14 Dec HELP THROUGH A CHALLENGING CHRISTMAS – COMMUNITY MATTERS
By Gill Knight, Community Builder for Paignton South – Goodrington, Roselands, White Rock, Hookhills, Broadsands, Galmpton and Churston
In the build-up to Christmas, I read recently about a young mother, who when shopping, encourages her children to choose something for the foodbank basket – a lovely way to give them focus at the supermarket whilst also thinking of others.
For many however even the necessities are going to be a challenge, and whilst foodbanks are fully stretched all year round, it is things like tinned meats and fruit, soups, and essentials like toilet rolls, cleaning and personal care products which would be appreciated. I worked on the Community Helpline for the first year of COVID and came across many people who had tied themselves in knots prior to ringing for foodbank support. – They never expected this to happen to them, – and for many the possibilities will be very real this winter – heating or food (helpline calls have increased by over 200%). You may also have noticed that Libraries have rails of coats. – to help yourself if you are in need. – No questions, just put it on and walk away!
Have you noticed someone living alone nearby? Perhaps you could offer to plate up an extra Christmas meal for them, – a friendly face and warm food always makes people feel more connected, – or why not do this more regularly, – my colleagues and I can match you up with someone in your area who would be grateful.
The Warm Spaces project has community spaces that are opening regularly to offer warmth and companionship to locals who may be worrying about putting their heating on. In our area Churston Library, Hookhills Community Centre, and Time Out Community Café in Roselands, are inviting others to come and sit, keep warm and have a chat, without feeling time pressured. A hot drink will also be available. There are also very few opportunities in Roselands where you can meet others, so with extended hours at Time Out Community Space we urge you to pop along and make some new friends.
We continue to have requests for telephone befrienders or visiting befrienders, so should you enjoy chatting and have spare time to call others, please get in touch. We can find you someone local who would love to hear from you.
In the meantime, I hope you have a warm and happy festive season, and a peaceful new year.
To get in touch with Gill, call 07884 887063 or email [email protected]
Snow Heart in gloves photo courtesy of Freepik.com