Originally, Cilfynydd had few options for meeting places for new parents. It’s an isolated community which can leave many families feeling cut off and lonely. Little Lounge Pontypridd had worked with Interlink RCT over several years to develop a dedicated café and play space at the Cilfynydd Community Centre, as part of a community asset transfer. Then the pandemic struck. Little Lounge had to rise to the challenge of maintaining its sense of ‘togetherness’ while staying physically apart.
The volunteer team sent 43 care packs to all families attending the baby group just before lockdown. It gave a tangible reminder that parents were not alone. The packs included activity ideas and resources, a scented candle, and a wooden plaque saying ‘Mama, you got this’ (or Dad depending on who attended the group). Also they kept the group going via Facebook Live every Thursday morning. During the circle time, they sang ‘Hello’ to all the babies who enjoyed hearing their names.
Little Lounge helped keep the wider community together too. The organisation’s Katie Hadley coordinated their local COVID-19 Volunteer Team, and put together packs for COVID-19 volunteers. They included a t-shirt, hand sanitiser, and information leaflets for vulnerable residents. Having access to the community centre meant Little Lounge could ask for donations to the care packs before lockdown, and it gave them a head start on identifying 28 elderly residents. They gave them care packs along with information about staying well with contact details for support.
Little Lounge’s COVID-19 volunteers juggled working from home and parenting to help out with shopping and errands for vulnerable residents. Their effective team jumped into action at short notice with no previous experience. This has been crucial as some elderly residents couldn’t access online shopping, and otherwise couldn’t have collected prescriptions.
In particular, we helped print the volunteer t-shirts and provided funds for them. They put structure into Little Lounge’s Covid-19 Volunteer Team with a volunteer agreement and by helping with DBS checks. After learning about funding through Interlink RCT, the group aim to make 100 craft activity packs to make ‘calm down bottles’ to advertise on the village’s Facebook page.
Make your group’s plans a reality
If you’d like to make your group’s efforts go further, contact our Community Advice Team. They can tell you what you need to do and how to go about it so you can support more people in these challenging times.
The CAT Team:
T: 01443 846200.