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Homemade haircuts, TikTok dance crazes and living room workouts; we’ve all had to improvise during lockdown.

The pandemic has been an unsettling and difficult time, but it’s also been a chance to try something new – like Dinner with Strangers!

We came up with the idea to bring people together, just like Birmingham 2022 will do.

From more than 750 applications, we chose 44 people from all over the Midlands, and all walks of life, to share a virtual dinner together, share their experiences of lockdown, and make new connections.

Adjusting to life during lockdown was a keen topic of conversation.

Kiran let his Mom loose on his hair: “I had to resort to it unfortunately!”

Team England gymnast Mimi-Isabella Cesar told her dinner guest how she’s been training during lockdown: “I live with my mom, so I’ve literally transformed her whole living room.”

And Navneet said lockdown has given her time to reflect on what’s important in life: “I think it should teach us that it’s never too late to start anything. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, if you want to make time for something, you can do it.”

Dinner with Strangers has certainly succeeded in bringing people together. As Rachel from Leicestershire put it after her dinner with food blogger Simon, “we started as strangers and left as friends”.

If you’d like to find out about Birmingham 2022’s plans to bring the region together in the run up to the Commonwealth Games, sign up here…

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