Wolverhampton-based Acts of Random Caring has been supporting people across the city after the pandemic struck thanks to £40,000 of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.
Based at Gatis Community Space in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, it has set up an anti-littering campaign among nearby schools and held mindfulness and meditation sessions online.
Soon the centre will launch a ‘lockdown library’ for local children and families, distributing books that are currently sat unused in the group’s community café, which had to be closed due to restrictions.
A group of 25 ‘morale officers’, who are also local residents, meet regularly to plan and host uplifting activities in the community.
One of which is supporting The Real Junk Food Project Wolverhampton, part of a global movement to reduce food waste and distribute surplus food to those in need.
Around 150 food boxes are delivered every week to older, disabled, or vulnerable people who may not be able to leave their homes during the pandemic.
Maria Billington, director at Acts of Random Caring, said: “Our morale officers and volunteer delivery drivers are a friendly face for people who may have little or no other social contact during these tough times.
“This emergency funding has helped us learn about our local community and engage with people we never would have reached before.
“We’ve also been able to hire new members of staff and take on a surge in volunteers – supporting people, who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, to use their skills and experience to help others.”
Julie Moon, who lives with her 35-year-old disabled son, Daniel, has benefited from their support this year.
She said: “They have not only provided us with good nutritious foods but have also contributed to keeping Dan occupied.
"Because of the level of Dan’s autism, keeping him occupied and finding things to do with him can be difficult, so our boxes are something we look forward to.
“Every delivery comes with a friendly smile and hello and brightens up our day.”