This blog post focuses on the work our Well Doncaster officer, Faye McDool, has achieved within her new community, Mexborough.
Here’s what Faye has to say…
In the midst of a global pandemic, Well Doncaster officers were given the opportunity to branch out their work in new communities. Within the south, my new community was Mexborough. Given the circumstances we found ourselves in, my expectations were that there was going to be limited activities or groups actively running. However in reality, this was not the case and the energy I was met with and the community spirit which was noticeable from the get go, was exciting!
I started working in Mexborough in April 2020, where foodbanks were and are continuing to work tirelessly to ensure the most vulnerable in our communities have food, essentials and support. In such a short space of time, I have engaged with many great organisations within the community and this has involved supporting the outstanding work of FoodAware and Mexborough foodbanks. Being able to widen the capacity of Well Doncaster communities has allowed these food banks to access £5,000 of funding from SYFAB, DMBC, DCLT, fight back fund, Critical Extremely Vulnerable funding and various others. With the demand for food so high and the donations even greater, some found themselves needing support in storing goods. I was also able to support with the purchases of white goods, along with PPE supplies and cool boxes for foods to be safely transported in.
Away from Covid related work, it was great to see Active Dearne had also begun their work within Mexborough, so side by side, we began working together with existing and new groups to get residents moving more. To kick things off, myself and Angela, who is the community champion for Denaby and also a resident of Mexborough, were approached by Mexborough Baptist Church, where we launched ‘Mum Walks’. This proved a massive hit and on the first session saw 20 attendees including mums, grandparents and children! Since then, in partnership we have built relationships with a number of physical activity groups such as Mind Over Matter, Active heART Hub, Mexborough Sports Club and these connections have proved successful as we have had five successful Active Community Grant in Mexborough!
With support from the Community Wealth Builder project, we have been supporting Bee You Wellbeing and Counselling service who have now secured a premises within Mexborough and funding to launch their service. Another great venture to keep an eye out for and another that shows the great development currently happening in Mexborough at the moment.
During the summer of 2020, I carried out an appreciative enquiry within Mexborough where I asked residents what has been successful in Mexborough, to name a time when something positive happened in the community and who was involved at the time. After theming the responses, it was clear residents’ cause for concerns were centred around the need for community cohesion, the economy and safety. These themes were the main focus of discussion in the Mexborough Dream sessions that followed. It was evident there was a need for residents to have an opportunity to celebrate what already exists within the community and so, I set about working with the community to strengthen this. I am currently working with residents of Mexborough to launch a social media page to give the community a platform to share their experiences, good news stories and develop some cohesion.
I’d just like to go back to how I opened this blog post over expectation and the reality…it is clear that there is a thirst and eagerness within Mexborough to develop and strengthen the local area and I am hyped by the energy I have been met with.
Just a quick side note for now, I am currently working with Love Mexborough regarding some projects they wish to launch once the pandemic is over…so watch this space and I look forward to updating you in my next blog!