Ten Northamptonshire groups have been recognised for their hard work during the pandemic in feeding people and helping each other survive.
Northamptonshire Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) has published a booklet of ‘Covid-19 community champions’.
There are 76 groups across the county recognised in the booklet, in a number of different categories.
All those nominated will be invited to join a virtual celebration next week.
Elaine O’Leary, chief executive of Northamptonshire ACRE said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the number of entries submitted and the quality and range of support these volunteers are providing to the most vulnerable people in their community.
“With everything that has happened over the past few months, we think it is important to showcase and celebrate the fantastic work going on in Northamptonshire.”
Here are the ten groups that were nominated for the ‘helping people to survive the pandemic’ category and more information about the work they have done.
1. RBN Gurdwara Sahib Northampton
A central tenet of the Sikh faith is looking after those in need and the RBN Gurdwara Sahib, the Sikh Place of Worship in Northampton, was certainly a hub for that in 2020.
Their help was initially for the elderly and vulnerable within their own community, providing vegetable curries every week, but has grown to regularly supplying the Hope Centre
in Northampton and any in the Duston community who need their help every week, as well as food packages via local schools, and now a regular foodbank at the Gurdwara.
2. The Shack Food Bank
Local mum Claire and other volunteers set up a store during the first lockdown in her conservatory. Supported by Tesco and Morrisons, they put together food parcels and delivered them to elderly people in the area.
After a bit, they reopened the community centre in Grange Place, Kettering and started helping with prescriptions and mental health support. For many people, this was a lifeline – somewhere to go each week to chat and collect some supplies. There was also a charity shop, with donated clothes, and some bedding.
The shop remained open in Geddington for a while, and the centre is open every Tuesday.
ACRE says: “Well done Claire and friends for helping everyone get through the lockdown and for keeping life as normal as possible for local people!”
3. The Old Swan, Earls Barton
During the lockdown, they provided a service by delivering take away meals to those in need in Earls Barton.
Paul says that they helped and supported more than 1,000 people over the 14-week lockdown, delivering more than 7,000 meals.
The ages ranged from people in their 20s up to those in their 90s. Anyone who needed free food was helped.
It had a massive effect on the community and brought everyone together.
4. Daventry’s Danetre Rotary Club
Daventry’s Danetre Rotary Club stepped up to the plate when called upon early in the first lockdown.
The Danetre Rotarians helped turn £2,000 worth of food into emergency food parcels, which were distributed from the Daventry Leisure Centre. Co-ordinated by Brian Thomas, they also helped members of the community by delivering
food parcels when requests for them came in, sometimes at very short notice.