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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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. Pictured above are some of the items made by the sewers.
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.
They have also donated £150 to the foodbank as well as items of much-needed food.
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.
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.
Supporting our key workers
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.
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.
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.