Throughout lockdown and beyond Easton Community Centre has been the designated community hub for the Easton. Our team, made up of staff, volunteers and trustees have been working hard since March to support those shielding and others in our community that are finding this time particularly hard.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we knew that there would be vulnerable members of our community that would need support. The then Director of Up Our Street Stacy Yelland jumped to action and started shopping for essentials, in her own time with her own money. That initiative led to the team at Easton Community Centre supporting those on the councils shielding list and others identified by us and referred by other agencies. This led to us supporting 52 adults and 112 children each week.
Delivery of food and essentials
Every Thursday our small team shop, collect, sort, and parcel up food and essential items for single households, families and children.
Our community development team Pat and Tracy are in touch with over 90 residents by phone each week to check their needs; whether it be food, dog walking, prescription collection or just a chat. We’ve responded to requests for children’s clothes, toys, nappies, books, and a whole host of other things on top of the essentials.
Activities for children
Senior Playworker Ollie and Invisible Youth were able to identify families from the playground who would appreciate help through the crisis. The playworkers have close relationships with many of the families such as the Roma and knew what the children would be missing.
Families with small children in often overcrowded accommodation with no access to outdoor space have found this time particularly tough. We have been sending weekly art kits, toys, books and the occasional gardening pack to try and keep the children entertained at home.
Building relationships and combating isolation
In many ways, this crisis has helped us build relationships with families and individuals who were previously isolated and unknown to us. We have made a connection that will last beyond COVID-19.
Can Do Bristol
The food parcels are delivered by a dedicated group of 50 local volunteers, who have been so instrumental to our work throughout the pandemic. The contact they are having with isolated individuals and families is keeping spirits up and is really valued by those we are supporting. We mustn’t underestimate the importance of face to face conversations.