Hertfordshire nan takes to TikTok to get Covid-19 message to young people

Margaret has staged a #nantervention

Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 1:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 1:58 pm

For generations, young people have been able to rely on one person for sage advice . . . their nan!!

And now Hertfordshire nan Margaret Hansard has posted a clip on TikTok, to encourage young people to protect themselves – and their loved ones – from Covid-19.

In the clip Margaret, aged 78, from Hertfordshire, dances along to a soundtrack – with actions showing the ‘hands, face, space’ messages.

And on top of the 27-second clip are posted pieces of text to really get the message across- encouraging young people to take the actions to protect their nans.

“I’m staging a #Nantervention,” it states. “. . . to get Hertfordshire’s grandkids to socialise safely . . . And protect your nans.

“I’ve been lonely! . . . Please keep social distancing . . . And wearing a mask . . . Lockdown = Lonely Nans

“Please keep washing your hands. . . And remember the rule of 6.”

Hertfordshire nan Margaret Hansard has posted a clip on TikTok (C) TikTok

Margaret – who volunteers with Age UK – made the fun video with the help of her grand-daughter Lucy, aged 20.

She says she hopes what started as a ‘laugh’ helps to get the message across to young people.

And Lucy says it would be ‘super fun’ if more nans got involved and made their own Tik Tok videos, to get the same message across.

“Anything that raises awareness is going to be good,” said Margaret.

“I think there are people who don’t think this is real. And you see them everywhere not social-distancing, touching each other and shaking hands – and you can’t do that any more at the moment.

“It’s really aimed at young people, to be aware. They don’t realise, because to them its not real.

“They are doing their socialising, going home and popping in to see their nan – and that’s where it will be a bit dangerous.”

Yet Margaret stresses that the young ones have been “good” throughout the pandemic.

And she says that she feels “so sorry” that a year of their lives has been taken already by the virus.

An image of the #nantervention was highlighted at a meeting of Stevenage Borough Council’s executive, during an update on the ongoing response to the virus.

And following that meeting council leader Cllr Sharon Taylor said: “It’s clear the Coronavirus virus can affect all age groups and it is important to find ways share safety messages with younger people.

“We will continue to raise awareness and promote advice to reduce the spread of virus in Stevenage.”

The #nantervention approach has also won the backing of members of the county’s Local Resilience Forum (LRF) – which works alongside the Health Protection Board to coordinate the local response to Covid-19.

And a spokesman for the Hertfordshire LRF says nans may be better at getting public health messages across to young people than councils or other official bodies.

“There is this belief among some young people that if they get the virus, they won’t get ill – which naturally makes them less concerned,” he said.

“We know they are less likely to listen to councils or to government figures, but they might just listen to their nan.”

Since Margaret's video went viral other nans have joined her by sharing videos on TikTok as part of the #nantervention.

Dacorum Borough Council shared a video on Twitter, @DacorumBC: "Another #hertfordshire nan has joined the #nantervention to remind you to socialise safely #COVID-19."

To see Margaret's TikTok click here.