Here in Solihull we are celebrating National Volunteers Week and we all recognise that in our current situation there is so much volunteers do in our communities.
One things that’s been incredibly successful in Blythe Ward is the collection of donations of food and other essential items that contribute towards food parcels for those badly affected through the pandemic. This started off from a simple email, alerting me of the demand on food parcels organised by the helping Hands Charity at The Renewal Centre.
One post on the local Monkspath and Hillfield Facebook Group led to three of us collecting bags of food from peoples driveways in Monkspath one Friday morning. This was met with huge success with about 15-20 bags collected and this became a weekly collection – always Friday morning at 11am. Residents are reminded on Facebook about the coming collection times.
Demand then came from the Hillfield residents (which is not in Blythe ward) but with more volunteers we quickly extended the collection route to the whole of Monkspath and Hillfield. Each volunteer has a set route to collect and we usually meet up before taking the donations to The Renewal Centre. Volunteers now leaflet drop the homes of their route to alert those who are not on Facebook.
Volunteers at the Helping Hands Charity organise the donations and prepare the parcels for onward delivery and they are most grateful and appreciative of these weekly collections. This has been ongoing for about 9 weeks now.
I then received a request to extend this onto Dickens Heath and here I was helped by members of the Dickens Heath Christian Community and Tesco’s on Main Street.
Tesco’s were wonderful in allowing a donation crate within its store and in the four weeks it has been in use it has been emptied six times. We have also organised a collection from driveways and this week residents were able to bring bags of donated items to the Village Green where a volunteer was situated.
The slideshow does not include anywhere near the total of goods collected and donated. It is a snapshot but clearly shows the generosity of the people from Monkspath, Hillfield and Dickens Heath.
Thanks go to the team of about 16 local volunteers who undertake the collections every week.