Earlier this year among the measures put in place to deal with Covid-19, the government took the decision to suspended this years council elections. Due to take place this coming Thursday they will now happen in May 2021, we wanted to catch up with some of our local campaigners. Today we caught up with our Eastney and Craneswater campaigner Craig Withey:
What have you found most challenging….and the most positive things in lockdown?
The most challenging for me has been not being able to go out and socialise as much as normal. I live on my own so the lack of human interaction at times has become quite a draw. A positive for me though is I’ve re-connected with people I’ve not spoken to in a while, albeit virtually. I’ve also picked up my guitar for the first time in a long time.
What have you been doing in the community to support others? Have you been inspired by how the community is coming together?
I’m a key worker and have been delivering vital communications services to the Royal Navy during the crisis. Both to keep them operational and so that personnel can contact loved ones at home who may be sick or self isolating.
I’m very proud of the way the community has come together in this crisis. Everyone seems to be pulling together really well and people are genuinely being nicer to each other and more aware of others and courteous in their day to day lives. Long may it continue!
If you could nominate a local business who’s been helping or keeping the community going who would yours be?
Need street food at the Merchant House delivery service has definitely kept me going a few times! There’s a lot of quiet unsung businesses that don’t get the credit they deserve. Emsworth Aquaria and Reptiles Store in Drayton for example have been quietly making home delivery’s all across Portsmouth keeping our pets happy and healthy during lockdown. Most people would never even know they existed!
Who would you nominate as a community hero during this crisis?
For me it would have to be Gary Weaving from Forgotten Veterans UK based at Fort Cumberland in Eastney. After visiting them before lockdown I’ve kept a close eye on the work they’ve been doing since. They are continuing to support veterans throughout the crisis through their buddy scheme and with their hardship payments. Lockdown and isolation for a veteran affected with mental health issues can be a very dark place. Well done to Gary and his team for continuing their support through the crisis. A real credit to the community.
What are you looking forward to after the lock down ends?
A haircut, beard trim and a nice cold beer in the sun surrounded by my friends!