Award-winning organisation Community Stuff pulled out all the stops when the coronavirus threatened to disrupt their community projects.
Set up six years ago to make people happier, healthier and better connected through various free activities and events such as lunch clubs, Community Stuff knew they had to adapt quickly.
Why did you want to volunteer?
“We were already a vital link to elderly residents and knew we could help by delivering lunch to the elderly self-isolating in Eastbourne who were living on their own, too frightened to go shopping and have no other contact in the day,” explained Community Stuff director Clare Hackney.
What happened next?
An Awards for All grant initially intended to provide homemade soup and a roll, plus well being activities for a weekly session at Seaside Community Hub, was used to pay for a weekly delivery of soup and a roll to older people living in sheltered housing in Eastbourne. Clare and fellow director Sue Morris also promoted mental well being via a weekly activity pack which included crosswords, Sudoku and quizzes, all delivered with the soup.
Funding from Devonshire West Big Local enabled this service to be rolled out five days a week for residents in the Devonshire West area, with 100 residents currently being delivered to every day. Sussex Community Foundation has recently awarded additional funding to enable Community Stuff to extend the service across other areas of the town.
What have you got from volunteering?
People really enjoy the personal contact and it’s important they know they are not forgotten. The activity pack keeps their brains ticking over – it’s something to focus on other than what is going on in the world at the moment,” she said.
How do you feel you have played a part?
With the help of local voluntary organisation 3VA, more volunteers have been signposted to the project. They have been trained up and Community Stuff is ready to further extend their lunch service. Any Eastbourne resident aged over 70 who is self-isolating and in need of support can contact Sue to be signed up. To find out more, phone Sue on 07576 847 038.