Since our last statement about the implications of the coronavirus on the Inspire Centre and Cafe, the government has issued guidance saying that community centres should be closed other than for “essential voluntary and public services” and cafes are permitted to be open for “food delivery and takeaway”.
Following this guidance, and in discussion with other community partners, the Inspire Centre is now closed to the general public.
However, Inspire staff and volunteers will continue to work to provide services to the community in three ways:
1. Support for older and vulnerable people
The Inspired Taskforce has worked with older people in the neighbourhood for over 5 years and has a large database of contacts. Staff and volunteers are currently calling all of these people to ascertain whether they will need particular support in the weeks ahead.
- Inspire will provide a freshly cooked meal every day to a group of 50 targeted older or vulnerable people (these are not expected to be in the ‘shielded’ group but who still need support).
- It will also deliver food bags on Fridays to all those who would normally get food bags from The Bread & Butter Project.
- It will work with Levy Corona Helpers to mobilise a team of around 30 delivery drivers to do this.
- Inspire will also organise a ‘telephone tree’ to support 150 older people with a phone call each week through a team of 30 call volunteers.
IF YOU KNOW OF ANYBODY WHO MIGHT NEED SUPPORT OR IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE A DELIEVRY VOLUNTEER OR PHONE VOLUNTEER THEN PLEASE CALL KATE ON 07459629955
2. Meal production and deliveries
The Inspire Café kitchen will remain open for daily food preparation in order to produce meals for a takeaway service. We will work closely with Fareshare and other food suppliers to minimise costs. Our takeaways will then be delivered:
- To the cohort of 50 older and vulnerable people identified above;
- To employees at Asda Longsight supermarket who have requested this service;
- To other customers if there is the capacity to do so.
3. Community support and online activity
- The Inspire Centre phoneline (0161 850 5717) will remain open for people to call if they are looking for advice and support. Many of our regular visitors are often in need of a chat or some informal advice and signposting. This is not a formal information, advice and guidance service but we do wish to remain ‘open’ to those who will be missing visiting the centre.
- Alongside this, we are planning some simple online activities including a weekly ‘Inspire Community Online’ drop-in where people will be able to Zoom in for a community conversation.
- We will also look to support other local residents who are organising other community activities such as access to ICT equipment, provision of local information and other online fun and we will work in close partnership with Levy Corona Helpers, Levenshulme Good Neighbours and other local partners as best we can.
IF YOU ARE MISSING YOUR FRIENDS AT INSPIRE OR WOULD LIKE A CHAT AND SOME FRIENDLY INFORMAL ADVICE, OR IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR COMMUNITY ACTIVITY THEN PLEASE CALL LISA ON 0161 850 5717.
Since our previous statement, government has also announced various schemes to support small businesses and charities like Inspire but it is not clear yet how quickly this money will flow and our financial situation remain precarious.
We have calculated that to provide the services set out above it will cost Inspire £2421 per week. We have made a handful of funding applications for emergency support but we have also launched a community fundraising campaign.
If you feel able to support our work and would like to make a donation then please visit our Virgin Money Giving Bee Kind Be Safe Be Levy fundraising page.
- £5 will pay for a take-away meal that can be distributed to an isolating older person
- £10 will pay for the extra cleaning we are having to do each day to keep the centre safe
- £25 will keep the Inspire Centre with light, heat, water and insurance for a day
- £50 will keep the café kitchen open for a day to prepare take-away meals for distribution
- £100 could be seen as ‘suspended room hire’ for a whole room for a day to ensure we will be able to open again when the crisis is over
Many thanks for all your support.