In March 2020, as the Overspill project was drawing to an end, the world went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here we explore what life in lockdown has been like for some people in Darnhill.


Joan lives in Darnhill with her adult son and daughter.

A typical lockdown day for Joan has been doing sudoku, wordsearch and crosswords; watching TV and old DVDs….and eating more cakes and sweets than usual!

I have learnt that I need to have a bit more patience and not want anything done like yesterday!



Peter lives alone. He has found he has enjoyed the slower pace in lockdown.

A typical lockdown day has been a mixture reading listening to audio books , music and television. Its made me slow down and find time to do things I enjoy which I often skip in normal workdays.


I’m quite comfortable with being on my own – I’ve relaxed more.


Millie & family

Millie struggled with being at home with her family during lockdown

What have I leant? Everyone is very annoying!


Lloyds Pharmacy

Lloyds Pharmacy on Argyle Parade has remained open throughout lockdown.

It’s been mentally draining due to the workload. There’s been higher demand in requests and services with limited staff levels

Lloyds Pharmacy Staff member

I’ve enjoyed less traffic, becoming closer to my work mates and the patient support.

Lloyds Pharmacy Staff Member

Super Pound Store

The Super Pound Store on Argyle Parade remained open throughout lockdown for essentials. Owner Wali has found lockdown hard on business

There has been nothing good. It’s all been bad for us. No one is coming, we haven’t been busy. We are still opening for the old people but it’s been very quiet. We are just about surviving.


It’s so boring. You can’t go anywhere. It’s just work, home, sleep. That’s it.


Justin, Heywood Baptist Church

Justin is from Darnhill. He is now the Minister in training at Heywood Baptist Church. The support group for Asylum Seekers that the church run each week has had to stop during lockdown. During lockdown he has shared his home with a refugee friend and a destitute asylum seeker so has seen first hand the financial difficulties that lockdown brought for those groups.

Our asylum seeker and refugee friends have all been worried about their cases. In terms of the congregation it has been an issue looking after those who have mental health issues. We also had a member with Alzheimer’s who needed to be put in care as he went missing a couple of times causing us significant worries.


At first I felt an awful lot of grief around the loss of normality. I think adjusting to being alone was a big challenge. I think we’ve learnt to be patient and more content. We’ve all learnt to adjust, cope and appreciate what we have.


Zach & Family


Betty had been living with her daughter throughout most of lockdown. She was about to move home when we met her in June.

It’s been quite a relaxing time. I have enjoyed not having to rush around doing shopping and other normal day things. I was always busy but now I will relax more.


Bella & her family, Heywood Food Bank

Heywood Food Bank has seen demand almost double throughout lockdown. They serve many families from Darnhill. We met Bella, age 8, and her family at the Food Bank as she presented them with over £800 she had raised by walking a marathon around the field at the back of her house during lockdown.

Bella has been in lockdown with her mum, dad, brother Jack and little sister Lotti.

I have learnt that I can not do everything and it’s ok to let others help. I am not going to stress if things are not done.

Bella’s mum Lisa

The change of routine has been difficult but I have enjoyed time with all the family


Beth & Ben

Brother and sister Beth and Ben have been in lockdown with their brother, sister and parents.

I have enjoyed having a bit of time off school to have more time to do some of my own stuff


I have struggled not seeing my mates ’cause I could always go to theirs whenever I needed my space from my family.



Joan is a member of St Margaret’s church where she would usually run the Parent & Toddler group each week.

The lockdown closed (…) our Churches where people could meet on a Sunday, worship together and share a coffee and a chat after the service. However, Rev. Ian Stamp organised a ‘Zoom Church’ meeting on a Sunday morning where we can still join together and see familiar and new faces



Sally is the new vicar at St Margaret’s – she was interviewed for the role and licenced by Zoom! Sally is originally from Heywood and went to St Margaret’s primary school. Her Nanna and Aunty both lived on Darnhill and she would walk home to her Nanna’s through the shops and adventure playground most days.

Being licenced via Zoom

I’ve learnt plenty, rediscovered the joys of a landline, and got to know a little about the wonderful people around now, some 20 years since I was here as a schoolgirl.

St Margaret’s Social distancing

I look forward to the day when it will be safe to come back to church together for our services and all the lovely community groups we usually have. I’m also looking forward to wandering around the shops and library and those streets and fields which are so familiar to see what has changed and what has stayed the same.