A RETIRED teacher has helped to keep her fellow residents at Churchill Retirement Living’s Rothesay Lodge in Christchurch connected during lockdown by produce a magazine.

Kathy Mathew decided to launch the ‘Rothesay Lodge Chronicle’ when a friend suggested she could produce a lockdown magazine as a way to keep herself busy during then coronavirus pandemic and keep shielding residents entertained and informed.

Starting as a supplement made purely from her own contributions, Kathy started receiving contributions from other apartment owners at the lodgings in Highcliffe.

She said: “I had the idea to put a little card through each apartment Owner’s door, with a little poem of hope about rainbows and sunshine at the end of a storm and the idea for a chronicle grew from this.

“The main intention was just to cheer people up and keep them in touch as our programme of social activities had been suspended.

“We made a box for the Owners’ Lounge where people could submit their stories, recipes, poems, puzzles, advice and anything they wanted to include in the magazine.”

The magazine soon got some momentum behind it and Kathy went on to produce five further issues, including a special Easter edition, and a VE Day Anniversary special with a World War II quiz, famous wartime sayings, poems and memories.

From having no experience of editing magazines, Kathy taught herself as she went along, improving her computer skills in doing so.

Kathy added: “I have to admit the magazine practically took over my life for a few months, but it gave me something to focus on during lockdown and it was a way to keep the community connected during a difficult time for many of us.

“Our Lodge Manager Penny was a big help in printing and distributing the magazine amongst the Owners.

“I think Penny deserves a big thank you from all of us for the way she has kept the community spirit going by helping me with the magazine, and for everything she’s done to help us stay safe.”

With lockdown measures easing, Kathy is taking a well-earned break from the magazine, but has hinted that it could be back at some point in the future if the demand justifies it.