26 Mar 2020
In just over a week the Coronavirus Community Fund has received 286 applications and £119,000 has been awarded to groups seeking to help the vulnerable in their communities in this challenging time. We have some great stories from groups who are making an impact in their communities below.
Monkstown Boxing Club
Monkstown Boxing Club have transformed their club space into a central point to pull together food packages and essential resources for the vulnerable. These packages are delivered by volunteers to those most in need in the Monkstown and Rathcoole area. They have also set up a pop-up soup kitchen providing homemade soup for those in need.
Paul Johnston, staff member “At times of crisis a community is measured by its response and its actions. Our project will aim to bring the community together, increase the collaboration of the voluntary and community sector and work in partnership with the private sector to ensure those most vulnerable are supported in this challenging time. Working in conjunction with the neighbourhood renewal partnerships in Rathcoole and Monkstown we will identify those most at risk and make sure no-one is isolated.”
Good Morning Larne
Good Morning Larne, a telephone befriending support service for older people in Larne and surrounding areas. Good Morning Larne has 115 seniors on their telephone friendship service, many who are experiencing more fear with regard to the Coronavirus, such as “where to get accurate information”, “what to do about medications”, “who would know if I took not well”. The group has increased the number of telephone calls they make, as individuals wish for more connections during this frightening time. The phone calls involve talking about the latest developments and fears with others but sometimes just a chat on the telephone is enough to help relieve some anxiety.
Good Morning Larne are working to maintain the daily telephone calls to current and new clients right through this pandemic, even if their centre is required to close, they have remote accessing to all call lists and have staff and volunteers prepared for lone working. The team are working to train additional telephone volunteers to meet the demand for additional calls.
Cloughmills Community Action team
On top of providing food deliveries and essential items to the most vulnerable in their communities, Cloughmills are preparing ‘take and make’ bags which includes recipes and all the ingredients to make a nutritious meal for 2 people. The take and make bags will only be delivered to those who are capable of making meals at home providing them with a task and a meal providing a distraction from the Coronavirus.
Cloughmills are also using ‘Kindness cards’ as a way to help individuals feel less isolated in these challenging times. 120 individuals have already received these cards through their door with contact details of a volunteer offering their support and services from collecting shopping and medication to a friendly phone call.
We are delighted to see communities all across Northern Ireland are coming together to make a difference through a range of projects supporting the most vulnerable. The Coronavirus presents a range of challenges for everyone, those of which are continually changing and as a Foundation, we will work to adapt our fund and services accordingly.