“We’re crying out for anything and everything” - Centres supporting the vulnerable appeal for supplies

Rosmini Centre

Rosmini Centre - Credit: Archant

From simple sandwich fillings to supplies for basic care packages, groups in the Fens helping the homeless and vulnerable appeal for everyday items during the coronavirus outbreak.

50 Backpacks packing care packages for elderly and vulnerable self isolating in and around Wisbech.

50 Backpacks packing care packages for elderly and vulnerable self isolating in and around Wisbech. - Credit: Archant

The Rosmini Centre remains open in Wisbech and is asking for simple sandwich fillings to feed the homeless after struggling with supplies. Visitors are only allowed in one at a time and yesterday (Monday) they had between 15 and 20 people through its doors.

Anita Grodkiewicz, who manages the centre in Queens Road, said: “I completely understand many people are self isolating and new measures are now in place.

“But if anyone is able to be out and about, we’d be grateful for sandwich fillings to help us feed people coming through our doors. It may be ham or a jar of something from the cupboard to go between two slices of bread.”

She added: “The last few days have really shown me what life must be like for those who don’t have any money in normal circumstances.

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“I usually go to the shops and buy what I want, but I can’t do that at the moment because the shelves have been bare...

“Someone who is penniless has to deal with this kind of thing all the time - and that must be terribly hard to live with.”

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The team is looking into setting up a phone service this week to keep in touch with its elderly service users who are self isolating.

Meanwhile, 50 Backpacks For The Homeless in Bridge Street is another centre continuing its work during the coronavirus outbreak. As well as its usual work, it is also supplying care packages to the elderly and other vulnerable groups in Wisbech and the surrounding villages.

‘Spike’, its chairman, said: “We’re crying out for anything and everything. We’re not just reaching out to the homeless, we’re packing up and delivering care packages and also working with an organisation called CGL which is delivering supplies to camps of foreign workers.

“Tins of food, pasta, fresh veg or toilet rolls - we’d be grateful for any supplies. When it [food] comes to us, we unwrap it, wipe it with antibacterial and then wrap the parcel back up again.”

Spike added: “We’re not taking any chances when it comes to people’s safety and health. Today [Tuesday] we will be delivering between 50 and 60 parcels, and I expect that to double every day this week.”

The team have released a video of their work for their website www.50backpacksvision.uk.

- Tell us your challenges if you are working to support the most vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak. Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk with your experiences.

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