• Charli

Wellness Matters 02.04.2021

Participation and Engagement

On Wednesday 24th March when I was returning from my early morning walk with not only Jilly, my faithful wee dog, but Chris Hawkins on BBC 6 Music for company, Chris introduced one of my favourite features: Names in Songs. When introducing the feature, Chris mentioned that the contributors were Tillie and Scott. I smiled, and felt a connection to the name Tillie, not for a moment thinking that this Tillie was my daughter. But sure enough, Chris went on to say that when ‘Tillie’s sister Lucy hears Milk by Kings of Leon, it sounds as if Kaleb is morosely singing ‘Soo Tillie’ “. Chris chuckled and played it again. I felt so connected in that moment: here was my favourite breakfast show presenter reading out my daughters’ names on national radio. it comes in at 32 seconds

Not only were my 2 girls being mentioned on air, it ignited many happy memories of our united love of music - attending concerts, spontaneous kitchen parties, sharing playlists on CDs and laterally Spotify.

My love affair with music began at an early age, when my sisters and I used to beg to be allowed to watch top of The Pops - I could only have been about 6 or 7 years old at the time and I distinctly remember Donny Osmond singing Puppy Love, New Seekers with I’d like to Teach the World to Sing and The Partridge Family crooning Breaking up is Hard to Do.

When I got my first ‘wireless’ as my father referred to it, on my 10th birthday it was tuned to Radio 1 and Radio Luxembourg within minutes, and I would spend hours avidly making notes on artists, listening to and recording favourite songs from the Top 40 every Sunday and I felt connected with the radio hosts.

Since lockdown there have been myriad opportunities to engage and participate with online events, webinars, concerts, plays and conversations, often for free which has given me joy, expanded my knowledge, provided entertainment, and enabled connections with online tribes.

There is power in connection.

On Tuesday I joined a Zoom call hosted by North Berwick Compassionate Communities, largely because the invitation was so enticingly simple ‘Armchair Chat’. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but it didn’t matter, I was warmly welcomed and it was a heartwarming way to spend 1.5 hrs. Isla Aitken read from her book Making Pearls from Grit based on her experience of breast cancer. Isla’s account was heartbreakingly honest and her sense of humour reminded me very much of my sister's experience.

I will be joining NBCC for their next chat in April and will find out more on how to become a Compassionate Neighbour.

So as we move into Active April - - I encourage you to look around and see what might appeal to your sense of community and give freely of your service. It might be a one off gesture, a random act of kindness or participation in a local group or organisation.

Make one small step with a positive intention, and who knows what the rewards will be?

Have a well intentioned week.

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