'Floods, a medical emergency and resilience in the Suburb community'

'Engine-deep' flooding visible from Roger Gulhane's car in South End Green

'Engine-deep' flooding visible from Roger Gulhane's car in South End Green - Credit: Roger Gulhane

Resilience. A word much bandied about these days. The pandemic has hit hard. Apparently resilience is what we need to bounce back from its effects.

As a mediator I deal with some difficult issues, clearly now exacerbated by living in these Covid times. People are suffering from heightened levels of anxiety and I am seeing these frailties more and more. But, I am also constantly surprised by the human ability to show resilience. We really are made of tough stuff. Unsurprisingly, I notice resilience is all the greater when communities pull together and offer support. Some recent events in Hampstead Garden Suburb, my local area, illustrate this well.

Shelley-Anne Salisbury

Shelley-Anne proves that Hampstead residents are resilient - Credit: 1000words.co.za

Ham&High readers may recall the story of Kay Graham who’s local theatre group literally saved her life when she suffered an abdominal aortic aneurysm whilst attending a Zoom drama group. The other zoom attendees noticed Kay sliding off her chair and knew something was badly wrong. The various Suburb WhatsApp groups were deployed and within minutes help was on hand. This swift community action saved Kay’s life. Whilst Kay has more than her fair share of resiliency, her community were (and continue to be) there for her.

On the afternoon of July 12 the skies darkened and the heavens opened for an hour. The rainfall was biblical. Havoc was wreaked throughout the Suburb, several parts of which were completely flooded. Some people had to move out of their homes whilst water was drained and the aftermath cleaned up. I interviewed some of these unfortunate residents for our local paper, Suburb News, and was amazed by their resilience. They told me of the kindness of neighbours who helped clean up, supplied endless cups of tea and offered lodging. The blitz spirit was back and it kept everyone going.

And finally, due to the sheer hard work and resiliency of everyone involved, the annual Proms at St Jude’s returned this summer. It was bigger and better and best of all - live!. The most wonderful music wafted up over the Suburb, lifting residents to new highs.

The Suburb is indeed a resilient community.

Shelley-Anne Salisbury is a mediator, writer and the co-editor of Suburb News, themediationpod.net