As part of our involvement in #GivingTuesdayNow, we wanted to spotlight local charities and community groups during these uncertain times caused by COVID-19. We wanted to highlight the fantastic things they are doing and let you know how you can help them right now.
In the second blog of our spotlight series, we spoke with Neal Swettenham from Melton Vineyard. Neal explains how they are working with the Council to provide support to those most at risk and talks about how charities should make use of digital resources to reach out to other groups, organisations or businesses with a similar goal to plan for the future ahead.
1. Tell us a bit about your charity.
“Storehouse, ran by Melton Vineyard, offers food, clothing, bedding, baby equipment and other household items to those living in the borough of Melton who are in need and who have been referred by one of the local agencies. We also run a drop-in centre three times a week providing a hot snack, drink and a place to socialise.”
2. Have any of your services changed or adapted recently?
“At present we are unable to run our drop-in service and we are not accepting donations of bedding, clothes or household and baby equipment during this time.
However, we are accepting all non-perishable food donations as well as nappies and household cleaning products and we are working closely with the Community Hub at Melton Borough Council to provide food for those who are most at risk in the current crisis.”
3. What have been the main challenges from the impact of COVID-19?
“We were in the process of moving venues when the COVID-19 outbreak started. It has been a huge challenge to move all the food and furniture from several other locations, given current restrictions, but we have managed it and now face the uncertainty of not knowing how and when we will be able to open the new venue.”
4. Are you currently fundraising or holding virtual events/activities?
“We are not currently running any fundraising activities, but we welcome the ongoing support of the local community and offer the chance for people to donate via our website (storehousemelton.org.uk) and Facebook page (@storehousemelton). People can also donate directly, using collection points in Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s supermarkets in Melton Mowbray.”
5. What piece of advice would you give to charities who are struggling with the pressures of COVID-19?
“Try and find other organisations, charities and businesses in your area who are doing a similar thing to you. We have found that during this time people are more open to working in partnership with each other where there is a shared goal. These relationships created now will probably go on longer than the lockdown.
We are fortunate to live in an age when there are plenty of digital resources available which enable people to keep in touch and stay informed: make use of them and plan for a new normal – things won’t be the same when lockdown ends and charities will need to adapt in a variety of ways to the changed environment.”
6. How can the public help you right now?
“Either by donating money, which will enable us to buy the specific items that people need during this lockdown or in the aftermath of it. People can also contribute items to our collection points in Sainsbury’s and Morrison’ in the Melton Mowbray stores.
Here’s a link to a video interview which details all the updates: https://www.dropbox.com/t/Fblmi9E1vBauTTm0“
About BHIB Charities Insurance
BHIB Charities Insurance specialise in providing tailored cover for community groups, clubs, societies, voluntary organisations and hobby or special interest groups. We offer more than just insurance and we are passionate about supporting local communities.