The covid – 19 pandemic and subsequent lock-down illustrated a new need within the community, the centre became proactive enabling it to meet the needs of the community. We were contacted by the local community for help and support. Relatives who did not live in the local area were worried about loved ones and would ask us to check they were ok. When contacting people, it became apparent that vulnerable people were finding it difficult to cope. Families were struggling financially and could not go shopping. Older people were shielding and unable to get to the shops to buy food, those with long term health conditions were also struggling. To help address this need the centre became a food and care package donation and collection point during the lock-down; volunteers collected and distributed items to those in need. We made food to cater for all tastes and on VE day we made a full chicken dinner with homemade scones and delivered these. We received donations of soft toy’s and crafts for children, we delivered these with the care packages. While adhering to the Government guidelines volunteers worked to make sure families, older people and those at risk received as much help and support as possible.
Throughout the pandemic (so far) we have achieved the following:
- Delivered 216 care packages including food, toiletries, toys and books each week.
- Issued breakfast boxes to families entitled to free school meals throughout the summer holidays
- Recruited 10 volunteers to deliver care packages and weekly shopping to those in need.
- Issues 170 emergency food packages
- Secured funding to deliver activities to young people during the summer holidays.
- Worked with partners to offer telephone support/chat to those who were isolated.
- Secured funding to offer subsidised cleaning and dog walking to older residents who might be struggling during this time.
- We have developed a partnership with The Carers Trust Heart of England to deliver support sessions to young carers and their siblings.