We’re following guidelines to be a COVID secure workplace, so if you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable it is your choice to either continue volunteering during this period or to step back for now. We understand that it’s a tough time, there is no pressure to come in, just please let us know if not.
Please do not come in if you have symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has for the times outlined in the guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance. There’s a lot of advice on the Government website depending on different circumstances so please read it and continue to follow it.
Thank you for all of your support in this difficult time.
The Wild Goose pop-up: is now open from 11:30am – 1:30pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and offers clients a hot lunch, as well as the usual snacks and drinks, to takeaway. These changes are in response to a gap in hot food provision in Bristol during the daytime, especially on Saturdays. Sundays are covered by Stokes Croft Kitchen, and Mondays and Tuesdays are covered The Methodist Centre. We are continuing to serve around 50/60 people at each serving.
The Wild Goose pop-up: will be open on Good Friday and Easter Monday as usual, outside Stapleton Road Chapel, from 10:30am – 12:30pm. The team are still serving a significant number of people every day. Yesterday, they served 79 people. Some of these are still rough sleeping or in hostels. Thanks to our amazing donors, we’ve been able to give out fresh fruit this week, which has been gratefully received. On Good Friday, people will be given an Easter Egg and a short message of encouragement.
Some updates from our projects.
The Wild Goose pop-up: continues to serve hot & cold drinks and snacks outside Stapleton Road Chapel on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, 10:30am – 12:30pm. We’ve had some new volunteers and they’ve all been brilliant at following instructions on changes to the service. Strict rules about social distancing are being followed by all. The team have been feeding between 60 – 70 people every day.
East Bristol Foodbank: the level of need continues to increase. In the first week the team gave out 40% more food than usual. You may have seen them featured on BBC Points West last week. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSz_rWofJxA&t=4s. This week they are starting to deliver food parcels to people’s doorsteps, in order to decrease the numbers of people coming to the foodbanks. Donations of food are very urgent. When you are doing your essential shop, please try and get something from the needed list and place it in the Foodbank basket. Click this link to find out what food is needed and which supermarkets are collecting: https://eastbristol.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/. We have already had to purchase some food items in bulk, in addition to the extra costs of PPE, boxes and fuel.
The Wild Goose and East Bristol Foodbank are our most active projects out on the frontline.
Spring of Hope women’s night shelter: is still closed. Discussions continue about how we could open safely as parameters change on a daily basis. One-to-one phone support is still being given to current service users, for example, Alice (Deputy Manager) is helping one woman to move into her new home next week.
Live Recovery: the team are staying in touch with clients through phone calls and video chats, and helping people to find support when needed.
East Bristol Foodbank has already experienced a significant increase in the past week of people in need of emergency food parcels.
The Wild Goose pop-up service, running outside Stapleton Road Chapel, is continuing to serve takeaway drinks and snacks to our usual service users. They are serving between 65 and 70 people a day.
We are operating under government instructions of social distancing for all involved in the projects; service users, volunteers and staff. This has caused additional and unplanned costs for us e.g. disposable gloves, disposable cups, hand and surface sanitiser, unused plastic/paper bags, and packing boxes for food parcels. As lock down is enforced, the Foodbank team are looking at moving to a delivery service. This will increase fuel costs monumentally.
At present, we are focusing on the immediate and ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but the long term effects for homeless and vulnerable people in Bristol are yet to be seen. We will need your donations to ensure we can remain to be there for those who need us most.
If you can, please donate to our coronavirus emergency appeal: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/inhope-emergency-appeal
Bristol City Council have classed providing food to homeless people as an ESSENTIAL SERVICE. We are operating under government instructions in the following ways.
1. East Bristol Foodbank outlets are still open, running an ‘at the door’ service. Volunteers are using gloves to pack everything and are ensuring safe distances as they do this. The Foodbank team are looking at inviting households (those who live in the same house) to come and pack boxes as they are already in contact with each other at home anyway. They are also considering running a delivery service. More info to come about this when I have it, as we may need more volunteers.
2. THE WILD GOOSE will still run pop-up service outside Stapleton Road Chapel (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 10:30am – 12:30pm), handing out drinks and snacks. To stop people congregating and being too close a ticket system will be used. People will wait on the other side of the road and wait to be called over when it’s their turn. It will be very hard to police distancing of those waiting across the road but advice will be given about standing apart. Volunteers are using gloves, keeping a safe distance from each other and service users, and are minimising the handling of items. Volunteers are still needed – contact Steve Smith [email protected]
3. LIFE RECOVERY – all peer groups, AA & NA meetings across the city have stopped. Workers are making themselves as available as they can be to service users, via phone and email.
4. SPRING OF HOPE WOMEN’S SHELTER is still closed. Conversations are ongoing about how they could open safely for service users and volunteers. Val and the team are available for one-to-one support, via phone calls, for existing service users.
5. #Bristol calls itself a ‘CITY OF SANCTUARY.’ Bristol City Council and homelessness charities are calling on hotels, B&Bs, and the Universities to make rooms available to house those who are sleeping rough, who are extremely vulnerable at this time. They are being asked to urgently contact the Bristol City Council housing team at this address – [email protected]. If you know anyone in these industries, please share this message on.
More updates, as and when, in these ever-changing times!