Since 1859 when it is estimated the first, regular parish magazine was started it has been a mainstay of community life. Hamlets, villages, towns, and cities all have a version of a Parish Magazine or a local newsletter. It has been said that the collective readership of these magazines exceeds that of many, national newspapers.
For over a century, the Parish Magazine or the Village Newsletter has been a mainstay of local life, put together and delivered on a monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly basis by volunteers. Many are delivered free; others charge a nominal sum.
Times of church services, information from village groups, births, deaths, and marriages each edition, local council information, local stories, a recipe, hints and tips and local business advertisements. The magazines and newsletters are a welcome part of millions of resident’s lives and are eagerly picked up when they come through the letterbox or knowing an edition can be had from the local shop.
Readers, especially older readers, like to purchase from local businesses and tradesmen. (A community trust feeling is generated from local purchases).
Then in January 2020 Covid came into the country followed by lockdown in March 2020
This meant that thousands of volunteers who consistently deliver the magazines could not do so and as a result many of these local editions went online. This meant that older people who did not have the facility for online editions, were unable to read their regular publication and so fell behind with local news and information.
In July 2021 Covid restrictions began to be eased and life could begin to return to a form of normality but sadly some local publications have decided not to go back to printing and will continue with the online editions.
When we need community integration more than ever, surely in 2022, this is a bad time for this to happen?
Loneliness and isolation are already a huge problem, especially in rural and remote areas for older people, cutting off their access to local affairs is a sad decision.
Able Community Care – a Live-in Care provider on a nationwide basis since 1980.