Weeks 3-9 of Lockdown

A number of support workers are continuing to use our order and collect service for their families.  We are continuing to look at how we might be able to be more effective in supporting these individuals, as many are working from home and struggling with their own childcare issues and other challenges. We really do want to be as effective and proactive as we can in our support during this time.

At the start of this period we were making around 8 parcel drop offs per week; when making deliveries it is really evident that many of the most vulnerable and in need are concerned that others might be going without or are worried that we were giving them too much food!  Many thanks to all those who donate food and essential items or have given us money to buy items that we are short of.  In week three of the lock-down we gave out 37 food parcels, feeding 55 adults and 22 children.

Week 4 started slowly with the Monday session being very quiet. Wednesday picked up and as it was a nice day we were able to have some good conversations outside (at a distance) with people who came to collect a food parcel. These included some people we would consider ‘regulars’ to our drop-in service which we run when we are operating normally, it was really good to see them in the flesh rather than just speak to them on the phone and to see for ourselves that they are generally doing well. The additional Thursday sessions have also gained momentum and seem a popular choice for people.

We continue to run our service with a small number of volunteers; members of the same household wherever possible which helps to reduce risk to them and clients alike.  We are fortunate to have such a committed crew we can call on.

 

 

A  highlight for the period was a delivery of a parcel made up by a family whose children had wanted to put together a food package. They came up to the project in their car and we took a few photo’s of their parcel. How fantastic is that!  Thanks to the family!

Bank holiday Monday resulted in a much busier Wednesday session. We gave out 39 food parcels which fed 66 adults and 51 children. Still 8 parcels delivered to people who are self-isolating and unable to get out.

When the sun is out we notice there is a drop in those accessing support; it seems lock-down makes no difference to this trend! People wait for a duller day, this week we still  issued a total of 49 food parcels, feeding 74 adults and 29 children. This is more than a ‘usual’ week.

We have been working with the Storehouse to think through how we can practically support a group of families who are now living in our local area.   They likely to need food regularly at this time as they have larger families and are struggling.  

We have also moved the food trays into the cafe area ready for our sessions in the coming weeks! This will enable us to give the main hall a thorough clean in anticipation of the potential return of Little Acorns nursery.  Big thanks to the Simpson crew who helped in this epic task!

Toward the end of the period we have started to see a reduction in referrals from other agencies and also less visits from support workers. But sadly we now have a rough sleeper living in our locality who we are doing our best to support. We have also started to try and get a better sense of individuals situations and stories as we seek to try and support the few people who have now become new ‘regulars’ to our service.  When there is ongoing need we always try to see what additional help and support we might be able to offer to improve their situation.

As the lock-down is slowly released for outside spaces we have been back out on our first youth work detached session. It was quiet during the afternoon so as the situation improves we will most likely change back to early evenings. 

We have continued to connect with young people for online one to one sessions once a week and this is going well and seems to have positive results for the young people concerned.

As a team we have also used our time to update our learning and skills.  There is quite a lot available on line for free so never one to turn down a freebie we are keen as mustard, especially  in relation to the mental health training that is being funded by the Government.  Our desire is to be equipped for the increased demand for mental health services in the coming months.   

Our Em also attended her first online training session with Community Money Advice so she can more effectively support people in debt and feels it went well and was very useful.

Onward and upward.  Stay safe everyone. 

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