Local Lockdown Heroes

COMMUNITY OF HELPING HANDS

Leeanne Erskine
Leeanne Erskine

As you enter Barrachnie Park and walk past a small building you may notice a couple of signs on the doors. You may keep walking or you might be intrigued. Thanks to the generosity of East End Rugby Club, this building is being used by Community of Helping Hands, an organisation that was born due to the Covid- 19 crisis. Robert Thomson from Parkhead initially started out by delivering snack boxes to care/NHS workers. He enlisted the help of his friend Leeanne Erskine, and while delivering and seeing the need increase, her partner, Jamie Seedy, came on board. Jamie felt that there was a need for a Food Bank to deliver to people shielding, furloughed, struggling; and feedback confirmed this. Initially set up as a Facebook page, the name Community of Helping Hands was chosen as part of a competition.


While it started small, an online form was developed so people/organisations could nominate someone to receive a box. Delivery can range from a one-off, or a box every week for 10 weeks. As Robert’s employer, Amey plc was the main core funders at the start. However money doesn’t last forever and the group now has a GoFundMe page as they are hoping to keep going for the foreseeable future. McKay Foods has been amazing, giving fresh fruit and vegetables free three times a week and supermarkets have helped by donating long life items such as pasta and beans. Robert, Jamie and Leeanne rely heavily on a group of volunteers and deliver all over Glasgow. Without them they wouldn’t be able to do this amazing job and they want to say a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to everyone who has and continues to help.


It’s not just community boxes they will deliver. They also deliver kindness boxes - a little box of treats to pick you up. Boxes are tailored to either adult or child and may contain chocolates, sweets, a small toy or some nice handcream. Emergency boxes, delivered within two hours of being requested, are also delivered to vulnerable people. If you think you could help please visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/COHH.

 

GLASGOW’S GOLDEN GENERATION


The Mattie Carwood Centre is a small unassuming building that sits just inside Budhill Park. What a lot of people don’t know is, normally this is a well attended day centre for over 55s. However, Covid-19 has put paid to that. Has that stopped the staff? It certainly has not! As part of Glasgow’s Golden Generation this centre, along with the organisations other two centres based in Langside and St George’s Cross, is now just one of the organisations providing a lifeline to the people of the city.


Speaking to Natalie Stewart (Day Care Centre co-ordinator) she explained how so many of their service users were missing a bit of interaction, even just getting a newspaper! Thankfully they were able to obtain funding and their delivery service started. Originally this was to service over 55s however demand on services was so great that the group now help anyone who needs it. With deliveries happening daily this well thought out parcel contains not only fresh bread and milk but a cleaning product, a packet of biscuits and a newsletter with quizzes, word searches and bingo cards for a free fun online bingo game!


When I visited I met Peter, who used to work for the service and now volunteers his time to help. He had a cheery smile under his mask and he made a good cup of coffee! Mark, George and Natalie, along with Peter (below), were getting bags sorted for the following day’s delivery. For more information check out their website www.glasgowgg.org.uk.


Golden Generation's Mark, George, Natalie and Peter
Mark, George, Natalie and Peter

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