Support local Cheshire businesses, says Lauren Simon

Lauren Simon, Real Housewives of Cheshire.

Lauren Simon, Real Housewives of Cheshire. - Credit: Archant

In this month’s column Real Housewife of Cheshire Lauren Simon celebrates the easing of lockdown and vows to personally boost her local economy

A face-to-face catch up, appropriately socially distanced, with the lovely Hanna Kinsella from Real

A face-to-face catch up, appropriately socially distanced, with the lovely Hanna Kinsella from Real Housewives - Credit: Archant

After such a long period of us all trying to make the best of lockdown and discovering different ways to spend our time and socialise, the gradual relaxing of the rules is making me feel more optimistic. I’m sure we’d all agree being able to see friends outside face-to-face instead of on a screen is a real boost – nothing lifts the spirits like a summer garden party with champagne and strawberries, even if the number of guests is tiny!

It has also been so lovely to see all the local shops in Hale starting to re-open. Shopping will be a different experience, with all the social distancing rules that keep us safe, but my guilty shopping habit is sure to help to boost the local economy back to life. I’m sure all us Housewives together would make a difference – new clothes galore!

I live a privileged life, of course, which so many people do not and It’s hard sometimes for people like me – and my children of course – to truly appreciate what financial hardship looks like for people. I have been so impressed by the words and actions of Marcus Rashford stepping up to fight for continued free school meals for vulnerable children over the summer holidays. He speaks from a position of experience, of course, having benefitted from free school meals himself. His words were so heartfelt, so honest and raw it came as no surprise that it had the effect he sought.

Discover more things Lauren Simon loves about life in Cheshire

The last month has been a time of great change in other respects too. I’m not sure defacing statues and erasing history is the right way to address racism – as Frank Sidebottom’s Timperley statue currently says: ‘Bobbins to racism.’ We should reveal all of our history, the shameful and the great, and educate our children properly. I also believe we should have some new statutes of inspirational black and ethnic minority figures – Marcus Rashford seems an obvious choice right now. If he can achieve what he has – both as an athlete and as a voice for the vulnerable – at his young age, what might he be able to do next?

I think at the moment we should all be looking at what we can do to support those in our communities that are struggling. Simple things such as donations to food banks, for example, can be of immediate help. Perhaps as important is to remember never to judge. Sitting in our comfortable Cheshire homes we can’t possibly imagine the lives of those less fortunate, or comprehend the fear and anxiety of parents facing disaster through loss of jobs due to coronavirus.

I leave you with some of Marcus’ wise words: “This is not about politics; this is about humanity. Looking at ourselves in the mirror and feeling like we did everything we could to protect those who can’t, for whatever reason or circumstance, protect themselves.”

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