A Redditch-based charity that was set up during the first wave of COVID-19 has reactivated to deliver food parcels to the most vulnerable households across winter.

With £22,000 provided by DEFRA and administered by Redditch Borough Council, the charity has agreed a 12-week operation schedule to deliver food parcels as part of its ‘hardship recovery’ scheme, which also includes families in receipt of free school meals during the holiday periods.

In addition to this scheme the charity is also running a ‘self-isolation support service’ to assist anyone who is forced to isolate because of a positive COVID-19 test, and is even pulling together a hot meal delivery service for the homeless and most vulnerable groups.

On the self-isolation service, Mike Rouse, who is one of the founding Trustees and is also the Conservative Deputy Leader of Redditch Borough Council said:

“Evidence is emerging that people from lower socio-economic groups are more likely to break self-isolation, which is why the government provides a £500 payment, but in some cases that’s not going to go far enough to support the most deprived households.”

He added:

“If there’s anyone who is self-isolating and struggling, we can provide food parcels to keep them going, and keep them at home where they need to be. We can even help with other needs like medication collection or errands – we’ll do whatever it takes to support people to stay at home and save lives when they need to.”

The charity continues to work with partners such as the Disability Support Project and Redditch Baby Bank amongst others to ensure help is provided not only with food but with other needs such as managing finances.

Emma Marshall, also a Trustee, said:

“We are here to help people across Redditch get through winter by taking away the need to worry about providing food. We’re helping people right across the spectrum from families who are eligible for free school meals to pensioners having to choose between heating or eating, which was a problem before COVID-19 but is even worse now as we’re all being told to stay home as much as possible.”

Support Redditch is the only registered charity in the Redditch area with a specific COVID-19 focus. In addition to supporting households referred to them by the council and other agencies people can ‘Nominate a Neighbour’ to send help for people they think might be in need this winter.

The Nominate a Neighbour service is something the charity introduced during the first wave as people were concerned for family, friends and neighbours and they needed a way to identify them to Support Redditch for help.

Mike said:

“The Nominate a Neighbour system is a great way to get food parcels to anyone you know in the town who is struggling this winter. We have various data protection safeguards in place and have worked with the Information Commissioner’s Office over the summer to ensure that everything we do is GDPR-compliant.”

To nominate a neighbour for support visit www.supportredditch.net or call 01527 359 008. Referrals and enquiries can also be emailed to info@supportredditch.net