A mum of two in Torrington, North Devon has come up with an idea to encourage her friends, family and neighbours to take part in #distantsocialising by creating ‘pub-tastic’ family fun in the comfort of their own homes.
After a few weeks of lock down, Jen Cooper had the idea for ‘Getting Together, Miles Apart’ events at her cyber pub Under Loch and Quay Inn, where weekly themes and music from ‘resident DJ’ Silent Streets Collective are shared on the website to connect people with their loved ones and inspire a good time.
“I am so busy in my job for the NHS during the week. I really look forward to having fun at the events every Saturday” - NHS worker grateful for Getting Together, Miles Apart events
The events, running every Saturday at 4pm, are not virtual or digital experiences, they are intended to inspire fun at home and to share that experience with family and friends. They are free and can be enjoyed alone or with other people that you want to socialise with, at a distance. You can see on the website, a growing gallery of cheery faces from people joining in all over the country and individuals can post photos or videos on social media using the hashtag #distantsocialising.
Jen has people taking part throughout the UK, including friends across Devon and hopes to welcome more people to take part over the coming weeks. “Lock down restrictions may have been relaxed, but at Under Loch and Quay Inn we still believe in #distantsocialising to keep everyone safe and having fun.”
“This is really a stay home initiative to motivate people to keep up the good work protecting our NHS and saving lives, but at the same time connect socially with their loved ones and have fun. We hope that by creating opportunities for people to get together for a good time with those they are currently isolated from, we may help to ease some stress and anxiety at this difficult time” says Jen, who is thrilled that the events are attracting folk from Cornwall to Scotland.
The next event on 23rd May is a fancy dress sing-a-long karaoke theme to mark two months of lock down with a “proper knees up”. Following that is ‘Far Away Folk Festival’ on 30th May, which could see a #distantstreetparty popping up in your area.
“We are really excited about the Far Away Folk Festival week as it will be a big opportunity to not only connect with loved ones across the miles, but also reach out to neighbours and enjoy the music together. We were particularly delighted to hear of people who do not have access to the internet enjoying our event within their local community over the May Bank Holiday weekend and hope that the Far Away Folk Festival could inspire something similar!”
“It will be the last Saturday of half term in many places and we hope that this event could help to lift people’s spirits before what could be a big change for families as they prepare to potentially return to school on 1st June.”
The idea is simple - participants tune in to a playlist available on the website and make as much or as little fun with the theme as they want to, within their own households. Jen encourages anyone interested to look on the Events page of the website for information.
After the updated Government guidance suggesting that venues such as pubs and restaurants may not open until at least 1st July, Jen believes in giving time to organised fun and hopes that this may help to maintain wellbeing while we are isolated from our social networks and loved ones. “Until we can get together again, people can rely on Under Loch and Quay Inn for weeks of fun in the meantime.”
“I’m just so glad that we can be together in different places” - Self-isolating but enjoying Getting Together, Miles Apart events in Durham
“It was just the escape I needed after a very difficult week” - Getting Together, Miles Apart events can help people cope in lockdown
You can 'attend' events within your household by taking inspiration from the weekly theme and tuning into the music available on the website. Or you can use social networking of your choice to connect with loved ones that you are currently isolated from and share your event together, miles apart.
More information at - www.underlochandquayinn.wordpress.com
All enquiries to - firstname.lastname@example.org
Far Away Folk Festival 30th May event details can be found here.