Updated: Feb 21
For everyone, the past year has been a very different experience and certainly not what most people were expecting. For us it's been hard work but also uplifting!
Last March, when the pandemic was heading our way, working with our incredible NHS colleagues at Neston and Willaston Primary Care Network, we started to prepare for what we thought would be a difficult time, little did we know that almost 18 months on we would still be dealing with this horrible virus and its affects, not only on those that contracted it but almost everyone we know.
We're not going to give you the story, you all have your own but in the spirit of understanding what #SmallButVital means we thought we'd share with you what we are very proud to have achieved with a small but dedicated staff team (there was only 5 of us),our incredible Trustees, partners, volunteers and funders who backed our efforts. So, in the last 12 months we have:
Supported 748 people during the first lockdown to ensure everybody was able to access food, medicines, human contact and other little things.
Delivered 248 afternoon teas to (almost all) members of Neston Female Society.
Ensured that access to services such as Job Centre, Foodbank, Citizens Advice was maintained at a time when more people than ever needed them.
Enabled Vivo Care Choices to continue to offer vital support to their clients
Started an Open Kitchen Programme with Elephant Collective which has so far produced over 600 meals for local people that need help
Delivered more than 40 Christmas Dinners to people living alone and families who were finding things a challenge
Distributed more than £2000 in vouchers and gifts to families at Christmas
Supported Hip & Harmony CIC to produce an incredible programme to replace our Christmas Lights Switch On.
Launched an online version of Neston Flicks
Supported the rollout of vaccines to everyone in the the first 10 priority groups
Employed a Social Prescriber who supports local people and our local surgeries
Started a Mental Health Support Group, online at first but now running face to face
Started a Bereavement Support Group
Started a counselling service for local young people who have been challenged in ways few will understand
Continued to provide our Neston Angels service over the phone and online to older people who are more isolated
Co-ordinated the efforts of volunteers
We have reprofiled our website 4 times to handle different needs at different times
And finally, planned for the future with free programmes that will support local people's recovery including mindfulness and walking football
All of this was done whilst losing our main source of income, our building! Without being able to hire out space, we have relied on funding more than ever before including donations from local people, thank you!
We clearly didn't do this alone, without the support of funders, volunteers, local businesses and other organisations this would have been impossible so we just wanted to say, in no particular order
Christmas Dinner Angels
Ellesmere Port and Neston Community Transport
Neston Rotary Club
Hip & Harmony CIC
The Westminster Foundation
The Charities Aid Foundation
National Lotteries Community Fund
Power to Change
Neston and Willaston Primary Care Network
Cheshire West Voluntary Action