UK’s most westerly town shares how it got through first lockdown

One Cornish town – the first and last in the country – has proved time and time again this year that it’s not what you have but who you have during the conundrum that is 2020.

St Just-in-Penwith can often feel like a world away from all that is going on – from press briefings, lockdowns and panic buying – but behind its calm exterior, the underestimated force of community spirit has succumbed all else in this big-hearted community.

As well as all the local businesses who have adapted and put people before profit, one woman in particular has been working tirelessly all year to make sure that every resident in her hometown is ready for the uncertain weeks and months ahead.

Back in March, at a time that seems like world’s away now, Cornwall Live photojournalist Greg Martin went to meet the woman behind it all – Daisy Gibbs – and they spoke about how the force of community spirit had spread from door-to-door to ensure that nobody in the parish faced these worrying times alone.

Now, seven months later – as we embark on a second lockdown – a new Guardian documentary follows life in St Just as locals navigated the pandemic, with filmmaker Sky Neal having returned to her hometown for months to capture the response as volunteers continue ‘the Daisy chain’.

The 17-minute documentary follows the innovative activities of the volunteer support network, now called the Daisy chain.

Speaking to the Guardian, Sky explains that it was the “strange depths” of St Just, her hometown, that inspired her to make the film.

Watch the documentary below

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“The idea of this metaphoric chain of humans weaving throughout this tiny peninsula at the end of the land, taking care of each other and striving for a more caring and resilient community struck me as a beautiful story that was really needed at such a strange time,” she said.

She continued: “This was a wonderful film to make – how often do you get a chance to show the little pocket you grew up in to the rest of the world? St Just has an exceptional community. There is something about being at the end of the land exposed to the elements that creates a hardy and creative bunch, and a wicked sense of humour to match.”

Click the link above to read more about how it all started and see pictures from the early lockdown days in St Just.

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