Hello to all.
First and foremost, we hope you are all keeping safe and well during this difficult time. It is through difficult times, that we show who we are, as a community. And it was out of this pandemic, that Preston Mutual Aid was formed, with people; residents, businesses, charities, councillors, all coming together to help those in need.
On 17th March, we had vulnerable residents and those living with vulnerable family members, who found themselves needing assistance. Whether it was shopping that needed to be done, medication/prescriptions to be picked up, food to be distributed, mail to be posted or other assistance and signposting to relevant services, members of Preston Mutual Aid, as members of the community, sprang into action.
Immediately, we reached out to every resident in the ward via a leaflet drop, detailing who we are, what we do and how people can get in touch, whether they needed assistance, or wanted to volunteer to help. We got in touch with care homes, our schools, and residents associations, our faith groups and other community organisations in the ward, along with Preston Community Library, the Post Office, pharmacies, supermarkets, food banks and the council, from the outset to ensure we were working collectively to help as many people as possible.
Volunteers came from all areas of the ward; from Windermere Avenue, through to Carlton Avenue East and Preston Road, down to East Lane and the Hirst estate, Forty Avenue, Clarendon Gardens and Wembley Park Drive. All came wanting to help.
Following on from this, we have built up networks, which people are now able to rely on, connecting people who need assistance with those volunteers able to help. We have and will continue to put community engagement and the interest of the community at the heart of what we do. Our focus now is to maintain and continue building on these networks - to ensure that everyone who needs this type of assistance can get it.
In addition to what we have already achieved, we are widening our work to include more targeted issues and acute needs.
Currently, we have set up streams exploring and implementing solutions focused on:
- Fundraising: raise money for needed services in the area.
- Social media: provide information and advertise the work being done by the group.
- Mental health: assist people in these difficult times, around mental health and wellbeing
- Children and Young People: assisting with children’s learning and development.
- Foodbanks: work to get food to those people who need it.
- HR/Jobs/Financial: provide support and information for people around financial and employment related matters.
All of this is down to the hard work and effort of our volunteers!
Volunteering not only helps people in need but it can also help you personally, both mentally and in gaining new skills.
You can volunteer for as little or as much as you can manage. Here are some of the ways you can help:
- Helping with shopping for residents
- Volunteering to pick up medication
- Assisting with food for those who need it
- Are you a teacher that can help with tuition or provide advice to parents teaching at home?
- Do you work in the NHS and can help provide assistance in your professional capacity?
- Are you a personal trainer who would like to provide some online training sessions?
- Do you have a DBS check and want to use it to help people in the area?
Do you have any other skills/experience you would like to offer to the community, for example:
- Children and youth services
- Project management
- Content creation
These are difficult times, but we, as a community, are pulling together to help those who need the assistance.
Our volunteers and wider community have done so much already and we are indebted to them, but there is still much to do.
So would you like to help?
Would you like to be involved?
Have you got ideas for how we can best serve the community?
Or do you just want to find out more?
Please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
All the very best and stay safe
Preston Mutual Aid