Home Coronavirus: Community response Knowsley says: Thank you!

Knowsley says: Thank you!

by Gemma Melling

At such a difficult time for everyone in our communities – whether it be individuals, organisations, schools or businesses – we can all be proud that there are so many good news stories to share, and so many people doing all they can to help out others.

While we know we can’t possibly capture every act of kindness, generosity, bravery and selflessness that is going on in our communities, we would like to try and say a well deserved THANK YOU to as many as we can through this page.

So if you need some positivity at this sometimes stressful and worrying time – please keep checking back here so we can recognise and highlight those actions which remind us what it is to be human – to be compassionate, considerate and make a real difference to other people’s lives – no matter how small.

If you know a local hero or example we should be including please contact us with a few details to: communications@knowsley.gov.uk. We may not be able to include them all, but we’ll do our very best!

People are volunteering to help in whatever way they can

Since its creation on 21 March Knowsley’s Community Support and Volunteer Line – which was set up to offer extra help to those facing hardship and harness volunteering support during the crisis – has received more than 3,000 calls, with the majority coming from individuals / businesses offering support or signing up to volunteer.

The community response has been overwhelming

You don’t have to look far to find examples of people, organisations and community groups doing their bit to help others during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Care Merseyside are offering Knowsley residents a wide range of support during the Coronavirus pandemic.

A social prescribing charity that offers non-clinical interventions for people in the local community they are helping the borough in many ways.

Care Merseyside’s Director Cathy Connolly’s son, Patrick (15) recently helped deliver shopping to vulnerable residents who are shielding at home. With a mum who works in the charity sector and a father who is a nurse at Aintree Hospital, Patrick wanted to give back to his community.

Compassionate Knowsley residents are also volunteering their time to the Befriending Service. Rida (23) and Frank (69), who have both experienced loss and grief each ring members of the community to support them during these challenging times. Rida speaks with a retired NHS nurse while Frank regularly speaks with a resident who lost his wife and looks after his grandchildren.

Frank also uses poetry to express himself and Care Merseyside share them on social media to give others the opportunity to share his experiences. You can read them on the Care Merseyside Twitter feed.

During this time Knowsley residents are also invited to use a new signposting service, which recommends apps suited to their needs. Knowsley Orcha Health App can be accessed by contacting Care Merseyside’s Linkworkers via a self-referral completion online. Residents will then be recommended a suggested app including sleep, exercise, relaxation, nutrition or stress management to help with any number of issues residents may be experiencing.

Joanne, a Care Merseyside volunteer, made this balloon to symbolise how the work of the charity is “lifting up the community we serve.” Pictured above: Joanne, a Care Merseyside volunteer, made this balloon to symbolise how the work of the charity is “lifting up the community we serve.”
Centre 63 have distributed groceries and fresh food supplies to people in Kirkby after food was received from Fare Share. The Centre have also used donations from the public to add more food and the parcels will provide families with two or three days worth of meals and snacks. They will be using another £500 that they were awarded through the Tesco Bags of Help Scheme to purchase more food and essential items to distribute.
Thank you to Flourish and Suceed CIC who have been out and about supporting vulnerable people in the community, including making donations to the Hillside Neighbourhood Centre. They also continue to run their Man's Hive Group, which promotes good mental health, remotely via Zoom every Wednesday evening from 7-8pm. New people welcome - contact Tom on 07950 987 944 for more details on how to join the call.
Franny Briggs has been doing his bit to keep the community entertained during the lockdown – from running competitions on TikTok for both adults and children and dressing as favourite kids characters including Baby Shark on his daily walk to delight the little ones. He’s even roped in friend Jay Murray to dress as Woody & Buzz from Toy Story and Poppy Troll and an LOL doll! Together, Franny and Jay have raised almost £1,500 for the staff on the Covid-19 ward at Aintree Hospital through various fundraising activities including a sponsored head shave, Easter bonnet competition and a bake-off, with all cakes being donated to local care homes. Read more in the Liverpool Echo.
The committee of Knowsley Flower Show, made up of committed growers as well as local charity Incredible Edible, were asked by Merseycare NHS if they could donate any plants to patients at Mossley Hill Hospital. They immediately gathered together lots of tomato and other vegetable plants, seedlings and perennial hardy flowers to donate. The plants were delivered by volunteers including Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council. The plants will be grown on and planted up by the patients, giving them some fun gardening time. They will be sharing pictures of how the plants look by the weekend that would have been the Knowsley Flower Show and also be harvesting the fruit and veg in the months ahead. Well done everyone! Cllr Graham Morgan, Karen Mower of Incredible Edible and Keith Silcock from Knowsley Flower Show committee with some of the plants donated to Mossley Hill Hospital. Cllr Graham Morgan, Karen Mower of Incredible Edible and Keith Silcock from Knowsley Flower Show committee with some of the plants donated to Mossley Hill Hospital.
Local growing charity, Incredible Edible Knowsley, have leapt into action during the Coronavirus outbreak to make thousands of vegetable plant seedlings available to the community for free. They are sewing tomato, lettuce, cauliflower, beans, peas and onions to be given away to people in the community who want to grow their own.
Medical engineering apprentice, Jack Gynane from Huyton, has been making visors and ear relievers for NHS staff from his bedroom using a 3D printer.

