Published on 30th April 2020

Commissioner enables local church to deliver food packages for residents in emergency need

Funding from Cheshire police and crime commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund has been awarded to a Cheshire church who will now be able to deliver food packages to people self-isolating or shielding from the Coronavirus.

(Image taken before social distancing restrictions)

St Bartholomew’s Church will be able to take their ‘food friends’ service on the road and deliver direct to the door of those families in Wilmslow who are self-isolating or are in financial hardship.

The ‘food friends’ group, which usually operates a drop-in session at the Church in the small town, has seen an increase in referrals to the service since the start of the pandemic and is supporting some homeless people from the local area.

The voluntary group will use the funds to purchase essential items, support the associated delivery costs of the outreach service and support our most vulnerable. The group are currently responding to emergencies only in order to manage demand.

PCC David Keane said: “The coronavirus continues to add extra pressure onto families living in smaller communities who may have reduced income and we continue to see the numbers of those affected increase.”

“St Bartholomew’s Church have recognised the need to reach out and ensure those experiencing financial hardship can gain access to essential supplies, advice and support. The team of volunteers are working tirelessly to ensure people are supported at this challenging time and this will undoubtedly make a huge difference to all the families. Safer Communities funding will enable ‘food friends’ to adapt their excellent work to meet the demands of vulnerable people who rely on the service during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“The Safer Communities express grant fund is about empowering local people to take action and this is another great example of we can all find alternative solutions to maintain support at a critical time of need.”

Flo Knowles, manager of Food Friends, added: “The impact of this home delivery service will be huge and it will make a valuable contribution to many vulnerable people and their families.

“Despite being in isolation, our delivery service ensures that members of the community who need our help know that somebody cares and is willing to lend a hand.

“We thank the PCC for enabling us to purchase further essentials and we want the community of Wilmslow to know we are here if you need us.”

To find out more about how you can apply for a Safer Communities Fund Express Grant please visit: https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-i-do/making-cheshire-safer/safer-communities-fund/

For further information, please contact Cheshire OPCC pcc@cheshire.pnn.police.uk or 01606 364000.