Building bridges to tackle social isolation continues to be an important focus for the Bollington-based Bridgend Centre, as we emerge from coronavirus public health restrictions.
Ms Rebecca Lea, Centre Manager, updated local MP, David Rutley, on his recent visit to the Centre on all that she and the team – both staff and volunteers - are doing to keep in touch with often vulnerable local residents during the pandemic and beyond.
The very welcome “Bridging Social Isolation” newsletter has been regularly emailed to 500 people and hard copy versions have been hand delivered to another 100, providing updates on local news and advice on a wide range of subjects, including ideal local picnic spots! The newsletter has been circulated every week during the pandemic and, due to its popularity, even though public health restrictions have been relaxed, this will now continue on a fortnightly basis.
During his visit, David saw how the Centre not only has a busy stream of customers using the shop, but is also now allowing table service for teas and coffees and nibbles out on the veranda. Their “Roadmap to Recovery” also means that people can attend the regular Wednesday Walks without a booking being required. Additional indoor activities will be made available at the Centre from September, as the then prevailing coronavirus restrictions allow.
David was delighted to see how the workshop is being used by a team of local woodwork volunteers to make handcrafted wooden products, such as bird feeding tables, that are available for sale in the charity shop. Bespoke items, including tables and outdoor planters, can be crafted on request and the team also turn their hand to repairs.
Fundraising initiatives continue to be an important priority. The Bridgend team have seen some real successes over recent months – most notably their sponsored hill race when they dressed up as superheroes and braved heavy rain to raise over £3,000!
After his visit, David said, “Rebecca and the team at the Bridgend Centre do invaluable work in the community. The “Bridging Social Isolation” newsletter is just one example of how they have worked hard to support local residents in and around Bollington over the pandemic. As Patron, I am very proud of all that this active local charity is doing to help so many isolated and vulnerable people in our community – let’s do all we can to support the Bridgend Centre in its inspiring work.”