City Councillor Promotes a Smile and a Friendly Hello


April 22, 2020

A Lancaster City Councillor is encouraging everyone to greet the people they meet with “a smile and a friendly hello” during the current lockdown.

Councillor Phillip Black highlights the importance of positive social interactions and the benefits this can have to people’s mental health.  He decided to make a video based on his experiences of passing by others when out walking his dog near the river Lune and this has been posted on his Facebook page.

“People were maintaining their social distancing, which is brilliant, but perhaps a little fearful of even making eye contact with others – as if even acknowledging each other was a threat.”

“Most of us will be walking for exercise quite close to home, or buying essentials in our nearest local shops.  I think its important to remember that the people we see will be from our communities, they will be our neighbours – many will be living alone without any company.  As long as people are keeping their distance and staying safe then I think we should all make a point of smiling and saying a quick ‘hello!’  It’s a simple enough thing that we all can do to spread a little warmth and good will during a difficult time for us all.”

Staying connected with others is one of 12 ways the NHS are advising to help people look after their mental health during the COVID19 crisis, alongside other practical measures such as exercise and sticking to routines.