I have got to say March 2020 hit JGF hard with the coronavirus and the lockdown situation. The enormity of supporting 250+ members, many particularly vulnerable and at risk, was daunting to say the least, but we all came together to ensure we kept people connected and made sure everyone was supported with whatever was necessary.
I cannot begin to thank all our very generous JGF and Community volunteers who came together in the very early days of the Pandemic to help to support our members.
Just Good Friends has always worked for the good of the whole community and has developed close working relationships/partnerships within the Community and when the call to arms came the Community responded.
Fylde Borough Council and Allan Oldfield were the first to respond to JGF’s call to arms. FBC helped JGF to send out letters of advice, support and details of food suppliers to all members, contact numbers for any extra help required and also just to simply let members know that JGF was there for all of them. A daunting task.
The wider community also rallied:-
- Police - to carry out welfare checks on vulnerable and at risk members
- Firefighters - to fit smoke alarms in homes of people at risk
- Doctors surgeries, CCG – in allowing direct contact with concerns for members health and issues concerning Government guidelines and the wider communities health.
- AKS School – providing professional, well qualified volunteer telephone support, AKS pupils also wrote and became pen pals with up to 80 members
- St Annes girls College – providing professional, well qualified volunteer support for Social Angels Members
- Mental Health Crisis Team – for providing vital support
- Action on Fraud – reported cases of fraud to the Action Team. One where money was taken from a members bank account and another in connection with a members Amazon Prime scam.
- Families and close friends of members – for liaising with JGF and providing essential support
- Lancashire County Council – for advice on Government guidelines on Covid19
- One Lancashire – for providing volunteer CRB checks
- Entertainers – on social media for providing essential uplifting singalongs and improving general well-being
- Keep Fit instructors – on social media, providing members with a means of improving their physical well being by taking part in online exercises.
- FBC also provided regular advice and support to JGF and were very supportive in helping to arrange and provide chairs for our small outdoor group meet ups in Ashton Gardens.
- Rotary provided funding so that the group meet ups could have outdoor picnics and fish & chips for those shielding, also providing support for Just Good Friends website
- Multiple other funding sources provided money to enable food parcels to be delivered by volunteers to some of our shielding members.
- Flower donations from Tony Ford and Natalie Lee enabled JGF volunteers to deliver flowers to our shielding members in order to bring a little sunshine back into their lives
- Celia Burgess for providing excellent support by sending out the JGF monthly newsletter, updating our database and renewals of memberships.
A great big thank you to each and every one of you.
- St Annes Enterprise Partnership again providing help and support with phone calls to our members shielding
- And all the many other community and JGF volunteers too numerous to mention.
Our members have commented how happy they are that JGF has been able to continue to support them during Covid19 and thank you both funders and volunteers for enabling us to be able to continue to support our members.
Some members have commented that we have provided a lifeline of support that has reduced their levels of anxiousness during the Pandemic. Members have also been very pleased to attend our Phase 2 rehabilitation meetups:-
- It was lovely to see people in person rather on the phone. It brought us all back to life, it really did. So looking forward to the picnic next Wednesday