November's News 

Drive Thru Foodbank Donation Day to help struggling Shropshire families over Christmas

On Saturday 5th December, the Pemberton Road Car Park in Admaston will be transformed to create a temporary collection point for Foodbank donations - and this could be the most crucial donation day yet.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone across the world, and foodbanks are becoming busier and busier. During the festive period, the number of families seeking support from foodbanks sky-rockets and this year is set to be the busiest yet with more people in need. Throughout the year, community groups from all over the country have supported foodbanks to ensure they have enough food to distribute to those in need. The Shawbirch, Bratton, Admaston and Wrockwardine (SBAW) Community Group have already helped with several successful 'Drive-Thru Foodbank Donation Days' and they are calling for donations for the final event of the year.
On Saturday 5th December between 10am-2pm, members of the local community and those who live further away are welcomed to drive into the car park on Pemberton Road in Admaston. There, a group of enthusiastic volunteers will pop open your boot, remove the donations from your car and will close your boot again, allowing you to drive away without any contact. There has never been such an easy way to support local causes! Donations from this event will be distributed between Wrekin View Community Fridge, Telford Crisis Support and the Dawley Foodbank at the Christian Centre. As Christmas is approaching, many of the participating foodbanks are looking to stock food for the festive season so would be extremely grateful for the following:

Gravy GranulesStuffing MixTinned carrots
Tinned peasTinned potatoesChristmas cake/pudding

They would also really appreciate any other in date non-perishable items and even fresh fruit and vegetables! So please, if you are in Shropshire or the surrounding areas next weekend, consider adding a few extra items to your weekly shop so that you can play your part to ensure everyone gets a full plate of food this Christmas.
If you don't live in Shropshire, check out what events are happening in your local area, or even talk to your local council and set up your own Drive-Thru Donation Day! Not only does it make a massive difference to families in need, but it inspires a positive community spirit in your local area.

Add a few extras to your weekly shop

Any non-perishable items, especially canned meat products, are massively appreciated!

Visit the Drive-Thru Donation Day

10am-2pm, Pemberton Road in Admaston, Shropshire. Drive in and pop open your boot!

Make a positive difference in your local community

Donations will help families who use 3 different Foodbanks in Telford.

Wrekin View Community Café - returning for Christmas!

After a hugely successful opening in half term supported by Marcus Rashford MBE, the Wrekin View Community Café is reopening on Tuesday 22nd December to offer free Christmas dinners to those in the community. Read on to find out more and to see how you can support them!
On Tuesday 22nd December, the Wrekin View Community Café will open it's doors once more! The café is located at Wrekin View Primary School in Wellington, where the school hall is temporarily transformed into a warm and inviting café for all to enjoy. Food on offer will include a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings or a vegetarian alternative, with Christmas pudding or Christmas cake for dessert. Beer and wine will also be served with the meal, making it a real celebration!
The café will be open for one day only on 22nd December between 12-3pm and patrons will need to book a table to avoid disappointment by calling the following number: 01952 388088. I chatted to organiser Russell Garner about the event: 'Everybody is welcome! Young and old, please come and join us. There will be presents for the children under the Christmas tree. It will be a fantastic day!'
Anyone is welcome to enjoy the festive community spirit, whether you are in need or not. For those who wish to, a monetary donation can be made on the day of the Christmas dinner, however this is not necessary as Russell and his team want to provide free food to ensure everyone in the community can enjoy a Christmas dinner this festive season. If you can't make the day of the dinner but you would like to support the café, you could do any of the following:

  • Donate presents for the children to go under the Christmas tree
  • Donate food for the Wrekin View Community Fridge
  • Donate anything to do with Christmas!

The Wrekin View Community Fridge is another scheme run by Russell, which runs on the motto 'take what you need, donate if you can'. Any donations for the fridge can be dropped off at the Children's Centre at Wrekin View Primary School. All of the schemes are free for all to use with no documentation or referrals needed. The Fridge is open all year round, and the Community Café will be opening on select dates in school holidays.
If you have any questions, or would like to reserve a table, please phone the school on 01952 388088. Wrekin View Primary School is located on North Road in Wellington, Shropshire, TF1 3ES.

5 simple acts of kindness that will make someone's day

This year has been extremely challenging, but it has also highlighted how small kind gestures can make a massive difference to someone's day. Here are 5 simple ways to make someone smile!

Send a letter

Since the massive advancement in technology, hand-written letters have become a thing of the past. Emails, texts and thousands of instant messaging services have made communication so easy, but I think that makes a hand-written letter all the more special. Knowing that someone has taken the time to put pen to paper to write to you is a wonderful feeling and will definitely make their day - why not give it a try today?

