Big shout of THANKS for the volunteer work co-ordinated by ST PHILIP AND ST JAMES CHURCH, ALDERLEY EDGE.
The St Philip and St James community support team rapidly set up a new network of volunteers from the church and community of Alderley Edge at the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020.
More than 60 volunteers came forward and their activities were co-ordinated initially by Sue Mills, the St P&J Pastoral Care worker and Safeguarding Officer. Sue arranged for X of these volunteers to be DBS approved so that they could work with young and vulnerable people. More than 40 volunteers became actively involved in our shopping scheme and foodbank activities over the following year:
Volunteer Shopping scheme: (Run by Sue Mills, Wendy Davies and Ian Standen)
This involved shopping for the local community and one-off tasks. The cashless shopping scheme was a rapid response devised by the church and kindly supported by a loan from the parish council. Volunteers paid for the shopping and were reimbursed electronically from a church bank account. The customers were able to then pay by cheque or on-line (to the church) in a safe way, without pressure. Between March 2020 and March 2021, our volunteers made a total of approximately 230 shopping trips, spending in the region of £9,300. 16 different volunteers shopped for 19 self-isolating households. Most of the volunteers were not regular church goers, and many have also got involved with volunteering in our Foodbank.
The Food Bank (Run by Jen Pound with help from Sarah Magee and Sarah Williamson)
At the beginning of the pandemic, we increased the size of our Foodbank and moved it to the Parish Rooms in the church grounds. We continue to open it every Sunday morning for people to collect their own food, and volunteers prepare and deliver bags for those who are unable to come in person. Deliveries are also made on other days as required. The Foodbank is stocked from donations from the church family and the community. The Foodbank is manned by a team of 10 from our church family and the community.
We also continue to collect perishable foods from Tesco and Waitrose daily and deliver to ROAR, a rehabilitation centre in Macclesfield and to Hope Central Foodbank in Handforth. We collect from Grantham’s on a Saturday when the food is taken to our Foodbank for the following day’s open session. We have a team of 10 volunteers making these collections and deliveries.
Twice during 2020, we were one of Waitrose’s chosen charities and received a cheque of £333 both times which allowed us to maintain the foodbank (including keeping mice away!) and make one-off or specific purchases when our recipients needed items which were not stocked. Waitrose also gave us a voucher for £150 at the end of 2020 to be used in the Alderley Edge store, which we used to make up Christmas hampers. A small team of volunteers prepared and deliver 15 hampers to our regular Foodbank recipients, and we also provided 4 Christmas Dinner Hampers, three of which were kindly donated by a member of our church family and one by Grantham’s.
In addition to the activities above, a small number of our volunteers delivered ‘Fosters’ fish and chips to vulnerable people in and around the village, when Fosters arranged to donate portions during the first lockdown period. Members of the church congregation continue to make phone calls and provide lifts to appointments for those in need.