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Lockdown Week 25-31 May, 2020

Dear Friends,

It was the 10th week and TODAY, ‘the rules’ are easing a little and I don’t know if we still say that we are ‘in lockdown’? Today, some of the children are going back to school and we are allowed to meet in groups of up to 6 people in a garden or other outside space so long as we keep two metres apart. A lot of scientists are very nervous and think this ‘lifting of lockdown’ is happening too soon.

I had lots of energy this week and worked FULL time! Lots of interesting chats with partners old and new.

I celebrated this morning with an early morning cycle ride around Cambridge which was quieter than on Christmas Day. It was beautiful, but sad to see so many shops with ‘To Let’ posters stuck on their windows even in the middle of the city. A sight that made me cry with amazement was the wildflower meadow planted on what is usually a pristine lawn between Kings College Chapel and the River Cam. I’ve popped a photo of this on our ‘Covid-19 protected puppets’ page too.



We are gearing up to write a storybook on Covid, this is inspired by the help of a good friend and artist (who took me on a bike ride!) who is furloughed and wanting to do something for us to help. So she painted three pictures of our parrots, ZuZu & ZaZa!

We also want to integrate some games from the wonderful, ‘Philosophy for Children’ organisation. They have some really useful ideas for discussions and games which I’m starting to repurpose for this community. There is LOTS of stuff you can find there.

We love this resource called Wash Your Lyrics! It’s a website where you put in the name of your favourite song and it generates a handwashing poster with a guide on how to sing your favourite song while washing your hands. It’s hilarious and a great thing to do with children. Our Topic of the Month is Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, so we’re excited to highlight the links between it and Covid.

I am getting ready to put our 20 Covid messages online… next week – eek!

Here’s the link to our curated list of Covid resources for now, for those interested.



It’s great to be checking in with my four dedicated Trustees at the end of each month. During these testing times, we have settled into a monthly one-hour very efficient meeting (we meet online) and we are all enjoying this more than the longer quarterly meetings. One of these meetings is an Annual General Meeting (AGM) but these have usually been short, efficient meetings too! We feel ready to expand our Trustees board. If this is something of interest to you, please do get in touch. The time commitment is a minimum of 12 hours a year (one hour a month) but the Trustees all have roles and often do small tasks in between. So, let’s call it a 24 hour a year commitment!


Well Boring

Surely one of the best named NGOs! Well Boring is of course an NGO that focusses on boring wells! The founder and CEO was on the judging panel when we were awarded the Third Sector Small Charity, Big Impact prize (details here!) and Nigel and I have been in touch ever since. This week we seem to be closer than ever to finding a way that our two interests can merge. Their Kenyan operation is running school health clubs. They are looking at our materials that include the 100 messages booklet in Swahili. Soon we will be talking about how we can provide some online support on our approach… and if there are any gaps in the health information they need for children.



Over the past two weeks it’s been great to start getting to know Solutions4Health a public health and technology company (combined) who have been doing some great work with the local authorities in England. The work we are talking about centres around nutrition and well-being. It’s long been a dream of ours to be working on projects in our ‘home country’ too.


The Smile Foundation

Also exciting is to be in discussion with, The Smile Foundation India whose work in education and health reaches hundreds of thousands of children. They found us and our resources. We then ‘met’ on Zoom and we are starting to sketch out possible areas of partnership.


This week, on the Blog…

  1. The sanifoam tool for Behaviour Change from United Purpose.
  2. A great TED talk on adolescent brain development. If you are a parent of teens or soon to be teens, watch this talk by Sarah-Jane Blakemore.
  3. How to make a Leaky Tin or Tippy Tap good timing as both of these tools can help make handwashing more efficient.
  4. Links here on how to do research with adolescents and young people.
  5. The Memory Line method which I invented, and I LOVE as it’s fun and it works!
  6. Our LifeSkills Activity of the week is a session on practicing the skills of decision-making.


Become One of Our 100 Supporters

This message again! If you like and trust our work and want us to carry on, we need more regular supporters in our 100 supporters group. 100 people is our ‘goal’. 100 supporters donating at a modest level every month, will enable us to make it through this difficult year. So, here is a link to our donations platform (UK taxpayers can add gift aid).

If you are not in a position to give but have ideas or contacts, please get in touch or learn how you can work with us.

Have a great week and keep safe!