The former Lord Derby Academy pupil, who works at Jaguar Land Rover in Halewood, has made more than 400 pieces of PPE so far.

What an amazing thing to do Jack – and all from the comfort of your own bedroom! Read more about Jack’s incredible efforts on the Liverpool Echo website.
Local sewing enthusiasts have been busy making scrubs for Aintree Hospital, The Walton Centre and Whiston Hospital.

Inspired by a Facebook group, For the Love of Scrubs, sewing tutors from the council’s Family and Community Education service (Jackie Croft & Marianne Penny) were enlisted, along with a group of willing learners.

Sewing enthusiasts from across Knowsley including Karen Canty, Donna Lee, Barbra Allan, Karen Laird, Susan Mathison, and Jackie Croft are making scrub tops and pants. While Amy Rawlinson in Shevington Park, Kirkby has been making head bands and scrub bags which she has been donating to the hospitals. The group has volunteered many hours of their own time and every week are producing an average of 70 scrub tops and trousers, 200 scrub bags, 150 hats and countless headbands.

Read more. Some of the scrubs made by the sewers. Pictured above are some of the items made by the sewers.
Vulnerable residents in Stockbridge Village have been enjoying delicious hot meals delivered to their door thanks to the hard work of a team of school cooks, local councillors and volunteers.

More than 3,000 nutritious meals have left the school kitchen at Stockbridge Village Primary school since the lockdown started in March. The idea came about after the school chef, Carla Leonard, got in touch with Knowsley Town Council to ask if she could help with their Covid-19 food project.

You can read more about this story here.

A big ‘thank you’ to our business community 

We’ve had an amazing response from local businesses who have been quick to volunteer their services and make donations to help those facing hardship during the outbreak.

We’ve seen everything from individual business leaders offering to buy food and drop it at the Foodbank, to bulk deliveries of vital supplies and equipment, as well as companies offering their expertise to ease the burden on organisations struggling to cope.

 

Offered to collate food items from businesses as required. Offered to deliver supplies where necessary.
Offered a personal donation of food items.
Offered to purchase key items required.
Offered personal donation of food items.
Made a bulk donation of food and essential items to the Knowsley Foodbank.
Donated 2,000 surgical face masks, 300 gloves and hand sanitiser.
Donated 2,500 units of cereal pots. Donated 400 essential PPE face masks to Knowsley Council for essential fronline workers and helped them access more stock.
Offered to pick up and deliver donations.
Donated a personal donation of food items.
Over the last few weeks the company has been making urgent ventilator parts to support the #VentilatorChallengeUK.

They have also donated £150 to the foodbank as well as items of much-needed food.
Delivered fruit & veg to the Big Help Project, and offered to deliver to vulnerable families self-isolating in Kirkby.
Citrus without fuss and for no charge connected the refrigerated unit that was kindly lent to Knowsley Foodbank. Citrus are a local firm based in Prescot that have grown quickly over the last few years. Jack and Michael who own the company have supported the Foodbank in many ways since it moved to Link Road - and in fact thecurrent Foodbank warehouse is where Michael passed his exams to become an electrician.
Clarke Energy's UK and French Teams have been distributing PPE to support local essential services. Their employee Francois Cappe in France has personally produced 1,200 visors using his own 3D printers!
Donated 180 toilet rolls
Donated £10,000 to the Knowsley Foodbank to support the council's response to vulnerable residents. The donation comprises £1,000 in food and £9,000 in cash - enough to support 278 families of 3/4 people for 3 days.
Donated a large stock pile of toilet paper.
Donated 40-50 boxes (50 bags per box) of strong reusable shopping bags for The Big Help Project (Knowsley Foodbank). Environmental Waste Controls have also offered to install a large cardboard compactor at no cost to The Big Help Project. This will be a big step towards avoiding sending waste to landfill and instead recycling the large amount of cardboard that is now being processed by the Foodbank.
Donated personal donations of food items.
Kindly made a personal donation of money.
Donated a cheque for undisclosed amount.
Kindly made a cash donation
Made a personal donation of food items.
Made 100 breakfasts for staff at Fazakerly Hospital, sent food and cakes to local care homes, and organised raffles and competitions for local residents. John from Yummies Café also sent cash donations to Kirkby Foodbank, Centre 63, Knowsley Baby Basics and the Birchwood Centre.
Donated a cheque for an undisclosed amount.
Since April when The Big Help Knowsley Foodbank Project joined forces with Knowsley Council and Knowsley Chamber to coordinate a call to local businesses for help, more than 60 local businesses have answered the call donating around thousands of pounds worth of essential food items and supplies.

