Biddy's Summer Update!
Now that summer is finally with us (hopefully to stay!) and, as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, we are looking forward at Fresh Start. As we move into a new season and new stage of the pandemic, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the last few months and look at what is next.
We brought in 2021 in a second lockdown, one which saw us ramp up our emergency support once again. Our Emergency Food Packs, which were in high demand throughout 2020, were made available once more and there was an outpouring of offers of support from partners and supporters to meet this need. This time, there were new names and addresses on our referrals – showing that the impact of the pandemic had reached new doorsteps. This highlights the far-reaching impact of the pandemic in our community and that the need for support is only going to increase as the world returns to some kind of normal. Sadly, it will not be normal for many families who have lost loved ones, jobs, and their homes.
So, as we focus on recovery from the last year, there are many things we need to think about; how we help people come to terms with what has happened; how we support people to be social again, after a year of being told to stay away from people; how we reach the people who need us the most.
An aspect of our answer to this lies in The Community Hub, which, I am delighted to let you know, will be opening its doors this summer! For us, The Hub represents a space to recover: a safe place for people to meet and begin to rationalise what has happened over the last year as well as accessing practical support. It will provide a social space for people to reconnect, grab some food and have a cup of tea, whilst also providing access to resources and services to support with practical challenges. We will be on hand with both the kettle and information to meet these practical needs: income maximisation, access to goods, advice, information, and services. It will create a social home where people know they can come for a friendly face and some kind words.
We know that our services will be more needed than ever before, so I am pleased that our core services are recommencing in line with current restrictions and delighted to see our volunteers back with us also! This, coupled with the opening of The Hub, gives me confidence that we will be able to offer the best possible support to those who need it.
As ever, I must acknowledge the staff team for their tremendous efforts over the last 14 months. I am genuinely blown away by all that they have achieved. It is a real privilege to work alongside such wonderful human beings who see the good and worth in everyone we work with.