Yeovil Community Church is a hub of support for all parts of the community including families, elderly people, homeless people, those suffering with poor mental health, young people, early years and much more. They host the Lord’s Larder foodbank and are the first port of call for people in need of support in Yeovil.
Adam Dyer, Yeovil Community Church Leader, told us how their £5,000 grant from the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal has helped them to take a leading role in co-ordinating volunteer groups in Yeovil to support isolated and vulnerable members of the community.
“We have a strong community focus, working face-to-face with our community. As the lockdown went into effect, we had to change our approach immediately, as we could no longer make home visits or run our contact centre. We have now adapted to working remotely, with virtual support for vulnerable young people and families.
We support families in crisis that are facing huge challenges to build their resilience. We’ve worked with 60 families in Yeovil during the lockdown period. Due to our quick transition to remote support, we ensured that nobody lost the critical support they need. Our job-club, youth groups, over 50s club, and parent and toddler groups have all successfully moved online, and they are looking forward to be able to see each other in person again soon.
“The church is an important support network in Yeovil and if we were not here to support our community, many people would struggle to find the help they need. We are a safe space where people can feel heard and receive advice to successfully navigate life. The foodbank has seen a 300% increase in demand and our volunteers have made sure that our most vulnerable and isolated community members who could not come and collect food parcels were still able to receive their food and prescriptions. Our volunteer network has been filling the gaps between smaller community support groups.
The grant has been a huge help which has allowed us to pay our volunteer coordinator and equip our family support workers with laptops to continue their work remotely. The speed of the Somerset Coronavirus Appeal grant award was brilliant and meant we were able to continue our work without interruption.”