Taunton East Development Trust runs the Link Centre: an active and popular community centre in the heart of the Halcon area of Taunton. We awarded them a £2,500 grant to provide food parcels and support to vulnerable families. Trustee Bill and Denise, Link Centre Manager, told us more about how the grant helped them change how they now support people in need, since the coronavirus outbreak.
“When the lockdown first went into effect, our response to supporting our community changed overnight. Rather than the people coming to visit us, we began to act more like a control centre, coordinating food parcels for families, prescription collections and even offering a listening ear for those who needed it on the phone. We respond to any needs that come up – we have even managed to arrange a repair for a broken stairlift.
In the first few weeks, we had 167 requests for help. A lot of local people rely on our support – if we weren’t here so many of them would struggle on their own. We help one elderly gentleman with his shopping – he’s 94 years old and emails his shopping list to us every week. This personal service also stops him from becoming lonely. We’ve supported many families whose childrens’ food vouchers have been delayed due to the schools being shut. Our food parcels have made a huge difference to their lives and made them feel less vulnerable. I have been invited to pop round for a cup of tea at the homes of many grateful families – once social distancing ends, of course.
Thanks to the grant from the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal, we’re able to get food and prescriptions to those in the community who need it most.”