Hi everyone, it’s Jess here and I am the Well Doncaster Officer for the East of Doncaster. This is my first return to the blog since the start of my post in July 2019. Since then I have spent time in my role getting to know the communities I have been working with. It has been great to see the communities in the East learning about different resident’s perspectives and how proud they are of where they come from and showing me all the good their area has to offer. From local people doing their bit on a weekly litter pick, community groups coming together to help residents feel less alone to the number of hours residents volunteer their time to help support those in their community in need.
The importance of community has never seemed so important over the past 12 months of the east communities, facing the devastation of the floods together to now facing Covid-19 and all that has come with it.
It has been brilliant to see how communities have worked and pulled together though all this and I hope this post helps to highlight and celebrate just some of the amazing work taking place by some dedicated and selfless groups.
Moorends Miners Welfare and Community Development Centre (MMWCDC) are a big part of Community life in Thorne and Moorends – providing a youth club, social lunch clubs and exercises classes to name a few. During lockdown, they quickly realised a need for support in their area. Susan Durant, Ward Members and MMWCD volunteers got to work organising and sourcing food donations and working with other local organisations to quickly put together food packs for those shielding or in need. Linking with local schools and communities teams, the centre were working to support a larger number in the community, delivering up to 160 food parcels a week. Going the extra mile the centre also included activities for both adults and children in their food packs and provided a friendly face to chat to (all be it socially distanced) once a week for families and residents when delivering the parcels.
DN7 Community Foodbank have been in overdrive over the past few months and have had to make big changes to the way they work to cope with the demand. Before lock down, the food bank operated a walk in system with a listening service but with social distancing in palce, the foodbank quickly changed how they operated, with volunteers coming in the day before putting in extra hours to pre-make food packs to then be given out the next day. The foodbank where able to also help support those shielding by delivering to homes, something the foodbank had not been able to do before, with collaboration from Local Ward Member Georg Derx, DN7 were able to help support residents shielding in Barnby Dun.
The amount of time and dedication the organisers and volunteers of foodbanks have given to supporting the communities over the past few months has been outstanding and has helped to keep residents and families going through this tough time.
Stainforth4All are a pillar of the community in Stainforth; helping to run the local library, job club, hosting community groups and helping to lead local litter picks through SERVE just to name a few. With the library closed due to government guidance and many of their volunteers and Staff shielding all may of seemed quiet with the welcoming doors closed but that was certainly not the case! S4ALL have still been working hard to support Stainforth, offering micro grants of £100 to local community groups and not for-profit organisations to help boost community activity and help groups get back up and running after lockdown. SERVE have also restarted there litter picks following social distancing guidelines every Monday and Thursday at 9am where they meet outside the library.
It has also been great to see people moving more throughout the communities. Stainforth Family Hub got inventive during the past few months, attracting families out for a walk with a fun activity chalk path for children and families to follow and add too themselves. Thorne Boxing Club also successfully applied for the Active Communities Grant helping to adapt their sessions to be held outdoors and to follow new guidelines.
This blogpost features just some of the amazing work groups and individuals have been getting up to in the East of Doncaster. I am excited to continue to share the wonderful things that are to come from the East in future blogs. If you want to find out more or get involved in what is going on in the East please follow the social media pages:
Well Stainforth facebook page https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=well%20stainforth
Well Thorne and Moorends facebook page https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=well%20thorne%20and%20moorends.
@WellDoncaster on Twitter https://twitter.com/WellDoncaster