Update from the Brierley Hill Project

Thank you to those of you who have sent messages of support and have been checking up on us this week.

We want you to know that we are doing our best to continue to support people in need. We are now running a Foodbank only service, however, we have increased the number of Foodbank sessions we operate so we can spread out the distribution of food parcels and keep everyone safe.

We want to keep you informed so you know what’s happening  on the ground and how things are going.  Here is Jen’s summary of what happened in the past week…..

On Monday we had a bigger team in (Ken, Danett, Em, Stace, Eden and Jen); everyone was keen to help out to get prepared for the coming weeks.  This was useful in getting set up and a range of food donations bagged up, however, our social distancing wasn’t as good as we’d have liked.  The drop in space isn’t the best for keeping our distance! The flow was steady and not crazy mad like some of the shops, thank goodness.   Having said this, we still did 17 vouchers feeding 30 adults and 17 children.

On Wednesday’s session we ran with a small team so everyone had more space and could keep their distance.  We had Em, Jen and Eden in which worked really well. Lots of food parcels had already been packed so the team weren’t rushed off their feet but still got what we’d usually think of as a busy session done, with 20 vouchers feeding 33 adults and 52 children.

Our final session of the week; a new one for us on Thursday was very quiet.  As it’s not one of our regular days it will take people time to get to know we are open on that day.  We are notifying people they can only come for 1 food parcel each week and we are asking people to select a day to come so we can spread out the number of visits.  This Thursday we only had 3 vouchers presented for 4 adults and 2 children. This gave us time to reflect on the week and what we felt we’d learnt and what we needed to change and put in place for next week. As a result we have moved from the drop-in to the main hall, the remaining stock is arranged and set up in packing order ready for our delivery on Monday and some food parcels are prepared ready to go.

In regards to our volunteers, their safety is priority so we are keeping each session running with a small core team, however, we are adding 2 different volunteers over each of the coming sessions. The move into the main hall will make it easier to adhere to the requirements of social distancing whilst building up a bank of volunteers who have been at a session and know how it runs.  Our regular Foodbank volunteers are in the vulnerable categories and have to stay at home so we need to build up the number of people available to run a session should the need arise.  We have to prepare for the fact that at any point one of our core team may have to self isolate.

It is a comfort to know that there are people we can call on to help.  This will be all the more important in the coming weeks as the Black Country Foodbank and Dudley CVS co-ordinate delivery services to the most vulnerable and isolated in our Borough.   Many of the people using our service also struggle with their mental and emotional health and well-being and will miss being able to come to the drop in to speak to others.

Keep them and us in your thoughts and prayers today and in the weeks to come.

As ever we thank all of our supporters that give their time and money to ensure we can continue to do what we do.  

We send our love to our regular Foodbank volunteers who we rely upon week in and week out.  We miss you and look forward to seeing you soon. 

And finally….. thank you to all of the young people who have come forward to help. Thank you Eden for all the organising, lifting and packing. Young people so often get a bad rap but we think you’re amazing!

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