The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge affect on everyone, and we have found an increase in families facing financial difficulties, mental health issues i.e. anxiety stress seemed to increase from March onwards. With schools being closed and workplaces closed it became a very stressful time for parents and carers with the children being at home full time. The lockdown had an impact on every aspect of people’s lives, from higher food bills, gas, and electricity to a big feeling of isolation due to digital barriers. It has shown us how valuable our group sessions are to families and carers who have really missed meeting weekly and getting the support from one another.
Our grant from the Lord Provost Fund allowed us to buy food vouchers from Sainsbury’s Store in Berryden. We bought the £25 gift cards from the store which was local to most ofour families that were in need of help. Many of our families were looking for financial help because they were either furloughed from their job or laid off permanently. We purchased cards so they could be used during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Each family that was referred to the project were given the cards personally by Project staff and our volunteers. We did this by delivering to each of the homes who were most of need of help.
The gift cards also helped to purchase emergency clothing for the children and did not make the families stand out from anyone else The grant allowed families to purchase electric and gas tokens for their meters, as afew of our families did not have any more credit.
We listed all parents individually and divided the amount of cards by the numbers of the children who were in each family. Our staff and volunteers delivered all the gift cards to each home and were able to see how families were doing.
The funding from the Lord Provost was very quick to respond to the needs of the families that were affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, which made it easier for staff to get the food to the families who needed it the most.
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