important factors of connection and feeling a part of the fabric of community. Then this idea comes along proving we are all part of a great community. The best!”
R U OK Day is an annual day dedicated to remind people to ask friends, family or peers the question ‘R U OK because connecting with those around you regularly and meaningfully is one thing everyone can do to make a difference for someone else who may be struggling. This year the Charlton Neighbourhood House, in partnership with East Wimmera Health, Buloke Shire and Northern District Health, held a community soup kitchen, to provide an opportunity to have people connect. Many people took advantage of the beautiful sunny day to linger and chat whilst enjoying the delicious soup kindly donated by Charlton Golf Ladies and Timeless Treasures & Tearoom