We prepared an update for the Frome Times, detailing our work during the coronavirus pandemic so far:
Local Frome charity, Fair Frome, has been working flat out during the pandemic to ensure individuals and families in Frome who are vulnerable have been supported by the services they have been able to offer.
The charity says, “The situation meant that the normal services had to be curtailed or radically changed and new services created which enable them to respond to new challenges. Since the beginning of March until the end of May, Fair Frome has been on the frontline and kept their doors open every day including Bank holidays and has:
- Given out 404 food parcels to 912 referred people – three times the amount during the same period last year.
- Given out large amounts of additional food parcels and food to local schools to supplement families on free school meals.
- Distributed craft activity packs, sports equipment, games, books and school equipment to referred families
- Given over 500 vouchers to referred families for SK Fruits’ fruit and veg shop in the town.
- Collected over 17,000kgs of food donated by individuals, organisations and businesses
- Supported families on income-related free school meals by giving supermarket store vouchers to schools to distribute to 750 children
- Given out over £5,000 worth of goods to referred individuals and families including; white goods, reconditioned laptops for school pupils, bikes, shoes, clothes, emergency repairs, essential items of furniture and other household items.
- Started a Food at Five Takeaway service to provide hot meals for people on benefits and low incomes including street homeless.
- Supported local traders by purchasing fresh produce from local stores
- Recruited and trained an almost entirely new group of volunteers
- Chaired joint online meetings with charities, schools, and other statutory and voluntary groups to coordinate local responses to the pandemic.
- Promoted and delivered Sunflower lanyards, which are recognised by supermarkets and other businesses to let people know the wearer has hidden disabilities and might need extra help or prioritising in queues etc.
The Fair Frome team, Wendy, Lenka, Victoria, Karen and Bob said, “The past few months have been exhausting but rewarding. The pandemic and lockdown came upon us all so quickly.
“We were determined to keep services running as long as we could as we could see the huge additional needs that were arising as people were furloughed and temporary contracts and zero hours contracts ended.
“We have worked closely with our partners in schools, charities, businesses and statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure a joined-up approach which has been successful.
“None of this would have been possible without the support of all our volunteers and those individuals and organisations who have donated food and funds to not only keep our projects going but also find new ways to support the large amount of additional need. Thank you Frome!”