Our key aims during this period have been to ensure that Overbury continues to be a thriving place to live and work. In order to do this we have tried to make sure every employee, resident, business or wider community member is kept healthy and safe and in the best possible place to bounce back from this when we can. We have supported the response by ensuring everyone who works here can retain their social distance, work from home where possible and promote the physical and mental wellbeing of our community.
We closed the Estate Office to outside visitors on Friday 20th March and since then everybody who can has worked from home leaving only vital members of staff in the office with flexible arrangements to ensure that things are kept running as smoothly as possible. Team members that could continue to work within the guidance have done a great job of keeping everything going during this period and we have tried wherever possible to support our vibrant local community with each part of Overbury Enterprises doing what it can.
The Farm have had a very successful spring lambing and an existing resident adapted their profession to help us out throughout lambing, becoming a proficient shepherdess. We are currently working with local businesses to get our out of season lamb to local customers and we hope to bring you more news on this shortly. The lovely dry weather has meant we have been able to get on and plant our crops including a British quinoa trial, the current rain is also helping with the establishment of these young plants. The Farming team has also grown over this period with the addition of a new staff member joining us who handily already lived at Overbury. All the team are working hard to bring food to our tables.
Whilst we have had to close to most children to comply with the Government’s instructions, we have continued to welcome children of key workers and the team have also been setting lots of tasks for the other children who are at home. We have taken the opportunity to spruce up the rooms at the Nursery. The delightful picture on this blog is a rainbow made by children still at the Nursery. We have also loved hearing how those staff members who are currently off have been spending their time. Parents have continued to be supported through online portals and we very much look forward to the whole team coming back to welcome all the children when they can.
Working with two metre distancing has been a challenge in some situations and has led to some interesting meetings outside, however the team have continued to carry out their work in challenging times keeping our villages looking wonderful. We have embraced the ‘dig for victory’ mentality and will hopefully be able to offer some surplus veg plants to residents shortly. This has been a great time for everyone to be out in their gardens making the most of the additional time we have. We all know the benefits spending time outdoors brings and therefore we are encouraging everyone to get involved with National Gardening Week, please do connect with us virtually using #Overburylife to show us all the wonderful things you have been up to in the garden.
The property team continue to look after two sets of properties and have been making sure that no tenants are forgotten during these times. We have supported tenants who have spoken to us about their financial worries and continue to offer an open virtual door for anyone who needs to talk. We had a rush of properties let at the start of the year and we have been trying to make sure these new neighbours are made to feel at home here and have been encouraging them to become members of our community in whatever way they can. Peoples homes have become increasingly important over the past month and we believe it is important that people are encouraged and supported to change their houses into homes wherever possible.
Not much has changed for our forester Martyn and he continues to go on making sure our local woodland habitats are manged in a sensitive and efficient way. One of the other key areas that Martyn looks after is those all-important footpaths and it seems a lot of people have been making the most of the wonderful footpaths and bridleways we have on our doorstep. There have been a couple of stile repairs and the clearance of overgrown vegetation to make sure everyone can get out for their daily exercise which is so important for our mental wellbeing.
It has been tricky for some members of the team to carry out their usual duties and all sorts of adaptations have been made to ensure our teams work in safe environments. Sadly, one member of the build team has become unwell having caught the virus away from the workplace and we wish him well and hope that he gets back to full health quickly. Through all of the restrictions the team have been able to carry on with works to a wonderful property with views over the park which will hopefully become a home for someone who wants to join our community shortly.
Lots has also been done by community members and many of them are local businesses who are at the very heart of what we do here at Overbury. It has been interesting to see that whilst the roads are generally much quieter many of our roads have had a similar low level of traffic and that is because we are fortunate to have such a large number of residents who run their business from home or are based in commercial offices here too. Local businesses have been so supportive and have helped with incredibly popular virtual quiz nights, virtual yoga sessions, vegetable deliveries and have turned their minds to inventive ways to use existing products for new uses. From the Estate Office Penelope has kept everyone up to date with regular information emails and has even acquired takeaway delivery driver status delivering pizzas from The Crown in Kemerton. All with the aim of helping everyone to feel part of something during this difficult time.
We are here for the community because we are part of the community and by everyone having a part to play we ensure that Overbury is a great place to live and work.
Continue to stay safe, stay home.