Volunteer army steps forward once again
Members of the Tuesday Move It Club in Staple Hill received presents from the Staple Hill Community Hub after it had to cancel their annual Christmas party. The hub is providing food parcels for people who are facing food poverty and support for those who are isolating or shielding.
PEOPLE who need help to get through the latest lockdown are being reassured that it is still available.
Volunteers who came together at the start of the pandemic are continuing to operate support networks for anyone who is in quarantine because of coronavirus, is shielding because they are clinically vulnerable and have no social bubble, or is facing food poverty.
Many groups formed from people coming together on social media to offer or ask for help, and groups such as the BS16 Covid-19 Community Care Group and Hack The Problem community volunteers are offering help with groceries, prescriptions and other essential support via their Facebook pages.
Other networks were the result of existing organisations coming together.
In Staple Hill and Mangotsfield, the Salvation Army, Staple Hill Community Hub and Mangotsfield Residents Association, along with local councillors Michael Bell, Ian Boulton and Katie Cooper, have been working together with volunteer helpers and donors, including a group of bikers collecting and delivering donations to care homes and the NHS.
Ian said: "Since Lockdown 1 we, with the help of our amazing community volunteers, have been kept consistently busy providing support to our Staple Hill and Mangotsfield residents, and we plan to continue our efforts through Lockdown 3 and beyond.
"Through the Staple Hill Community Hub and the Salvation Army we are continuing to be able to provide emergency food parcels to residents who are facing food poverty."
Hub chair William Lee said the community was continuing to offer help, with around 30 people answering a call for volunteer food parcel deliverers in December.
Food donations have been coming from individuals and businesses, including a wave of donations in the run-up to Christmas and a recent donation of food worth £300 from Sainsbury's Local in Downend.
William said: "I'd like to say a big thank-you to everybody who has helped."
Anyone who needs help with food and lives in the Staple Hill and Mangotsfield area can get help by visiting the Salvation Army in Staple Hill High Street between 11am and midday on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
People can also contact the Staple Hill Community Hub by calling 07467 097175, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or messaging the hub's Facebook page.
People can also contact Michael on 0787 5631817, Ian on 0756 243 7598, Katie on 0759 633 8107 or Clive Heath of Mangotsfield Residents Association on 07560 716 8700.
Food donations can be made at the Salvation Army at the opening times mentioned above or via the Bean Tree Cafe in Page Park. Long-life food such as tinned beans, pasta, rice and breakfast cereal is particularly useful.