As Covid-19 slowed the world, PPL PWR kept going.
Since the start of the UK lockdown, the PPL PWR collective has hosted a number of online events including social clubs, gardening groups, quizzes and quarterly brunches. These became lifelines.
When lockdown felt aimless, PPL PWR was “action in a time of Inaction” [Rebecca Shutt, PPL PWR]. When lockdown became lonely, PPL PWR brought “rays of sunshine during a dark period” [Natacha Madaule, PPL PWR].
Translating PPL PWR’s hands-on approach into a virtual world was no easy feat. However, through a finely curated online social calendar, PPL PWR successfully rose to this task.
One honourable mention is Grower’s Club. Hosted between early July to late August, by Danny Hubbard of the Royal Horticultural Society, this online club united members through a shared curiosity and love of nature. In a sneak-peak from the upcoming PPL PWR podcast, Danny explains that in a time of uncertainty and worry, he saw hope in the outdoors. The seasons will change and the plants will grow.
Each session was a chance to ask Danny for specific plant advice as well as sharing specialised horticultural techniques. It also functioned as a support network when inevitably a few radishes and lettuces were mysteriously nibbled away.
With hopes of a second season of Grower’s Club next year, keep an eye out for updates on our social media.
The launch of the PPL PWR podcast was another highlight of lockdown. Kicking off with the first in their “Getting To Know You” series, PPL PWR members Rebecca and Lauren talked about everything micromobility and sustainable cities.
Each episode is a chance to get to know the amazing lives and work of the leaders, innovators and campaigners that make up PPL PWR. During lockdown, a good inspiring chat was all anyone needed. Allowing us to eavesdrop on Rebecca and Lauren’s is a podcast-shaped gift.
Listen to the first episode of the PPL PWR Podcast.
Before introducing the next online event, I’ll give you a clue: Hydrogen power, Chinese mythology, neurodiversity, meditation and poetry. Worked out the link yet? Well if you’ve been following PPL PWR, it’s obviously a small selection of the wide-ranging topics discussed in PPL PWR’s SCL CLB (or Social Club if you don’t hate vowels as much as we apparently do!) which ran from late March to late June. Reaching a staggering 20 hours of collective learning, SCL CLB became a refuge for those yearning for discovery and creativity while cooped up at home during lockdown. It created a space for discussion that moved beyond sustainability into topics of philosophy, ways of living and mental wellbeing.
As member Berni Maza explains, lockdown loneliness was kept at bay as the SCL CLB “generated a sense of belonging and companionship” by creating a space to “share knowledge, share motivation [and] share energy.”
If you missed out, you can catch recordings of SCL CLB sessions on PPL PWR’s YouTube page.
And finally, the one thing we were all craving most. A good old pub quiz. As always, PPL PWR had the answer. Kicking off with the “Big Fat Quiz of the Earth” the virtual pub quizzes have been a huge success. Each month they provided an evening of fun, booze (non-compulsory) and questionable marking (compulsory) which helped inject a bit of normality into everyone’s lives.
The PPL PWR quizzes brought together not only PPL PWR members, but friends and relatives from around the world, utilising the very best bits of virtual technology.
If you’re feeling down about next week’s cancelled Halloween plans then what better way of treating yourself than by attending the Halloween themed virtual pub quiz at 8pm on Wednesday 28th October. For more information check out the event’s page.
As the long-term effects of Covid-19 begin to show, PPL PWR will continue to support the community. This year’s winter programme, Project Purpose, aims to tackle Covid-19-related unemployment head-on by assisting in upskilling, finding jobs and co-working.
Whilst the future is uncertain, one thing is clear. As part of the PPL PWR community you will never be alone. Despite challenges, we will keep learning and listening, sharing and caring. As explained by member Molkie,
“No matter how dark or cold it may feel this winter, we are a community, and we help each other home…we shall persevere, we shall overcome, and we shall prosper.”