People from every ward helped by One Wellingborough project during pandemic

More than 900 people have been helped with hot and cold meals as well as shopping, collecting prescriptions and welfare calls
Abigail Why, Sarah de la Roch and Marion Turner-Hawes from the One Wellingborough projectAbigail Why, Sarah de la Roch and Marion Turner-Hawes from the One Wellingborough project
Abigail Why, Sarah de la Roch and Marion Turner-Hawes from the One Wellingborough project

People from every ward in the town have been helped by the One Wellingborough project and the support is set to continue with more funding from the council.

Back in April, the Victoria Centre and Glamis Hall formed One Wellingborough to help anyone who is vulnerable, shielding or isolated during the pandemic.

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With financial support from Wellingborough Council, the project has helped more than 900 people across the town in the past three months.

Marion Turner-Hawes, manager at the Victoria Centre, said: "Everyone has been pulling together and doing their best.

"We have done over 1,300 meals in this three-month period, which is hot and frozen meals.

"We have helped over 900 people in this time with over 3,000 support assists.

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"A lot of people we have helped have been self-isolating but we have also helped people with economic stuff caused by lockdown.

Jo Peploe, Ali Hill, Abigail Why and Sarah de la Roch from the One Wellingborough projectJo Peploe, Ali Hill, Abigail Why and Sarah de la Roch from the One Wellingborough project
Jo Peploe, Ali Hill, Abigail Why and Sarah de la Roch from the One Wellingborough project

"We have done nearly 2,000 welfare calls in this three-month period, as well as over 150 shopping trips for people, 250 medicine trips and then there's a few physical welfare checks.

"Other categories of help include helping people get electric top-ups and collecting prescriptions.

"It's all emergency support and helping people with the things that were coming up for them."

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Referrals have come from sources including the Covid-19 response team at Northants County Council, Wellingborough Council, Daylight Centre, Age UK, schools and self-referrals.

Marion said: "Our contract was to focus on helping people in Wellingborough town as there were other groups helping in the rest of the borough.

"The highest number of people that we've helped have been in the Croyland and Swanspool wards, then Brickhill and Queensway, then Rixon (Hemmingwell) and Hatton, Victoria and Isebrook wards and then Redwell so we have helped people in every ward.

"Two thirds of the people that we have helped are over 60.

"And we have been working with other groups including Feed The Need - they have been feeding 50 families per week.

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"We have been supporting other groups like Wellingborough Helping Hands and Hemmingwell Hearts.

"We get Fareshare deliveries so we have been passing food on for food parcels."

But none of this would have been possible without the four members of staff and volunteers at One Wellingborough.

Marion said: "I think about 30 to 40 people registered as volunteers so it's about 15 or 16 volunteers each week going out and supporting the team of four workers.

"People are also preparing the food.

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"It's been a real army of volunteers being galvanised to support people through this.

"There's been some great support.

"It's been an immense achievement and it really shows that the people of this community do care about each other and the more we know about each other, the more we want to help each other.

"Wellingborough is a very diverse town and with the support across all the different groups that are helping, thank you is just too minimal for the efforts and contributions that everyone has made.

"But we don't need to stop, we can keep helping each other.

"They have had an amazing impact on our community and it can continue.

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"It really shows how much we need each other and continue to need each other."

One couple which has been helped by the project said life would be 'unbearable' without One Wellingborough and to know there is a friendly voice on the end of the phone that is kind, supporting and understanding.

And with the project securing further funding from Wellingborough Council, they are hoping to build on their success with a new project.

Marion said: "With One Wellingborough Plus, we are trying to build on this.

"We need to keep this momentum of support going.

"The difficulties we are facing are not going away.

"There's a lot more we want to do and we want to inspire."

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