Summer 2020 Newsletter

Note From Kate

It is such a long time since we’ve seen you all and we miss you!During lockdown my Husband Ernesto and I have both been working from home – he’s been making television programmes in the kitchen and I’ve a spot in the sitting room with Hemingway the cat, who has also been “helping” me do jigsaws – they take twice as long as they should! We’ve decided that if we’re going to carry on working at home, we need a proper office so have started looking at ideas.I thought you might be interested in hearing about our funding successes over the past three months. As you can imagine, we were a bit worried about losing income from our activities and from the fundraising events that we couldn’t hold. However, we’ve had an amazing response from the local community – for example, the Covid Co-operation group gave us over £1,800 from their Crowdfunder for local charities and the Brigantes Rotary Club gave us £500 as well as sponsoring our scone deliveries.We are very grateful to the following Trusts and Foundations which have given us grants ranging from £1,000 to £10,000:

  • The National Lottery, Two Ridings Community Foundation, Allen Lane Foundation, The Albert Hunt
  • Trust, Liz and Terry Brammal Foundation, 29th May 1961 Trust, The Ruby and Will George Trust, The
  • Linden Trust, Persimmon Community Champions and Tesco Bags of Help

All of this means that we are in a strong financial position at the moment but we need to keep the momentum going! If you would like to support us, two ways you can do so are by joining our 100 Club or the Local Lotto and nominating us as your charity. Please ask us if you would like more information about either of these.I also want to say a big thank you to all of you who have given us donations or sent us cards to thank us for our work during lockdown. We were delighted to receive them all and know that we have been able to make a difference.We hope that the restrictions start to ease off so we can see you all again. We’ll share our plans in this newsletter.And… I finally have a hair appointment on 15th July – I can’t wait. My hair is getting wider, not longer and my fringe is very lop-sided!Lots of love, Kate xx

Note From Julia

Oh my goodness I have lockdown hair! At my last hair appointment I decided not have my hair cut as I was pleased with the style – this was six weeks before the hairdressers all closed down. As you can imagine it has grown to a fair length and is need of a little colour! All will be well on the 7th July at 4pm – cannot wait.My lovely daughter, Alicia has been isolating with me and we have been getting on very well – enjoying the glorious weather, exercising together (when the mood takes me) and making some fab food.I had great plans to have every drawer tidy, sort my kitchen and perhaps learn a new language – so far this has not happened – work does get in the way! We have had a clear out and are looking forward to the charity shops opening to drop off three huge bags.I am now looking forward to the “new normal” whatever that maybe – see our plans later in this newsletter. I have missed our get togethers, trips and even singing! Hope to see you soon.Lots of Love , Julia x x x

Note From Lorna

What can I say about these strange and scary times!! It has definitely been a challenge for me and my family. As a lot of you may know I’m in the process of renovating a barn and have already sold our old house so during Covid 19 our living situation became very complicated. Tom, my husband works on ambulances so at the peak of the pandemic we felt it would be safer for him to live away from the family in a hotel, and us to move in with my parents. He had a great time, learning to play the guitar and going on long bike rides, all whilst I was attempting to home school a 4 and 7 year old (which is not a joy or a pleasure). Roll on September when I can get them back into school!!All jokes aside, I have actually enjoyed part of the home schooling, especially when I can see development in the girls learning!Over the last few months, I’ve spoken to lots of you on the phone which has been lovely, but I do hope we can meet up soon!Lots of Love, Lorna x x

Press Coverage

We’ve had lots of really positive coverage of our work in the press and local media during the pandemic. We have been featured in the Advertiser, Stray FM and Radio York and Paul Welch had a feature written about him and his wonderful meals in the Yorkshire Post, which we’ve included with this newsletter. In the last few days, one of our members was interviewed by Calendar News about the difference our support has made to her during lockdown. We have a copy of the interview which we’ll put on social media and share with as many people as we can – we were very excited!

How Supporting Older People has Evolved During Covid-19

When Boris announced lockdown we realised we needed to hit the ground running and transform Supporting Older People into a different service. As any face to face befriending or activities were not allowed we transformed into a telephone befriending service – we had already piloted a scheme last year. We also offered a shopping and prescription pick up service. We asked for more volunteers and we were delighted with the response, gaining 100 new people all willing to help. We contacted all our members to see how we could help and we have another 50 plus new people wanting help.We have been so lucky to have the Harrogate Round Table supporting us.Along with our new volunteers we have been able to help XXX with telephone calls, shopping and anything else. Waitrose contacted us and said they would supply £15 bags of shopping free of charge to help the most vulnerable during the pandemic. Once the funds from Waitrose were depleted the Harrogate Round Table sought funding and have kept the Waitrose bag incentive going on a weekly basis.We have teamed up with Paul from Pablo’s Kitchen to deliver delicious frozen foods. Paul cooks his varied dishes from his wonderful kitchen in Harrogate – see the attached article from the Yorkshire Post to read more about him. VE Day was celebrated with a sweet treat supplied by Rob Whitehead from Stirrd, printing sponsored by the Fisher Partnership and delivered by a wonderful team of volunteers. The Harrogate Brigantes Rotary Club approached us to help with a joint venture. We decided an afternoon cream scone would be perfect with the possibility of everyone joining together over a phone call at 4pm. Again volunteers helped with this and we received some wonderful messages expressing how grateful everyone was and how delighted they are that we are thinking of them.

Future Plans

Whilst the government is starting to ease restrictions for many of us, we’re aware that for a lot of you the end of lockdown and being able to meet in groups like we used to must still feel a very long way off. We are sharing the latest government guidance about meeting in gardens or houses if you have a social bubble with someone but have started thinking about ways in which we can bring you together safely.Telephone befriending will continue and we are aiming to return to safe 1:1 face to face befriending but we are also working with our colleagues at HELP, Boroughbridge Community Care and NYCC to get funding to run a pilot using tablets, Facebook portals and Alexas to bring people together in groups using things like Zoom. Support will be available for anyone who needs it but it is simpler than it sounds! It might be a really good way to restart music and movement sessions too. We’ll keep you posted and ask you to tell us if you might be interested in this when we have the funding.We have also started to think about ways of bringing groups of up to 6 together outside during the summer for socially distanced get togethers – transporting people safely is vital to allow this to happen but we are talking to transport providers about how this could be done. – Watch this space!

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