Canon Simon Butler, Vicar of St Mary’s Battersea (and a trustee of KLS), is writing a weekly e-news to the Coronavirus Angels volunteers. As we’re a partner in this venture we thought we should reproduce it here as it’s full of interesting and relevant stuff!
After a short gap between newsletters, here is a brief update to keep you in the picture.
The first of these maps the local area marks the approximate places where we have helped people in recent weeks. The second map is a similar one for where our volunteers have come from. It gives a good picture of the spread our work. There’s clearly been a focus on north Battersea, but we can see that we have had offers of help from and responded to people from across the Borough.We now stand at around 475 individual people/families helped.
Gail has been supported by the CoronaVirus Angels for the last 3 months.We immediately linked her with a befriender, Cal,who has shopped and supported her.As Gail is partially sighted, lockdown has been hard, but coming out of lockdown she wanted to give something back.She is passionate about folk and traditional music, so she has set up a just giving page where every donation you make gives access to her specially recorded music. All donations go to the Katherine Low Settlement, As we go to Press Gail has already raised £411, a big thank you to our supporters who have already donated but let’s see if we can make it to £500!
Looking for something to keep you busy over the summer? Come and volunteer at Little Village!
Little Village is like a foodbank, but for clothes, toys and equipment for babies and children up to the age of 5. Since the start of the pandemic we’ve answered over 1,900 requests for support and are on track to support around 6,600 children this year – more than double the 3,000 kids we helped last year. But we need your help to do this. Usually our operation would close over the summer, but due to the demand, we’ll be operating from our new temporary site in Clapham (SW8 3JX). Can you spare a few hours a week or fortnight to pack urgent items (from cots, to buggies, to clothes etc) for families in need? We’re a friendly team and would love to welcome some new volunteers to our fab crew!
The New Core Team
There’s now a new central core group of people running Angels. Led by Aaron Kennedy, they meet fortnightly to keep on top of any issues that arise and to think about how best the wonderful response to the lockdown can be developed going forward. Some local responses (such as the wonderful Dons Local Action Group) are now running down their service, and we have seen our requests for practical help slow considerably. We still receive a good stream of requests for befriending support. The Core Team will be thinking about next steps over the summer keeping a careful eye on how the economic fallout from the pandemic is affecting local people.
New Coffee Tuk Tuk at St Mary’s
Regenerate is a local charity giving life skills to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. They have installed their shiny new orange coffee tuk tuk in St Mary’s Churchyard on weekdays from 8am to 2pm and on Wednesday from 8am to 6pm. Come along and try the coffee and enjoy the new churchyard benches too.
A Message to all our Telephone Befrienders
Thanks to all of you for the work you’re doing on offering some emotional support to local people. We wanted to check in together with you and have arranged for two Zoom calls in the next ten days when there will be an opportunity for you to drop in and share your experience and reflect on the befriending relationships you have formed. It would be great if you could join us. Sarah G from KLS will be no the call to offer some advice and help. So, if you can make either Wednesday 15th July at 4pm (Password 182032) or Monday 20th July at 10am (Password 807207) for about 45 minutes, just click on the relevant date to be taken to the relevant Zoom meeting. If you would like to find out more about telephone befriending, please feel free to join that meeting.
Canon Simon Butler
Vicar of St Mary’s Battersea
Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury & Member of the Archbishops’ Council
Senior Treasurer, Clergy Support Trust
If you need a bit of help from the Angels then do call us on 07394 856 557 and email [email protected]