Send a gift in the post

There are thousands of small businesses across the country offering a 'letterbox' service so that a personalised gift can easily be sent to a loved one. Gifts can range from small cards to massive bouquets of flowers - but all that matters is that you have let someone know that you are thinking of them.

Give someone a call

Call someone you haven't spoken to for a while. Whether it's an old friend or an elderly neighbour, it's always lovely to know someone has thought to check in on you. This is especially important during lockdown as those living alone may not hear the voice of another person for weeks on end. Your phone call will break up their feeling of isolation and loneliness and will be sure to put a smile on their face!

Give a compliment

Saying something kind doesn't cost you anything, but it's worth a pot of gold to the person who receives it. So if you really like a co-workers outfit, or a peer submitted some amazing work, let them know! It will give them a massive confidence boost and you will feel good for it too!

Buy someone a coffee

Many cafés across the UK now run schemes where you can buy a coffee for yourself but also buy a second and 'suspend' it. This means the café can offer a free coffee to those who are in need such as the homeless. Or if your local café doesn't run a scheme like this, treat a friend or family member to a drink!
There are many more ways to do that little extra something for somebody, but these are a few ideas to get you started. Not only will your act of kindness make someone's day, it will make your day feel a little brighter too!

Raising money for Women's Aid - Beth and Megan's story

2020 has provided challenges to everyone, but lockdown has created highly dangerous situations for people experiencing domestic abuse. When Megan Clarkson and Beth Hazlehurst read about this, they decided to do something to help. Read on to find out more!
Megan explained how they decided on their fundraising campaign: ‘We were originally supposed to be running in a 10k for cancer research but unfortunately it was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. As a result we did some thinking about what we could do to help a charity of our choice this autumn. We decided that we would push ourselves to the max and complete 100km each, for the amazing charity Women’s Aid’.
Women’s Aid is the national charity supporting women and children who are subject to domestic abuse. Through campaigns and research, Women’s Aid work to end domestic abuse and improve the services provided to help domestic abuse survivors. Founded as a result of the Women’s movement of the 1970s and 80s, they have been at the forefront of campaigns and practices to end domestic abuse for over 45 years by empowering survivors to let their voices be heard. Women’s Aid recently released The Domestic Abuse Report 2020, and the statistics are shocking. 64% of refuge referrals were declined last year and less than half refuge vacancies had the capacity to accept women with more than two children. Nearly half of all service providers who responded to the Women’s Aid National Survey 2019 were running an area of work without dedicated funding, with around a third relying on volunteers to deliver the service. This year’s report highlighted how a lack of funding in the domestic abuse sector seriously affects the quality of services and as the pandemic and subsequent lockdown hit in 2020, the demand for these services has massively increased.
Both Beth and Megan wanted to help, so decided to multiply their 10km run by 10 to run a massive 100km each during the month of October. Beth explained why doing such a challenging fundraiser was so important: ‘During lockdown I helped run a food distribution centre for people shielding. I managed the relationships with charities that needed our support. One of these charities was a group of women’s refugees for women fleeing their homes from domestic abuse. I met a lot of these women and people that worked there and it really upset me to see women and their children so frightened and in need especially in the current situation we find ourselves in. This left me wanting to do more to help - me and Megan did our research and found Women’s Aid who help combat domestic abuse and support victims all over the country.’
Beth and Megan certainly didn’t have an easy ride, with work commitments, weather conditions and even periods of self-isolation providing obstacles to their goal. The two women added some good fun to the fundraiser, with a Halloween fancy dress special! Beth explained how it came about: ‘Our followers commented with ideas and we picked it out of a bowl to engage people. We also finished off with a 10k run on Saturday to push ourselves that little bit harder and both of us have never felt so good, as it’s so rewarding knowing you have helped such an amazing cause.’ Together, they have run a huge 200km in one month, whilst raising £700, but they are hoping for one final push to raise as much money as possible: ‘We have currently smashed our target of £500.00 and have raised £700 so far! That is 140 calls we have funded between a victim and a Women’s Aid trained professional, potentially a call that could save a woman and her children’s lives. We would now love to raise £1000 so we can say we have helped 200 victims.’
If you would like to help Beth and Megan reach their target and help hundreds of women and children across the country, please click the button below to be directed to their fundraising page. It will be live until Saturday 14th November!
For support and information, please visit Women’s Aid:
Sources: Women’s Aid (2020) The Domestic Abuse Report 2020: The Annual Audit, Bristol: Women’s Aid

Want to read more inspirational stories? Click here to find out what amazing things happened in previous months!