We have been very busy since the last update with renovating our bus whilst continuing with our valuable services to the community.
To meet regulations we have been following guidelines in preparing our kitchen and cold room for food prep and storage. As we are relying on volunteers it has been a slow, but steady journey and we are at a final push for completion. The bus was purchased as a new home for PCA HQ to help us combat food and fuel poverty, food waste, malnutrition, loneliness, isolation fatigue and cultural deprivation as we continue to support the more vulnerable in our neighbourhood. For the last 6 months and until completion we are very grateful to the Methodist Church in Pewsey who have been letting us use their Wesley Hall for our operations.
It has meant that we have been able to continue with our weekly BURP (Basic Universal Resource Plan) packages, weekly home-cooked meals and deliveries, twice weekly foodshare and our Saturday morning Community Market and Friendship Cafe.
Our Buddy Crew which is our befriending service has also continued to operate, offering friendly support to those who still feel isolated through one thing or another. We had some lovely feedback from some of the recipients of this service:
“I hadn’t left home for over a year and my buddy helped me build confidence for those first visits out to the shops and to the market.”
Some of our current buddies have been encouraged to join clubs and become more socially connected in the wider community.
Our Friendship café is a great way forward for the social connection we promote, strengthening the mental wellbeing of our visitors who can also pick up their fresh fruit and veg for a donation, encouraging healthy eating, fighting food poverty and malnutrition.
Foodshare helps minimise food waste and at a time when living expenses are increasing it can help fill a gap for a baked treat or two.
We have cooks making around 30 meals a day, once a week and a dispatch team delivering to recipients homes. Not only do these meals provide good nutrition, but they provide good social contact and our patrons look forward to the visits as well as the delicious meals. They don’t all have families nearby and for some this may be the only home cooked meal they have all week:
“By having your help as well, it makes them feel less vulnerable, your weekly meals are the highlight of their week, and of great delight to their tastebuds, their soul and general well being and recognition that in life, people do care xxxxx”
Amidst all of this our Creative Communities team managed to pull together a Christmas treat with a Santa’s Grotto, lantern parade with African drumming, culminating with Christmas tree lights switch on by the big man himself, with live music by The Pewsey Players and Pewsey Belles.
There were mince pies and hot chocolates donated by our local supermarkets. With help from local schools and businesses providing technical, professional and physical support and a good turnout this was a real community accomplishment.
It is with the support from our community that we can continue to help relieve stress to so many. Businesses and locals who volunteer their time, expertise and products for free, we thank you on behalf of the people you help out.
We’d also like to thank our donors – the money we raise really helps improve the lives of our most vulnerable.
Let’s keep this Positive Community Action alive.
If you’d like to volunteer please sign on at ourpca.uk