An experimental mini parklet was trialled in Chichester last Saturday in Whyke.
Residents, passing visitors and volunteers gathered at a safe distance in the fresh air to share thoughts and memories of lockdown for a scrapbook being put together to hand in to the Records Office.
Sarah Sharp who used the space outside her house for the all day event said: “Despite the rain we had a lovely time meeting neighbours and passers-by who took the time to write down some of their memories of what they had done in lockdown.
“I learnt about some crocheted rainbows that had been made in their dozens to raise money for the NHS and residents told me how they had really enjoyed the chalk hopscotches and keep fit trails that had sprung up in our community during lockdown.”
The aim behind the day was also to say thank you to the over 40 volunteers who had come forward to help their neighbours in Whyke and Arundel Park.
Sarah added: “Clearly thousands of residents helped their neighbours, family and friends but there were some residents who weren’t so lucky in having help at hand.
“So the Whyke Residents’ Association ran a scheme to link neighbour with neighbour which worked out very successfully with people making new friends and making our community that bit stronger.
“We had many requests for help and once linked in with a neighbour I know that residents continued to shop or help out their neighbours for many, many weeks which led to strong bonds being established.”
The idea of turning parking spaces into mini parks called “parklets” is an idea that is gaining in popularity since lockdown. Restaurants and cafes are using this idea to bring greenery to the street scene and to serve food and drinks in the open air. Customers feel more relaxed outside rather than inside in enclosed spaces.
Sarah added: “I would really love some of our cafes and restaurants in the city to look at this idea and see if they could take it up for their customers.
“The Living Streets organisation has lots of information about how to set up a parklet which I thoroughly recommend looking at.”
If any residents would like to contribute to the scrapbook please send in words or pictures to: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07789 843556 or pop a letter through the door at 13 Whyke Lane. Alternatively pop by on Saturday, August 1 in the afternoon when the mini parklet idea will have its second outing.