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Community spirit shines through in the Heatons

8th June 2020

We continue to be overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown to us by individuals, community groups, businesses and other organisations. It is impossible to highlight every act of kindness, but we are trying our best to acknowledge every donation and share heart-warming stories of community spirit.

Last week we caught up with Louise Ball who has been coordinating street collections across the Heatons of items that we are running low on.

Louise helped establish a Facebook group called the heatons covid-19 self isolation neighbourhood outreach to support neighbourhoods through the COVID 19 pandemic. The group is made up of street group leaders who support residents who live on their streets who may be isolating by shopping, collecting prescriptions, providing a chat service and in other ways.

The groups decided they wanted to come together on ‘Project Foodbank’, where they used the contacts made with others on their streets to organise collections for Stockport Foodbank.

The project is now entering its fifth week and has been a massive success. Louise explains how the process works “We put a call out on the Facebook page for WhatsApp street leaders and groups to nominate their streets to participate with some further logistical information supplied. We then allocate four of these groups each week to receive a collection box.  Sometimes the groups incorporate multiple streets and sometimes it is a small street, but our co-ordinator Kate organises this to get the best spread and most logistical collection route.

Kate informs the streets leaders at the beginning of the week of the logistical details for the Thursday collection including an up to date list of preferred items for donation, which I receive direct from the foodbank.

The streets then organise themselves at a local level.  The WhatsApp groups are used to communicate where the box is, what the preferred donated items are and when the collection will be taking place.

Another member of our team, Charles, then drives to the designated areas as instructed by Kate and delivers a box to each.  These are placed on a driveway or garden and no contact is required.  He simply places the boxes as instructed by the street leader and leaves them on the Thursday morning.  Charles then returns Thursday evening and collects the boxes.  He stores them overnight and takes them directly to Stockport Foodbank’s warehouse at Hazel Grove on the Friday morning.”

Stockport Foodbank manager Nigel Tedford commented “We are so grateful for the support we continue to receive during this crisis. Initiatives such as the neighbourhood collection in the Heatons really help to ensure our warehouse stays well-stocked and enables us to ensure that we can help to provide food for people living within the SK postal region who are in financial crisis.”

There are lots of ways to support Stockport Foodbank. Further details can be found at https://stockport.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/ or contact us on 07999 795 702 to find out more.

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