By Cllr Franklin Owusu-Antwi, South Gloucestershire Council ward member for Bradley Stoke North.
Since the beginning of lockdown, Bradley Stoke Town Council and other local community organisations including Assistplus CIC, have been looking for ways to continue supporting our community and keep residents engaged. From something as simple as calling people to check if they are well, to ensuring that meals and prescriptions are delivered to vulnerable people, we’ve been working tirelessly to look after as many people as possible.
During these incredibly difficult times, I, working closely with Assistplus CIC, have strived to support residents, especially those who are more vulnerable. Even before the lockdown, the group was due to launch a drop-in hub at the Jubilee Centre to provide 1-2-1 tailored support to our local veterans with everyone’s needs being so different.
When lockdown began and social distancing was introduced, the group drop-in service was put on hold, but our volunteers immediately stepped up to help those at risk, picking up and delivering prescriptions to our elderly and vulnerable veterans and residents. Other groups focused on preparing and delivering meals. The meals are free, and individuals, groups and our local have donated the food have been great in helping with socially distanced deliveries, sometimes up to 50 each day!
Reflecting on the group’s volunteering work in the last few months in the ward, it has been fantastic to see extremely positive feedback about what is being done, whether over the phone, through emails or on social media. It has been a privilege to be able to help support these efforts that contribute to the overall well-being of so many of our residents. Individuals, voluntary groups and other local organisations have had direct support during these awful times. Our wider community have all come together superbly for one purpose – the support for our more vulnerable residents.
During one of my usual walks through Bradley Stoke on Saturday 20th June, I was thrilled that a group of residents managed to host a street event at Saxon Way, whiles adhering to social distancing rules. A big thank you to the organisers for helping to keep their corner of our community engaged and connected while clearly boosting morale at such a trying time.
I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the many other community groups and organisations whose unrelenting support services extends to vulnerable residents in Bradley Stoke, including; National Food Service Bristol, ReEngage, Ghana Community Bristol, Pursey Drive Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and The 5 Stoke Covid-19 Help & Support group.