The Brierley Hill Project News Update June 2020.
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!
– Tracey Tromans