Category: covid19cooperatives

Four Greens Community Trust (FGCT) is a Plymouth City Council supported Health Hub that aims to promote and nurture the local community’s wellbeing. Here, they’ve shared with us how they managed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic:  

Our work has taken on extra significance as a result of the pandemic and the Centre has been open throughout to provide an emergency response service to our community and also to ensure some essential health services such as the Podiatry Service continue to operate and see patients in urgent need of medical attention.

The emergency response would not have been possible without the support of the following partners who enabled us to be providing practical support to our communities within one week of lockdown

  • Salvation Army
  • St Chad Church
  • Whiteigh Big Local
  • Barefoot
  • Provide Plymouth
  • Plymouth City Council Public Health Department

Within two weeks of lockdown we had raised over £ 11,000 through donations, grants and contributions from stakeholders to fund our emergency response and managed to recruit 35 volunteers to support the work

Our COVID-19 response included:

  1. Team of volunteers (35 in total) undertaking food shops and prescription pick-ups for people within our community that are shielding or vulnerable
  2. Supply of food parcels to families and individuals struggling to put food on the table
  3. Providing emergency financial aid either through savings stamps from Co – op or up to £ 15 for a clear need
  4. Larger financial aid provided where the individual or family have been assessed by the Salvation Army Debt Advice Team up to £ 100
  5. Information, Advice and Guidance for people in the community – this has ranged from helping someone access a computer to complete an application form to requests for specialist services midwifery and cardiac rehab
  6. Keeping the Centre open for frontline services. Livewell continue to run emergency podiatry and continence sessions and Speech and Language are co – ordinating their online response from our Centre for North Plymouth.

The service has increased the volume of its work each week since its inception in the first week of April 2020.  Initially a lot of our work was to support those people who were forced to shield and therefore the main work focussed on shopping errands and the picking up of prescriptions.  As the time has passed this has stayed relatively constant and currently around forty people are receiving this service. 

However, as the economic reality of COVID-19 starts to bite we are increasingly supporting individuals and families that due to furlough or being laid off are struggling to put food on the table.  This has resulted in the number of food parcels being delivered increasing each week and currently over 30 parcels a week are being delivered but this is set to grow considerably over the next few months.  This is thanks to Four Greens Community Trust and its partners supporting a DEFRA Consortium Bid led by St Matthias Church and Provide Devon that has secured partnership funding that will enable us to increase the service in North Plymouth.  We are aiming to get 100 food parcels a week delivered by the end of June to those most in need.

The generosity of the local community and our members has been overwhelming and we are getting up to twenty individual donations of food a week to support the food parcels we are distributing.  We have also been well supported by our local Co – op and Morrisons stores

Any initiative such as this relies on the goodwill and commitment of the staff and volunteers that deliver the service and the commitment, compassion, and motivation of everyone has been humbling.

In total over 170 different individuals and families have been supported and the level of support is constantly changing.  We are currently also undertaking some gardening work for people in social housing, walking dogs, undertaking minor repairs and providing telephone befriending support. 

You can follow the work of FGCT on Facebook and Twitter.

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