We have two resources which we want to use more effectively to support our community as we emerge out of lockdown - a team of dedicated, passionate volunteers and community premises, situated on the edge of the town centre.
None of us need to be told about the increased social welfare needs that have arises in this last year - isolation, mental health, job loss, increased alcohol use, loneliness etc etc. These needs have always been present within our communities but have been exacerbated by the pandemic and will continue for the foreseeable future. We want to do something about meeting those needs in our area and help rebuild community cohesion and we need your help in a very specific way to help make that happen.
During the pandemic when restrictions allowed, we put socially distanced tables and chairs outside so people could bring their lunch and connect together. This was hugely appreciated by those who came so it got us thinking about using our inside facilities post pandemic to create a meeting space, with simple hospitality and a listening ear. This has led us to planning to start a new project inside our building, in partnership with Renew Wellbeing who already have 50 similar spaces nationwide. Their strap-line says it all 'a space where it's ok not to be ok'. The project will be centred around hobbies and work with mental health professionals in the area.
Given the number of people who use our premises over the week - community groups who used our premises pre-pandemic like exercise classes, tots groups, Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Scouts, luncheon clubs for the elderly in the community, addiction support groups and Scottish dancing, whom we hope to welcome back; our newly established Renew Wellbeing space plus our own church community - you can imagine this means the same cups, crockery and cutlery being used by a number of different people throughout the week.
Currently everything is washed by hand but given the number of different people who use our premises over the week and the transmission risks highlighted by Covid-19 we want to install a commercial dishwasher able to complete a wash and dry cycle within a few minutes, to provide the best possible hygiene for those using our facilities thus creating a safe, welcoming space. If we can raise the money for the dishwasher, the church will be able to pay for it to be properly installed.
What are our aims?
We want to use our people and premises to support our community well as we emerge from the pandemic by:
- creating hygienic dishwashing facilities for all those who use our premises;
- create a space, freely available on the edge of the town for community use;
- support our dedicate team of volunteers who will give their time, skills and energy to create and lead a drop-in Renew Wellbeing space, provide a welcome and listening ear to those who are most vulnerable in our community as we emerge out of lockdown and beyond. We will also partner with mental health professionals and social prescribers to ensure good inclusive practices.
What are the benefits of our work?
The clear benefit is that people who utilise our community facilities do so safely and hygienically but we hope the wider benefits are:
- for our premises to provide a safe, welcoming space, fir for purpose and open to all;
- create a sense of connectedness, community cohesion and support the most isolated to find a place of welcome and belonging, based around hobbies thus creating a renewed sense of purpose and wellbeing. The timing is important to ensure the right space is available now, as we emerge from lockdown;
- give people an opportunity to learn new skills and hobbies and to grow those they already have;
- support professionals and provide a space for 'low level' support where people can be referred and prevent further intervention being necessary.
How can you help?
Thank you so much for your interest in our project. We are asking for your generous donation to support the purchase of a commercial dishwasher. Your generosity together with our passion and commitment will provide much needed support to those who have been impacted by the pandemic, both in the shorter and longer term.