The team at Knowsley Chamber has also backed the campaign with personal donations by the team which has been matched by Knowsley Chamber. A further £80 worth of essential food items from the Chamber was delivered this month. A total of £250 worth of support.
Donated a variety of bakery items.
Donation of bulk food items from COSTCO to the Foodbank.
Offered to pick up and deliver donations.
Offered a personal donation of food items.
Donated a pallet of food items with an estimated value of £1,000, including olive oil, red kidney beans, pasta sauce, eggs and bread. Read more here on Knowsley News. The food donation from Morrisons The food donation from Morrisons Morrisons have continued to support The Big Help Project throughout the pandemic, donating 1-2 pallets of food and supplies every week.
As well as delivering the donation of food from Home Bargains for free, Dave Couzens and his crew from Nagel Group have also kindly loaned a 40ft refrigerated trailer to allow the Food Bank to store chilled and frozen produce.
Donated juice, drinks, crisps and other items to help make up food parcels.
Collected and delivered the pallet of porridge donated by Applied Nutrition.
Renova Developments Ltd, which manages primary and community health care infrastructure developments across Knowsley, St Helens, Warrington, and Halton, has kindly donated £6,000 to Knowsley’s Community Support Hub.

The donation will be used to buy food and provisions for Knowsley Foodbank, which works in partnership with Knowsley Council to distribute food parcels to families facing hardship. The Foodbank is currently providing 1,200 food parcels per week, each worth around £30 and feeding a family of four for a week. So the generous donation from Renova will feed 200 families – a great achievement and a big ‘thank you’ to all concerned.
Donated £200 donation to purchase goods from Costco.
Donated toilet rolls.
Making weekly bulk donations to the Knowsley Food Bank.
Have donated items of food to the Food Bank, and set up a donation point for their employees to do the same if they wish.
Have been out delivering food parcels across the borough.

 

 

Supporting our key workers

Clap for our carers Knowsley

Thank you to all those residents who’ve been displaying rainbows in their windows and joining in the weekly Clap for our Carers event at 8pm on Thursdays. (If you’d like a downloadable colouring sheet to create your own Knowsley Rainbow of Hope, you can do that here). We’ve also seen people leaving messages of thanks for their bin men, which has been very much appreciated.

One of the challenges facing the nation during the coronavirus pandemic is sourcing enough of the critical PPE (personal protective equipment). Many of Knowsley’s schools have responded to this challenge and come together to support Merseyside’s NHS workers.

All secondary schools in the borough, along with Alt Bridge School in Huyton, have donated science and technology safety equipment to the NHS. This includes donating a considerable amount of eye and science goggles. Prescot School loaned their 3D printers to produce valves for oxygen masks.

Several of our schools have also been organising foodbank collection points so that individuals can drop off items to be donated.

Significantly a team of council workers, St Edmund Arrowsmith School’s Engie staff and community volunteers created thousands of vital protection face visors for front line staff at Whiston Hospital.

During the course of just one week the team created around 10,000 visors enabling hospital staff to work more safely during the Covid pandemic.

While the hospital had the basic materials for the visors, they needed support to make them up, so issued an appeal for help.

There was a swift response from the team – made up of council workers, the school’s Engie site management staff and community volunteers – who created a production line at St Edmund Arrowsmith School in Prescot to make up the vital equipment, following strict social distancing guidelines.

The team took daily deliveries of the raw materials from the hospital and by the end of the week delivered around 10,000 completed visors to the hospital.

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “It’s great to see our schools donating this much-needed equipment to the NHS and helping to support  at such a challenging time. Community spirit is extremely strong here in Knowsley and it’s great to see our communities coming together for such a worthwhile cause.”

Do you need help, or know someone who does? Or want to offer your help?

If you are in need of help, contact the Knowsley Coronavirus Community Support and Volunteer Line.