BCP Council, Faithworks Wessex, volunteers and donators have worked together throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to provide over 2,000 food parcels to those placed in emergency accommodation.
Since the start of the pandemic, BCP Council has helped more than 418 people who were rough sleeping or in communal night shelters to isolate safely in to empty hotels or other emergency accommodation through the ‘Everyone In’ initiative.
We have also supported 118 people make positive moves from emergency accommodation into longer-term housing.
The Homelessness Partnership has also sourced, packed and delivered over 2,000 food parcels and 260 toiletry packs since April 2020. Many of the hotels and bed and breakfasts who have provided accommodation have also provided food.
Alistair Doxat-Purser, Chief Executive of Faithworks Wessex said:
“This immense effort has helped many people to keep safe during lockdowns and importantly enabled them to eat well. We are very grateful to churches, community groups, and indeed everyone in the wider community who has donated food or volunteered to get food-packs ready to keep vulnerable people fed at this difficult time.
“When you hear one recipient say I’m over the moon with this parcel and another saying they are starting to put on weight having been on the street, then this encourages us all to keep going: so thank you to all those involved. You’ve really helped make a difference.”
Lorraine Mealings, Director of Housing at BCP Council said:
“We are so pleased this project has been possible, thanks to the generosity of donators and the commitment of the partnership and volunteers.
“We continue to focus on how we can work those who have received emergency help throughout the pandemic to best support and enable them to move into more permanent arrangements.”
As we enter a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and we begin to see an easing of lockdown and hopefully a continued reduction in virus cases because of the vaccine roll out, the purpose of this project will change.
The focus will now be on creative ways that we can work with vulnerable people receiving emergency support in order to help them move into more permanent accommodation arrangements and build the skills, confidence and resilience they need for their new lives.
The Homelessness Partnership will continue to work with the Access to Food Partnership (BCP) to support those in emergency housing. They have also produced a community food map to show people what support is available across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
Anybody requiring food support through any transitions to new accommodation or other arrangements will continue to receive the help they need.