Our Covid-19 response is as follows:
Our team of 35 volunteers are undertaking food shopping and prescription collections for people within our community that are shielding or vulnerable.
Supplying food parcels to families and individuals struggling to provide food for themselves.
There was a small emergency financial fund of up to £20 for either food shopping, electric or telephone top ups for emergency use.
Larger financial aid provided where the individual or family have been assessed by the Salvation Army Debt Advice Team.
In general we are providing information, advice and guidance for our communities.
The Wellbeing Hub has remained open for frontline services to continue.
Livewell are continuing to undertake emergency podiatry and continence sessions and the Speech and Language services are co-ordinating an online response from the Hub.
Over the weeks, the need for these services and the number of people it is assisting has increased. Initially, the support in the first couple of weeks in lockdown was either for adults shielding or those who were already receiving support from our services. However, the last two weeks in particular has seen a significant increase in number of families where either or both parents have been furloughed or made redundant. As a result, to date the total number of food parcels being supplied is now over 500 parcels, where we are averaging around 80 parcels a week. It is a humbling experience to see families who have never been in any financial difficulty before, who are now seeking support at our Hub.
The Emergency Fund that FGCT set up in partnership with Whitleigh Big Local, Salvation Army, St Chads Church and has been supported by Argyle Community Trust and Barefoot has raised over £12,400 to date. The donations are as follows: £1000 from FGCT, £1000 Whitleigh Big Local, £2,240 from Devon Foundation and £2,400 from Charity Stewardship. A further £5,760 has been made in voluntary donations from either members of our community or staff. We are very grateful for this amazing level of support, it is really making a difference.
As well as donations, we are increasingly receiving food donations from both individual and local supermarkets, where they have kindly allowed us to have a collection box. This allows us to make the most of our fund and reduces some costs.
The positive impact of our support we are providing, and the ever increasing level of needs within our community leads us to believe that it would be beneficial to become a food distribution centre on a permanent basis in the future.
Finally, to note our Board of Directors, have provided support for our staff in the following ways:
Guaranteeing staff wages
Agreeing to fund the Covid-19 response in partnership with other agencies
Providing support through e-mails
Supporting our financial budgetary work - special thanks to Linda and Vince
Enabling us to undertake vital work within our community and clearly fulfilling our Articles of Association that is about empowering and supporting the North Plymouth community.
The support of our staff, directors, partners and community is greatly appreciated.