Walsall charity partnership helping the vulnerable

The hard work and dedication of a Walsall community hub is continuing to help vulnerable people.

Sharon Felton and Councillor Chris Bott have been provided food parcels and hot meals two days a week for people in need across Darlaston and Moxley at Darlaston All Active.
Sharon Felton and Councillor Chris Bott have been provided food parcels and hot meals two days a week for people in need across Darlaston and Moxley at Darlaston All Active.

Darlaston All Active has been working with partner group Moxley Peoples Centre around the borough to provide food parcels and hot meals for vulnerable and elderly residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Working out of Darlaston Town Hall, a group of eight volunteers has been able to provide 120 food parcels a week to households in Darlaston and Moxley.

The group has also been able to provide the hot meals three times per week, with help coming from a weekly donation of 50 meals from the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Willenhall.

Darlaston All Active Founder Sharon Felton spoke about how the production of the food parcels and food had come about.

She said: "When the lockdown started, we began to think about what we could do for the community.

"I got invited to a meeting at Walsall Council, where I met Councillor Chris Bott from Moxley Peoples Centre, and we both agree to work together to do something.

"I then got in touch with FairShare, a food surplus group which I'm already a member of, and they began supplying us with food."

The partnership has been supported by Walsall Council, Walsall Housing Group and West Midlands Fire Brigade, with the council providing materials and food for the parcels.

It has also seen food deliveries from the Morrisons Supermarkets in Walsall and Wednesbury and from Tesco's in Darlaston.

Motto

Sharon said she and the other members of Darlaston All Active were doing this as volunteers, having taken furlough from their roles with the charity.

The 61-year-old also said that even though she now lived in Birmingham, it was an honour to be able to do something for people in the town she came from.

She said: "I'm a Darlaston girl and I know that when the community needs help and when there's nothing on the shelves, it's my role to help people.

"We're a charity and our motto is caring and sharing, so that makes me want to do this and what makes my volunteers want to do this.

"The public reception has been tremendous and there have been so many people coming by and telling us what a great job we've all been doing, which makes it so nice."

Councillor Chris Bott spoke about the partnership and said it showed the community spirit that brought people together during difficult times.

He said: "The pandemic has proved that in a time of need different communities are keen to help and assist in whatever way they can.

"This reflects the kindness and caring that's in our community and beyond, and working together with different people has resulted in new friendships.

"However above all what has been achieved in a time of need our communities have come together and acknowledge the importance of caring and sharing."

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