Battersea Coronavirus Angels – Update (21May20)

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 new venture we thought we should reproduce it here as it’s full of interesting and relevant stuff! 

Hello everybody.

Welcome to week 9 of Coronavirus Angels. After a pretty quiet week last week, the past few days has seen an uptick in requests for help. As of today, we now have run at least 330 errands, with a team of 425 volunteers. We are (together with the Katherine Low Settlement Elders Team) supporting 43 people with telephone befriending and our team of befrienders now stands at about 30, some of whom joined the training given by Sarah G from the KLS Elders on Monday.  A special Thank You to everyone who have been delivering prescriptions too. We continue to deliver twice a day each weekday plus emergency prescriptions at weekends.

Supporting the Most Vulnerable
One of the things that we are finding is that we are encountering people who have fallen through the gaps of provision, or who have complex needs which statutory agencies find it hard to meet when under extreme pressure.

  • Rita rang us anxious about her food situation. We discovered that she had complex learning difficulties and was at risk of hoarding food. We were able to take advice from her Support Worker and work with her to provide some befriending.
  • An substance abuse support worker rang us about Helen, who also could do with some befriending as she struggled to manage her alcohol dependency.
  • We had a case conference about Malik who is struggling with poor mental health and had been let down by his social worker and by those processing his Universal Credit application.

We try to help but have to be clear about the nature of what we can offer. We are worried that the most vulnerable are being overlooked amidst the sheer number of people who are looking for help at the moment. We will give some thought to how we can be a voice for those who are less able to articulate for themselves.

Last Week’s Conversations
Last week some of us took part in a series of conversations about what we are learning about ourselves, Battersea and local need through taking part in Coronavirus Angels. Turnout wasn’t very high, but the quality of the conversation was. There was a clear theme running through the whole week about the importance of staying connected as we emerge from lockdown and, later, the pandemic itself. How we are to do that is not yet clear. We are sure that there is a real appetite for volunteering in concrete, practical ways, but we need to discover more about where the energy lies: is there an appetite for a continuation of Coronavirus Angels in some form, or would it be better to direct people to the many volunteering opportunities that exist already in our community? With that in mind, we hope you will be willing to assist us by participating in the following…

Follow Up Brief Survey
We’re keen to take the temperature of our wonderful team of volunteers, by asking you to complete a very brief follow-up survey. This will give us an update on your availability, a request for a little additional information, and a brief chance to feedback on your volunteering experience so far. It should only take 2 minutes and you can find the Survey here.

Reminder – Befriending vs. Volunteering
Some of volunteers have gone above and beyond the call of duty and their initial practical support for an individual has become a regular thing. Happily, some of those relationships are blossoming into befriending relationships. If you are one of this group of people, and you think your regular help for someone has also become a befriending relationship, could you let us know by emailing [email protected]

Cakes for Carers! 
A local person has launched a Your Cakes team for Battersea area to deliver cakes once a week to local hospitals, ambulance stations,GP practices and care homes! The hospitals confirmed so far are St Mary, Charing Cross and St Thomas Hospitals, as well as HMP Wandsworth Please join us to bake for your local heroes!
Please drop off cakes at the location points and we will distribute on Mondays.
Connect via this link: to start the adventure with Team Cacao. The first collection from Battersea Power Station and St Mary’s Church will be this Sunday from 0900- 1600

Cycle Deliveries 
The lovely people at Wandsworth Cycling Campaign have offered to deliver some of the unwanted NHS Food Parcels we are being offered by local people. They are collecting them in cargo cycles and delivering them to the Katherine Low Settlement for use by the Kambala Residents’ Association.

SW Community Charity
St Mary’s is partnering with a new local charity which is selling fruit and veg once a week outside St Mary’s. There are four main offerings of pre-packed produce for safe, physically distanced grocery shopping – root veg bag, fruit bag, salad bag, and essentials bag, each £5. Come and see us on a Wednesday afternoon between 3pm and 6pm.

Finally, a lovely picture of Battersea Park taken by David early the other morning. Thank you all!

Canon Simon Butler
Vicar of St Mary’s Battersea
07941 552407kl


If you need a bit of help from the Angels then do call us on 07394 856 557 and email [email protected]

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