Sweeping across the planet, the coronavirus pandemic has turned our world upside down, taking away the things we took for granted and putting enormous pressure on our economy and healthcare system. Yet, amidst the chaos and heartbreak, so many individuals, businesses and organisations have stepped up to help their communities during this difficult time. And it’s amazing to see. So, in today’s blog post, we want to focus on some of the local businesses and organisations doing just that. Here are 4 ways they’re helping…
By providing food services to their local communities
As we all know, it’s not quite as easy as usual right now to shop for food. The supermarkets are doing a great job, but, understandably, their delivery slots are like gold dust and visiting the shops themselves involves queuing, rationed items and appropriate social distancing. To take some of the pressure off the supermarkets and give people another option for their weekly shop, many local food businesses have altered their services to cater to the current situation. Usually B2B, independent wholesaler, Creed Foodservice, have launched a click and collect option for the general public for the first time (and did so within a week!); Mr Whippy Cheltenham have turned their ice cream vans into mobile shops, bringing essential items, such as bread and milk, to people’s homes; and well-known eatery, Lumiere, have teamed up with their greengrocers, Wellocks, to provide a collection service from their restaurant. These are just three of the many local food businesses who are doing their bit to help, and there are so many more – Jolly Nice Farm Shop, Jesse Smith Butchers, Broadway Deli, Primrose Vale, The CheeseWorks, Dunkertons Cider, Maison Chaplais, Severn & Wye Smokery, Janes Pantry, just to name a few.
By supplying protective equipment, clothing, rooms and parking spaces to key workers
As well as clapping for carers every Thursday night, many businesses and organisations have gone one step further to lend a helping hand to key workers around Gloucestershire. Cotswold Farm Park have donated aprons, gloves and hair nets to staff at Winchcombe Medical Centre; local schools, including Denmark Road, Ribston Hall and Balcarras, have turned classrooms into production lines to make safety equipment for the NHS; and clothing company, Superdry, have been raising money to provide frontline hospital staff with organic cotton clothing to wear after their long shifts. As well as this, Cheltenham College have opened up their car parks for NHS workers and emergency vehicles, and The Portland Guesthouse is offering free stays to frontline workers who need to self-isolate from anyone affected in their home.
By donating food parcels to the vulnerable
With many venues having had to close suddenly when the pandemic hit, they found themselves with a lot of leftover food and drink that needed using up. Rather than waste it, these venues decided to do something positive instead – the Bacon Theatre un-stocked their bar and donated it all to Cheltenham Food Bank; the Everyman made sandwiches from their café and restaurant’s perishables and gave them to Cheltenham Open Door; and The Lucky Onion donated their perishable items to food banks, hospitals and people in need. Local charity, CCP, have also been busy delivering food parcels to the vulnerable and have launched an emergency food share appeal. If you are interested in helping, click here.
By raising money for the NHS
This week, 99-year Captain Tom Moore went viral for walking 100 laps of his garden by his 100th birthday to raise money for the NHS. And he wasn’t alone in wanting to fundraise for our National Health Service. Cheltenham Town Football Club players, staff and supporters have all taken part in a head shave, raising £6,000 so far; Gloucestershire Bike Project, who have already donated all of their refurbished bikes to key workers (to give them a safe and convenient way to get to work), are now fundraising to buy new bikes to gift and have reached £9,225 already; and The Fountain Inn have been hosting virtual pub quizzes every Sunday to raise money for the Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity.
Undeniably, life is difficult for all of us at the moment. But, during these scary and worrying times, as the above shows, we’re also seeing the absolute best in people and a togetherness that we should be immensely proud of. So, to all of the individuals, businesses and organisations helping, to those we have mentioned and the many, many more that are out there, THANK YOU. Tonight, as always, we will be clapping for our carers and key workers, and we’ll also be clapping for you.