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BRaG Residents Association

Thank You message from BRaG Chair, Glen Keywood.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 

As we appear to be moving on from lockdown I wanted to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all of those people who have made it bearable, take a moment to remember those people we have lost and look at how BRaG can help moving forward.

Dear Neighbours,

Lockdown has been very difficult, but especially so for those affected directly by the virus, who were shielding, those who lost loved ones and those left with financial uncertainty. We are very lucky to live where we do and our beautiful surroundings has helped mitigate some of the worst effects for those who were able to go out and enjoy it. We are also lucky to have some fabulous local businesses and groups that were able to move fast and adapt their operations to enable continued service to their community, they have made lockdown much more bearable and I hope that we continue to visit them once life returns to normal.

Local communications have been amazing, the swift adaptation to the numerous WhatsApp groups has led to fast resolutions of all sorts of issues from disseminating important crime info, returning lost keys to their rightful owners and the sharing of jigsaws. We have also learnt a thing or two about security, with a couple of privacy issues quickly resolved. I am completely indebted to the BRaG committee for their continued work with the BRaG groups and the ongoing fundraising and Friday night entertainment. Whilst I don’t like to pick out individuals, I have to on this occasion; Dave and Jo Hawkins (for the incredible newsletters and website), Julie French (keeping on top of the finances but also driving forward many initiatives not least with sewing angels) and Ferg McCarthy (not officially on the committee, but a truly invaluable member of our group and has put huge amounts of work into the online quizzes).

This virus will have affected many of us, but from a BRaG perspective two particular losses will rest heavily in our memories; Ermir Kuqali – The ever cheerful and energetic landlord of the Oak pub and a long time friend and supporter of BRaG, and Mahesh Ravani – Owner of Newsplus Newsagents on Kings Road, much loved by the community. We won’t forget them or their families.

Going forward from here BRaG will continue its fundraising activities and we will seek to capitalise on any opportunities we can take to further support, entertain and improve our community within the rules. Our fundraising is close to £5000 now and another donation will be on its way to the three charities within the next few days. A last minute boost to donations has arrived courtesy of facemask sales and the swift action of Julie and the sewing angels. Our online activities has slowed but have not stopped, we are still open to suggestions, so please keep talking to us and let us know if you would like us to put on any more online events. With the easing of lockdown, the competition of lighter evenings, sunshine and the resumption of work for many people had affected attendance and demand.

At present the Oktoberfest is still in the BRaG diary for the 26th Sept and we will keep it there as long as we can, we all look forward to the day when we can share a beer and BRaGwurst with our friends and neighbours without worrying about social distancing and virus transmission. If the rules allow we will keep this event in the calendar and adapt where possible to enable its success. If events take another downward turn we also now have the systems set up and knowhow for a quick resumption of our lockdown activities and will do so if required.

In the next few weeks we expect to take delivery of a larger BRaG shed which will increase our storage capacity and hopefully enable us to store more community items safely. This has been partially funded by RBK for which we are very grateful.

Finally, BRaG can only succeed if we get the continued support, attendance, generosity and enthusiasm from our residents and we have been overwhelmed by this, so thank you to all of you who have made the last few months bearable.

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