A special delivery from Age UK Wakefield District
Published on 02 June 2020 11:18 AM
A wonderful story of cooperation to bring joy to older people in the lockdown
This is the story of a truly cross-team effort which means 120 older people, living in the more deprived areas of our district are this week receiving a box filled with some emergency style basic good and a few much-needed treats.
Age UK National approached key suppliers and we received a starter pack, which, with a little intervention from our CEO Paula Bee and our Board of Trustees, was supplemented to make sure we could include the items given to all 120 boxes.
Andrew our Retail Manager volunteered his time, energy, and organising skills to obtain packaging and work out how and where the goods would be collected and all these boxes filled.
Quite wonderfully, one of our volunteer’s father’s works for a local printer D S Smith and he persuaded them to donate funds to support us and they were happy to direct these to this effort. He was also their trade union representative for the GMB who gave us a generous amount and this allowed us to make the packages all equal and fair – quite fitting we thought!
We remained a bit short of the money required to deliver all the goods we wanted and so Paula and the Senior Team agreed we could use some of the money raised through our Fundraising Co-ordinator, Deborah’s fabulous ‘I MAY Run’ Just Giving initiative to bolster the cause.
In the Senior Team, Emma persuaded husband Mick to transport goods across the country, and Helen got bulk supplies from Costco (and Costco provided the sugar for free) and pulled in colleagues from WDH to ensure a good spread of deliveries across key districts, whilst Diane from our Admin team supported Andrew in filling and packing the boxes.
We got a bit stuck trying to get the individual type items that you need to buy from a supermarket in large quantities, but our wonderful Time for Tea Manager, Brenda use all her powers of persuasion and managed to buy and transport all of these from a local Morrisons.
Ann used her Charity Log skills to deliver us lists of our own clients who might appreciate a box and Lauren and Mohammed, Managers of our Connecting Care Hubs, went through these to provide additional and much needed background info on individual situations.
Vanda, our Group Co-ordinator then used this information to call each person on the lists and offer the package to them and agree a rough period in which to deliver this to them.
Meanwhile our Volunteer Manager Tracey was working hard contacting all her befriending volunteers to have them ask their clients if they would like a box.
Jim and Natasha on our Hospital Transport Support Service were a busy working out great system where they could take stocks and store them safely (so the chocolate would not melt) to be able to deliver a box to clients they had returned home, and would clearly appreciate a box.
With this huge degree of cooperation and superb planning and communication, Andrew got all the boxes filled and ready and organised their collection ready for transporting to the older people in the district, many of whom will be enjoying them by this weekend.
Over two mornings this week, three WDH staff arrived to collect 50 boxes, Vanda collected and distributed personally to 28 of our clients and 13 of our volunteers collected between them 21 for their befriending clients. Jim and Natasha will be collecting boxes, once they have established a need, for the remainder of the stock.
Pure brilliance – a marvellous story showing how all areas of our incredible Charity can use skills, contacts, sheer effort, and huge commitment to make this project happen and provide some joy to 120 older people during the lockdown. Apologies for all the superlatives but they are so appropriate!
Some pictures of our despatch and delivery in action - watch out for pictures of the receiving end next week!
With the help of Wakefield District Housing, amazing volunteers and Age UK Wakefield District staff we made the deliveries of food boxes to isolated older people across the Wakefield District.
Everyone was really grateful and very appreciative
Here are a few of quotes from the people we visited:
- ‘Mrs M said that she was really grateful and that it was very thoughtful and helpful to be given the box.’
- ‘Mrs B said that it was her 99th birthday tomorrow and thanked us very much for the package. I told her to treat herself with bits from the box for her birthday!’
- One lady was in tears
Wakefield District Housing told us:
“We thoroughly enjoyed getting involved and it lifted our spirits as well in seeing the joy and pleasure on everyone’s face. Do get in touch if we can be of any more help in the future”.