Whether it’s starting something new, or just dedicating more time to home DIY projects, reading, or gardening, the extra hours indoors during the lockdown, has opened up opportunities for Ekta Unity service users to dedicate time to hobbies that they enjoy. Some of our service users have taken up crochet as a way to take their minds off everything, and have even produced some amazing results at the end of it.

Dieshy Purewal-Trustee of Ekta Unity said: “During these troubling times, hobbies have become all the more important, providing a great way to practice mindfulness. The well-being benefits of taking up hobbies such as crochet can be huge as it keeps you busy with something to do, and also gives you something to focus on. It’s important for all of us to stay healthy physically and emotionally and to stay positive and keep our spirits up. Challenging times like this can be quite tricky to navigate, as we have a lot of time on our hands and anxiety levels are naturally very high. One of our service users-Tarseim Kanwal has shown how crochet can help”.

Tarseim Kanwal was on holiday in India, when on 24th March 2020, the Government of India ordered a nationwide lockdown, limiting movement of the entire 1.3 billion population of India as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic. Tarseim had travelled to India with her family and was looking forward to visiting Udaypur, Nanitaal and various other places during her time there. However, the strict lockdown was announced whilst she was travelling across India. As panic struck Tarseim and her family were wondering what would happen to them and where they could stay as at the time hotels were not accepting any visitors. They made their way to Delhi as the lockdown became compulsory. Once in Delhi, they found a good hearted taxi driver who helped them find a hotel. Tarseim then spent 2 weeks confined inside the hotel and not able to go out anywhere as every street was deserted. During her time in India, Tarseim also kept in regular contact by telephone with three other Ekta Unity service users who were in India at the same time and they all gave each other comfort and support. After two weeks, Tarseim was able to get onto a repatriation flight from India to UK. Tarseim found the whole experience horrendous and traumatising, but was happy and lucky to be back home to Coventry safe and well.

Tarseim Kanwal said: “I have managed to make the time during lockdown very productive. There’s so much to gain emotionally from taking up a craft in the comfort of your own home. Crochet has given me something to look forward and has helped me keep busy, happy and healthy. Crochet is a real stress buster as it has helped me to relax and unwind as you have to focus on the stitches you are making. It’s all about self-expression and the whole creative process of making choices and learning new techniques from start to finish. In addition to doing crochet, I have also carried on my other hobbies including going for walks, doing yoga exercises, and looking after the plants and flowers in my garden”

Seeing our wonderful service users like Tarseim Kanwal keeping active, and sharing photographs below of their activities makes us all feel very proud. Ekta Unity will continue to support all our 200+ service users by sending our regular ‘care packs’ to them, containing arts & craft activities, yoga and exercise videos and resources for knitting, sewing, painting and colouring, whilst our services remain closed at St Paul’s Church Foleshill, Coventry.

Muna Chauhan
Vice Chair
Ekta Unity