As previously reported FC United have been supporting our local community during the Covid-19 pandemic, and in conjunction with North Manchester Business Network
, Broadhurst Park is being used as a logistics hub for the collection, packing and delivery of vital food supplies to households in the Moston area.
A successful shopping trip
Those in need were initially mainly vulnerable older adults. This group of service users quickly grew to include: adults and children who are shielded due to various health etc conditions, families in hardship, Covid sufferers and those recovering from Covid 19, people with no support networks or even in some cases none at all. For some in social isolation our delivery driver is the only outside contact they have. Alongside these, the hub provides "emergency" packages when signposted to a problem by NHS professionals, community care navigators, social and care workers etc.
A delivery waiting to be unloaded
During the last few weeks, the number of people and households that are being supported has trebled. At first 17 households were supported, now it’s 51
, equating to some 95 of the most vulnerable people in our society. The project has been warmly received by people in the Moston area – one typical response has been:
“Thank God we’ve got things like this, FC United and their volunteers”
Setting up for the packers
It has also featured in a recent ‘Granada Reports’ (Click to watch)
households are contacted before the day to order a delivery and to check what food they need. Sometimes the requests include other basics, such as washing powder, bleach, shampoo, conditioner, soap. Requests are met if those commodities are available at Broadhurst Park. Carol, the coordinator of North Manchester Business Network, then collates these requests onto a master sheet which acts as a guide to the packers to decide what is suitable for the particular household from what is available. This is largely dependent on what has been donated by local and nationwide businesses, but it is supplemented by special purchases to ensure that basic food essentials are supplied to each household. Once the items have been picked and packed, they are put ready for the drivers to collect and deliver them.
Setting out a delivery
The club will need financial support to ensure the supply of foodstuffs as this will not be met by donations alone. This will enable us to buy gloves, masks and other consumable items to ensure we can do this vital work in a safe way. We have had some fantastic support in the shape of a start-up grant from Buzz Well-Being Manchester
, and grants from ’We Love Manchester’
as part of the COVID Community Response Fund and from Greater Manchester Mental Health
has provided a cash donation.
Some bags waiting for a driver
We have also had generous support from some great companies, so please join us in thanking:
We Love MCR Charity @mcr_charity
buzz Manchester @buzzmanc
For providing food and drink:
Fine Lady Bakery http://www.heygates.co.uk/general/fine-lady-bakery/
Grandads Sausages @GSausages
Hollands Pies @HollandsPies
Kandy King @corolldraw
Green’s Butchers of Glossop
Biffa: heavy duty delivery bags
Manchester City Football Club: unused match day refreshments
The Coop, Piccadilly Approach: donated goods
B and M, One Below: purchases at staff discount rates
CostCo: £200 of products and allowing purchases to be made when the store is closed to the general public
Npower: a van and a man
For providing a man and van and 24/7 support: Master Moves @mastermovesltd
For providing hand sanitiser: HMG Paints Ltd @HMGpaints
Warren Thorpe: face masks
Members of the public have also made cash donations in sums varying from £5 to £250.
Thank you also to:
The merry band of volunteers (drawn from the local community, FC United supporters and members of North Manchester Business Network) who have given their time to collect and deliver items to Broadhurst Park, to sort them into various categories, pick and pack, and to deliver parcels to those in need.
Thank you to everyone involved in supporting this vital initiative - this truly is a time of crisis, and we as a community should strive to bring each other through it safely.
If you would like to contribute in any way then call Vinny Thompson on 07792 833086
One very happy recipient
A typical day at Broadhurst Park on delivery days:
The doors to the St Mary’s Road End community space open between 8 and 9am, depending on who has arranged to come in early. As they arrive, each volunteer visits the sanitising centre by the door to collect and put on their PPE. Already some of the goods collected during the previous few days have been set out in their
designated spaces, ready for being picked and collected. Further deliveries soon arrive.
Meat, cheese and fruit and vegetables are being separated from catering packs into individual portions. Soon the packing sheets for each household are distributed to the pickers and packers. As each household’s food pack is completed, they are ticked off the master sheet and put ready for the drivers to collect and deliver.
Most delivery drivers arrive between 11.30 and 12.30 – hopefully their food packs are all ready and waiting! They also pick up their PPE. The drivers collect their sheet of names and addresses to which they are delivering and they are off to help someone through the following few days with fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, milk and
bread and with some longer lasting tinned soups, vegetables and fruit. There may be some cakes, biscuits, snacks and bottled drinks as a bit of a treat.
The mad rush subsides at about 1.00pm and remaining volunteers begin the clean down process and restock tables/shelves for the next delivery of the service, ready to start all over again, the process is a continuous cycle and we need your support.