Crisis brings out rainbows

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Children in Canterbury have been putting up crafted rainbows in their windows to cheer up passers-by going on social distancing walks, one of the few reasons for which we are allowed to leave the house now that the UK is officially on lockdown.

The paintings and drawings have been popping up in windows across the city since schools officially closed on Friday, leaving home-schooling parents to find ingenious and creative ways to keep their children busy and united.

Full time mother Amy Holt and her children, living in Hales Place, decided to make the rainbows as part of their creative time, which she says has become a great distraction for both herself and her two youngest children who are aged six and eight.

“It just makes everyone feel a bit better and gets the community involved and know that we are not alone,” Amy told the Canterbury Journal. She went on to explain how important these activities are for the mental health and well-being of her children and herself. “It gives them the opportunity to use their imagination… I think it’s just trying to remain positive and to keep telling them that everyone is in the same position.”

Business owner Chanel Farmer-Azimi is home-schooling her children, who are 5 and 6, for the first time. After talking to her children about the severity of the virus during her first lesson with them, she decided to join in with those who were already hanging up rainbows to show others they are not going through this alone. “We are going through this as a nation and [it gives] people the enjoyment of looking out for them when they are out, and brings them hope”, she explained.

Chanel’s children now also enjoy looking out for other rainbows when they go on their social distancing walks.

Claire Jones, full time carer and mother of six also from Hales Place, told us that she decided to do this activity with her children after explaining to them what covid-19 is and what it means. “We thought it would be lovely to show the community we live in how much everyone is appreciated.”

Claire’s 11 year old, told us that she “wanted to draw a rainbow to show people in our area that we all need to stick together and be safe.”

This is one of the many activities highlighting how our sense of community over the past couple of weeks has taken on a new life.

As Amy highlighted, activities such as making rainbows are important for our mental health, which we must do our best to protect during these uncertain times. Research shows that engaging in forms of creativity increases feeling of wellbeing and personal satisfaction, which is needed now more than ever.

The more rainbows we see in windows, the more hope there is.

If you want to share any rainbows you see on your social distancing walks and runs, or ones that your children have made, you can share them to the Covid-19 Rainbows in Canterbury, Whitstable & Herne Bay Facebook group.

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