Community Stories: V.E. Day
|V.E. Day is only once a year and the 75th anniversary was especially important. National moments like this offer the chance for communities to come together from all different backgrounds to commemorate something they have in common.|
This year of course, lockdown meant that we couldn’t make the most of pubs’ extended opening hours or dance in the street as they did in 1945. But, with the sun out and the day off work, this didn’t stop people taking to their front gardens, balconies, and doorsteps to celebrate V.E. Day. After two months of lockdown, this was perhaps more important than ever. Physical distance has motivated many of us to stay socially connected, not just maintaining connection, but deepening it as well. V.E. Day was no exception.
One of our organisers, Laura in Llantwit Major, spent her Thursday afternoon delivering flyers to 100 households along her street, inviting them to take to their front gardens with pots of tea, cake, and a few drinks to celebrate the victory in Europe. Thanks to Laura’s efforts (and the gorgeous sunshine), on the day itself, the whole street hung out the bunting and came outside throughout the day. Some even went the extra mile: dressing up 1940s-style for cream tea. The celebration became a chance to deepen existing friendships. Laura and her community made a point to have longer, more meaningful conversations which made it “such a special day”. Many of us know our neighbours’ names; we’ll give them a brief wave over the garden hedge; we’ll collect a package or water their plants if they’re away. But there is opportunity for deeper connection everywhere and V.E. Day is a great time to remember that.
This V.E. Day provided an opportunity to lift spirits at a worrying time. It allowed existing connections to be deepened through long conversations that do not usually take place. Across the country, people are building connections with their communities. We’d love to hear more of how you’re doing that [email protected]. Keep an eye on our social media over the coming days for updates on our plans for June.