When the COVID-19 lockdown first hit, Southern Brooks and South Gloucestershire Council joined forces to ensure that people across the county had support and access to government supplied food parcels. It rapidly became apparent that this wasn't going to be a short-term situation, so we ramped up our support to include a 7-day phone support service, offering food parcels, prescription collections, food collection and delivery, foodbank referrals, virtual and phone support, and moved our entire service delivery online. We also provided regular phone calls to check on people who may be lonely and isolated.
In South Gloucestershire, a large number of Community Mutual Aid groups were quickly established to offer support to those who were vulnerable and/or self-isolating. We offered support to these groups, and together with South Gloucestershire Council and CVS South Gloucestershire, worked together with Mutual Aid groups and other organisations within the community to make sure that people in South Gloucestershire accessed the help and support they needed to stay safe and well.
- 1703 Total enquiries
- 801 Food enquiries
- 179 Prescription enquiries
- 534 Food parcels delivered
- 123 Prescriptions delivered
- 87 Wellbeing referrals made
- 142 Mutual Aid Group referrals made
- 75 Mutual Aid Groups supported
- 92 Foodbank referrals
- 20 Food parcels delivered weekly to families in Cranleigh Court, Yate
- 15 Soup runs made weekly in Cranleigh Court, Yate
- 126 Potential volunteers supported in Kingswood
- 18 Organisations were supported to create volunteer placements in Kingswood
- 14 Organisations were supported to create volunteer placements in Yate
- 1337 arts and crafts packs delivered to young people
- 148 Residents worked with our community development team in Cranleigh Court, Yate
- 3 Community events held in Abbotswood, Yate
- 17 People were supported to volunteer in Patchway
- 1 Community consultation was carried out in Kingswood1Community consultation was carried out in Patchway
- 3 Accredited youthwork courses delivered
- 37 Learners attended youth work courses
- 21 Participants entered the employment support programme
Health and Wellbeing
- 91 People attended peer support groups
- 7 Wellbeing courses were delivered
- 41 People received 1:1 counselling/CBT
- 36 Developing Health and Independence clients worked on wellbeing plans
- 10 DHI peers supported wellbeing activities
- 951 People worked with our social prescribers
- 44 Bromford residents were supported by our mentor
- 82 Parents with a child diagnosed with an autistic spectrum condition attended Cygnet training
- 24 People attended grief and bereavement support groups
- 3 Volunteers supported dementia groups and individuals
- 8 Families received dementia support packs
- 1000 Winter Warmer packs distributed
Community Development and Volunteer Centres
We were busy helping communities and community groups get the food they needed during a very difficult time. In Patchway we worked with Fairshare every Thursday to deliver food to vulnerable people. In Yate we delivered donated food from supermarkets to local groups and organisations, for them to deliver to local people in need. In Kingswood we worked with Trussell Trust, local churches and volunteers to set up a network of support to ensure people could access the food they need.
Volunteer Centre colleagues supported our work by contacting volunteers and organisations they had worked with to check on their situation - and collectively, with support from other colleagues, we created a database of local organisations and community groups across South Gloucestershire providing support to communities.
The Patch Youth Centre in Patchway
The Patch moved to an online platform on via Facebook, posting fun activities to do during this time, the worst jokes, blogs, ideas on how to keep a healthy mind and body and positive messages. The Patch youth workers created and delivered arts and crafts activity packs to children and young people all over Patchway and Charlton Hayes, and also delivered sanitary items for young women. They kept in contact with the young people who attended the youth centre, continuing to build relationships and help support young people and their families during the pandemic.
Originally designed to help eliminate social isolation, our Social Prescribing team quickly adapted their service in order to help to facilitate it safely, ensuring that Isolated did not have to mean lonely. They helped clients to access deliveries, medications, welfare calls, liaise with agencies and facilitate food parcels to those in need. They worked closely with practice managers and GPs to make sure that they could offer support to everyone that may need it. GPs identified those in most need of the social prescribing service referred them to us.
West of England Works
Our BBO team continued to support clients over the phone, email and other virtual platforms, offering 1-2-1 support to help clients into employment, education or training.
Our wellbeing service moved to only offering online and phone support. They worked closely with South Gloucestershire Council to provide support for the most vulnerable people during this difficult time.
Whilst all Memory Cafes closed during the pandemic, we offered support in other ways, including regular phone check ins and delivering activity packs to our Retreat memory cafe members, offering a telephone 'cafe' service, and running dementia friends sessions online.