The Powys Community Sector Emergency Response Team (C-SERT) and PAVO have worked together to distribute small grants to help communities respond to the Covid-19 emergency. The C-SERT Emergency Fund is drawn from the Welsh Government Integrated Care Fund (ICF), allocated by the Powys Regional Partnership Board (RPB).
One of the organisations supported with C-SERT emergency funding is Builth Wells Community Support. They have produced a short film telling their lockdown story which you can watch below. In the film, staff and volunteers describe how they have adapted their services to the changing situation:
“Here at Builth Community Support, as elsewhere, Covid-19 changed everything. Normally, we're an organisation that promotes and enables social contact as a way to tackle loneliness and isolation. Covid-19 forced us to think of new ways to support people in our area and ask ourselves, what does community mean during a pandemic?
On the 23rd March community support changed overnight and we knew that in order to make that change work we would need a whole new team of volunteers because many of our existing volunteers had had to self-isolate. So, working with the town council and the county councillor we produced a leaflet that was sent to every home in Builth telling people to call us if they needed anything or if they could volunteer to help. The response to this was incredible. Within twenty-four hours we had registered over forty volunteers to help us deliver our new services.
These services respond to what people need most, food and medication. We set up a shopping service taking orders over the phone and by email, sending volunteers out to collect the items from local shops and deliver them. We expanded our prescription delivery and our team of drivers now deliver hundreds of prescriptions every week. As the weeks moved on, we saw requests for other services like dog walking and paying bills. Our volunteers have been working from home, ringing anyone that just needs a chat.
In our High Street office, which is closed to visitors of course, the phone has been ringing almost nonstop. Our staff have been working hard to set up systems to enable us to continue to support residents while observing social distancing. We've helped hundreds of people over the lockdown period and we've been overwhelmed by the kind words and generous donations from those people.
So what does community mean during a pandemic? Community means sticking together even when we have to be apart.”
Some of the local residents also describe how they have been supported over the past few months:
“I for one would like to express my special thanks to all who have helped the people of Builth Wells at this time of crisis.”
“I'm so grateful to everyone who has brought my shopping and prescriptions to me, I don't know what I would have done without them.”
“As the carer of a shielding family, Builth Wells Community Support has been really helpful in getting us all we need through the lock down, from prescriptions to groceries. They’ve just been really helpful through the whole process, so thank you very much Builth Wells Community Support.”