A community group in Dewsbury are continuing to help those in need throughout the pandemic. Dewsbury South Covid19 Action group began in March when the UK went into national lockdown.
They are a multicultural, multi faith, volunteer community action group, to support (for free) the self-isolating and vulnerable in the ward with shopping, collecting prescriptions, posting mail or friendly phone calls.
Six months later, and there are still many people in the communities rallying around to support people who need help in various situations.
Jackie Ramsay, Volunteer, and Coordinator of Activities said, “I have taken on the role of coordinating the activities of the group.”
“We came together in March 2020 in response to the pandemic. There are 6 organisations involved at present and we are supported by local Labour Party members.”
The group have provided over 1,500 food gifts since May, and they have completed over 200 shops for those self-isolating and provided food parcels for over 100 people.
Ramsay said they have delivered over 800 meals and collected nearly 50 prescriptions that have not been able to be delivered by their local pharmacies.
She said, “Right across our area we have people in need, initially those that are self-isolating.”
“More recently those who have lost income through reduced hours or loss of job, those on benefits that are waiting for universal credit or have other issues such as debts. “
With the winter months around the corner, there are questions as to how this can be sustainable until then and what the plans are.
Ramsay said, “We are constantly refining our offers. We started shopping and collecting prescriptions, now we do far more food deliveries of gifts.”
These are mainly made up mainly of FairShare food products that the group collect from the supermarket to help prevent food waste, for example, fresh products with short sell by dates and hot meals.
“We deliver but another local community group make them and the food parcels, that are designed to feed the household for seven days.”
Dewsbury South Covid-19 Action group represents the whole of their community from all different backgrounds and faiths.
She said, “It is something we feel particularly proud of as we are modelling the type of joint respect we would want to see across society.”