Published on 1st May 2020

Funding from Cheshire police and crime commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund has been awarded to a social supermarket who will remove membership fees during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

CHANCE Changing Lives have removed all membership fees and set up an important delivery scheme to keep in contact with their often vulnerable customers.

The charity, which usually operates a daily social supermarket and Saturday kitchen for homeless people in Crewe, have ceased normal activities to adhere to social distancing, and are now focusing on delivering food to vulnerable people and their families as well as providing them with much needed support during these difficult times.

The £3 weekly fee has been waivered and members are receiving parcels of food, continence and sanitary items, and baby products. The charity decided to waive the fee to enable families to focus their limited resources and relieve the stress associated with food poverty at this challenging time.

Whilst members are benefitting from this reduction, the charity has experienced an increase in costs resulting from the drop in income. The group are unable to access their normal channels of sourcing food and have had to seek financial support to maintain provision.

Sandra Link, Trustee, said: “We are extremely grateful for the Commissioner’s support and it will enable us to continue delivery of food and other essential items to the doors of the 100 local residents of Crewe and Nantwich, who are extremely vulnerable and isolated, during this very difficult pandemic.

“We know our members often struggle to put food on the table and now more than ever we need to rally round and support them. Nobody deserves to feel hungry or go without essential items which aid personal care and improve hygiene.”

PCC David Keane added: “There are so many families in communities across Cheshire who will undoubtedly be hard-hit by a reduction in local support services coupled with a reduction in income. The current pandemic increases the likelihood that families will need to reach out and ask for help.

“CHANCE Changing Lives have recognised that people may be experiencing greater pressures and they have volunteered that lending hand to all their members. Charities like this are proving to be a lifeline for families and I am so pleased to offer this support to stop people having to find alternative ways to obtain essential items.”

“It’s important to recognise that the Safer Communities express grant fund isn’t just about reducing crime directly, it’s also about creating stronger, more cohesive communities who come together to support one another and which in turn makes these communities more resilient to crime.”

As part of his response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Commissioner is awarding a £1,000 express grant each day to different organisations across the county. To find out more about how you can apply for the funding please visit: https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-i-do/making-cheshire-safer/safer-communities-fund/