Maundy Thursday, observed by Christians as a commemoration of the Last Supper by Jesus and his disciples, brought news of a possible gift of produce, here in Prudhoe.
Amy Whyte of Age UK Northumberland was in contact with the Council, late on Thursday, with a promise of boxes of produce, if we could distribute them to the aged in the Town.
Not knowing how many or what was in them, volunteers from the Miners Lamp Café and Community Hub were keen to meet the challenge logistically, and collect said boxes from Ashington.
Russ Greig, and another who wishes to remain anonymous, were able to head over to Age UK Northumberland, at Ashington on Saturday and sort a very slick collection protocol back at the Falcon.
One of the vans used for collection has been loaned to the Miners Lamp, for use during this crisis, by Sherwoods Motor Group. This vehicle has been invaluable in the collection of donated, edible surplus from supermarkets.
Volunteers to the Miners Lamp are picking up donations on a daily basis, of produce, that would otherwise have gone to landfill. Produce is offered in the community for donations, with the funds raised from these donations being used to buy supplies for the Foodbank.
Whilst the logistics of collecting and delivering the food parcels was never perceived as a problem, with so many volunteers stepping forward, exactly who would benefit was a difficult choice.
In the first instance, we contacted Prudhoe Medical Group, to request their most vulnerable. Working through the weekend, and adhering to GDPR, Vicky Stewart, the Living Well Coordinator was able to contact a number of residents who consented to boxes being delivered.
On Saturday morning, it was clear we needed more names and so decided to ask those wonderful volunteers who had come forward to support the community during this crisis, to nominate someone, this included names given by the Churches also.
We know that every aged person in Prudhoe did not receive a food parcel, but rest assured, if we had received sufficient parcels for every household, the volunteers would have stepped up to deliver them.
We did our best with what was available; 100 food parcels were delivered on Easter Saturday, courtesy of Age UK Northumberland and made possible by an uplifting response from this amazing community.
Please remember, if you are ‘shielded’, you can request a weekly food package from the Government https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
If you are unsure how to do this for yourself or a member of your family, please ring Sarah Eden on 07495856624.
If you are self-isolating and have no family/neighbour support to help with shopping, etc. please also ring Sarah Eden to request support from our community volunteers, who are waiting in the wings to help.
Thank you to everyone involved and to those who were kind enought to allow an impromptu photograph.
STAY HOME, STAY SAFE, SAVE LIVES