Youth Action Task Team
In light of the government’s response to the pandemic caused by COVID-19 it became apparent that some individuals and families would have difficulty accessing food provision during the initial lockdown period so early in March this year we started planning alongside Social Policy, Almond Housing and Craigshill Good Neighborhood Network to source and distribute food provision in the community.
Initially ‘Safe Space’ helped Social Policy with food purchase, STV Children’s Well-being Fund donated £2,000 and then a further £2,000 thereafter towards the service, local donations came in from Co-op amongst others.
In April we were successful in a funding bid to the Scottish Government Well-being Fund and received £41,600; this allowed us to provide an intensive food delivery service (along with essential toiletries) as well as one 2 one sessions with high tariff young people who were finding it particularly difficult during the lockdown period, this lasted 12 weeks until the end of June.
A food consortium was set up with over twenty third sector organisations. The consortium, headed up by West Lothian Council centralised food collection and storage and has helped us to continue our service through July-August.
As of July we have distributed over 5,500 food parcels weighing 17-25kg amongst the neediest and the vulnerable in the community. The parcels contain dairy produce, tins, bread, rice/pasta, fruit & veg, tea, coffee, sugar, biscuits, toiletries and washing powder
September will see our organisation move back to supporting more young people while maintaining a small scale food delivery service for those in the community who are still struggling as we move into phase 4 of the Scottish Government’s C-19 road map.
Plans also include developing our Community Fridge; which has been continually providing families in the community with much needed food supplies once a week throughout the pandemic. Any contributions to this service would be warmly welcomed. Food stuff and toiletries can be handed into our office at Craigsfarm Livingston Campus (during office hours).
As we collectively move forward into the final stage of the Government COVID-19 roadmap we will continue to work alongside Craigshill Good Neighborhood Network, Local Councillors’ and Social Work to ensure no one is left behind in the community. It has been highlighted there is a sharp increase in mental health issues. Anxiety and unemployment amongst young people and that workers who have been furloughed and returning to work may still need support.
As well as the work Youth action has been doing to provide ready-made meals and food supplies to the community our young people have sent in home video performances during their lockdown time spent at home.