Peter Bedford Housing Association is committed to working with the most vulnerable people in our community, an obligation which has taken on increased importance during the coronavirus outbreak. We have a key role to play, not only in preventing and ending homelessness, but in enriching the lives of our tenants and supporting them through this crisis. The pandemic has created specific challenges for many of the people we support, and one way that we have been able to meet these needs is through the establishment of a Food Deliveries Project.
Responding to the fact that many tenants were either having to socially distance or shield themselves due to long-term health conditions, self-isolate due to being unwell, or feeling fearful about going out in public due to severe and enduring mental health needs, our Housing, Enterprises and Training and Funding teams came together to create the Food Deliveries Project, providing additional support to, and alleviating some of the pressure on, our most at-risk tenants.
We are enormously grateful to London Community Response for granting funding which has enabled us to deliver bi-monthly food and hygiene parcels to 30 of our tenants. These parcels contain cereals, rice, pasta, soup, frozen meals, tinned meals, fruit and vegetables, plus essential toiletries.
Project delivery has been made possible thanks to a team of local volunteers and PBHA staff members who source supplies, package and label parcels, and deliver them to tenants in their cars and on bikes. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the dedicated and compassionate people who have collaborated to make this project a success.
Tenant and Beneficiary:
“I am in a difficult financial situation right now, so this project has helped me a lot, preventing me from having to rely on food bank vouchers and providing me with enough food to get by. It means a lot to know that I am getting the support I need from PBHA.”
Tenant and Beneficiary:
“I was being supported by a local food delivery service during the start of lockdown, but that ended in late July. When I mentioned this on the phone to my Telephone Befriender, she asked if I would like to be added to the PBHA Food Project list. It’s been really helpful not to have an extra cost to deal with right now, and I want to thank the team for making me feel supported, because it has been a difficult few months and I have often felt isolated.”
Food Deliveries Volunteer:
I have found volunteering really rewarding and enjoyable. I go out on my bike to deliver the parcels to some of the tenants, and I like getting out and about and meeting other volunteers. I especially like that the tenants recognise me now – it’s nice that they say hello and thank you from a safe distance once I’ve left their parcel by the door. I volunteered because I wanted to give back to the community, and I definitely feel like I’m doing that.
[i] Paraphrased, with consent, from telephone conversations.