How can we best serve our community, post-pandemic?
Perhaps for the first time during this pandemic, many of us are starting to feel a sense of hope that this may all be over soon. We’re again allowed to sit across from our family and friends at (outdoor) restaurant tables, and to order and enjoy a meal cooked by a chef. In this sense, it certainly feels like we are inching back towards the social world we remember.
Many of us may also be feeling anxious or even quite flat about it all — is it really going to be just like “the old normal”, when so much has happened since then?
At Kindred, we are asking ourselves the same question, but in relation to our community. How have our community’s needs changed over the last year, and how can we best serve them?
While there’s plenty about the past year we’d rather see the back of, there have also been some positive changes to the ways we live and appreciate each other. Many of us have been forced to take a step back from our frenetic city lives and consider what is really important to us; communities have showed up for each other through mutual aid and support. We’re no longer going to take meeting up with a friend for a casual pint after work for granted.
What we’re really moving towards, then, is a slightly tweaked version of “the old normal”, which incorporates these positive changes into the social activities and freedoms we know and love. What will that look like at Kindred?
Maintaining community ties
As a community-focused space, it’s important for Kindred to be a place for neighbourly connections to form and be strengthened. That doesn’t just mean providing a physical space — although having physical spaces where we feel welcome is incredibly important for mental health — but ensuring that these spaces are welcoming, inclusive, and are working as hard as they can to facilitate meaningful connections.
This might look like hosting social events for people who have similar interests or work in the same industry. It might mean linking people up with others who can help them, or hosting dating events where the aim is to have a good conversation rather than feel pressured to mentally swipe left or right within moments of meeting someone. We are currently working on our live music and events programme for the upcoming months, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
We’re committed to creating an events programme that is diverse, inclusive, and accessible. That means spotlighting a wide range of voices from within our community and making sure that Kindred is a space where everyone feels safe and welcome.
Respect for personal space
One thing this pandemic has reminded us is how important having personal space is. This is true in terms of physical contact — not everyone likes to hug hello — but also in the spaces that we occupy in our day-to-day lives.
Our homes have at once become our office, our place to socialise, our place to live, and our place to unwind. Not having a division between these aspects of our lives can make it difficult to mentally switch between these activities, making us tired or even anxious.
I’m excited for Kindred’s members’ area to re-open on May 17th, so that we can again be a place where our community feels just as comfortable knocking out their deadlines in our Hall as they would enjoying a cocktail on our sofa in the Library.
During the pandemic, we re-designed Kindred’s interior to make it more comfortable, inspiring, and inviting for our members, while staying true to the design of the building. If you’ve not yet seen it, you’ll have the chance to in just a few weeks.
A time and place to celebrate
Above all, we want to celebrate our community; for us to feel happy that we’re again allowed to enjoy each other’s company. We’ve got a brand new Spring menu, full of fresh, seasonal dishes alongside tried-and-true classics. We’ve refreshed our outdoor terrace into a beer garden that’s British-weather proof — and have already had one brilliant al-fresco live music evening to welcome everyone back.
At Kindred, community is at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to carrying this positive momentum forward. We’re a place where people can feel connected to their neighbours, and where they feel that they belong.
Kindred’s outdoor terrace is currently accepting bookings for groups of up to six people. Our building and members’ area will be open from May 17
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