May was an incredibly busy month for the volunteers in the Preston, Seton Gosford (PSG) area who are helping the local community cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

And their hard work has led to some really lovely comments from those they are supporting. For example:

A single mother of four said: “The Pennypit Trust and their volunteers have been supporting me and my children because of illness and family bereavement over the last couple of years. When the Covid-19 pandemic started they made sure I was OK for food as we are an immune-compromised household and shielding, not to mention some serious dietary requirements.

‘Not only that, I have been personally messaged constantly asking if I’m OK, if the kids are OK and if there is anything else at all they could do for us. They have even gone so far as to buy me a food mixer so I can make food from scratch to meet my dietary needs. Without their help I know for a fact I would be very unwell both physically and mentally by now. We love you Pennypit Trust, you are a very, very important part of our community.’

And an elderly resident who is shielding and has been receiving food deliveries, said: “Thank you so very much. It was a pleasure seeing you and talking to you. I can't express how much your support has meant to me.”

In numbers, here’s some of the work carried out in May alone in the PSG area:

  • Fundamental Food and the Pennypit Trust delivered 4400 food parcels
  • Cockenzie & Port Seton Hub (led by the Community Council & supported by ELC) provided 2880 food packages & 280 children’s breakfast packs & craft packs
  • East Lothian Chicken Dinner Boxes delivered 60 food packages
  • Prestongrange Gothenburg delivered 350 children’s breakfast boxes
  • PSG Hardship Fund supported 163 families & 464 individuals

PSG Connected Communities Manager Emma Brown said: “A huge thank you is due to all of the volunteers in our PSG groups. The figures show how much work is going on and the lovely comments received show just how much this work is appreciated.

“We saw a rise in referrals in May and to meet this demand some new services were introduced alongside our usual support initiatives. New to the PSG Coronavirus Resilience effort is the Fareshare Hub and the Hardship Fund as well as the Longniddry Care Team (a church group who support vulnerable residents with shopping and prescription pick-ups).

“The demographic of families and individuals in need has changed since the start of lockdown, where a drastic loss of earnings for self-employed, furloughed and newly unemployed people has affected their ability to pay for gas and electricity and food shopping. The Hardship Fund specifically targets these people, providing a dignified support through a mix of fuel top ups and Scotmid/Co-op vouchers.

“The hub at Port Seton Community Centre not only supports the emergency resilience organisation across the whole of East Lothian but also caters to the needs of the PSG community. Every Friday the hub gets a surplus food delivery from the charity Fareshare which is then stored at the centre and distributed across the area.

“The range of the support on offer is incredible and it’s all supported by fantastic teams including our hugely important volunteers – and it’s only right to give them a shout out during Volunteers Week.”

For more information on any of these services, contact the PSG Connected Communities Manager Emma Brown. Email her at [email protected] or phone 07967777794.

 

Published: Friday, 5th June 2020