Meet the community hub members supporting their community during the lockdown

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An army of volunteers is working hard to make a difference for people staying home to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Hindley and Hindley Green hub for Covid-19 support was set up several weeks ago, before the PM announced the current lockdown measures, to provide a vital lifeline.

It is one of several hubs covering different areas of the borough and working in partnership with Wigan Council.

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Members of CRISP CIC, Thrive CIC, local councillors, Wigan Council and volunteers are all working together to support the most vulnerable residents in Hindley, Hindley Green and Ince.

Volunteers at the  Hindley and Hindley Green hub providing support during the coronavirus pandemicVolunteers at the  Hindley and Hindley Green hub providing support during the coronavirus pandemic
Volunteers at the Hindley and Hindley Green hub providing support during the coronavirus pandemic | ugc

They run a food bank, cooking meals and making up hampers of essential items for people in the community who are self-isolating due to coronavirus, in crisis or need help for another reason. They will also go shopping on their behalf.

The hub was able to become operational earlier than planned thanked to the generosity of locals.

Sam Broxton, from Thrive CIC and CRISP CIC, who runs the hub, said: “At the beginning of it all, we were ahead of the programme and all of our volunteers got in touch with different restaurants, different shops, individuals in the community to see if we could get any donations.

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“It was quite a difficult time to be asking for things, when businesses were really struggling as well, but it was quite refreshing. There were many that donated their supplies and produce to us which enabled to us to start the hub a lot sooner than we envisaged.

“I’m quite shocked really that people needed it then and as every week passed, there are more and more people that need this hub and the support we can give them.”

The volunteers sometimes chat to the people receiving the food - at a safe distance, of course - and the social interaction can provide a boost. And the hub is making a real difference.

Sam said: “It’s quite emotional really. We are meeting lots of different people from many walks of life and ages. I think it’s them knowing there is someone there and someone cares. It shows that they are not on their own as well, they are not alone.”

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While those who were in poverty and receiving support before the pandemic continue to need help, the hub has been able to provide food parcels for a much wider range of people.

Sam said: “I think it has been very difficult for some people’s pride. We have had a lot of people who have really struggled to make that call, but we are really glad they have. This is for everyone, it’s not just for people who are struggling financially.”

There are even people at home, taking part in craft and crochet groups online, who are painting pictures and crocheting sunflowers to be put in the hampers as a gift.

Hindley, Hindley Green and Ince residents can request hub help on 01942 255287 between 11am and 3pm on weekdays or by emailing [email protected]. Those in other areas should call the council helpline on 01942 489018.

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