12th June 2020
Dear Marsh and Micklefield Big Local,
We write to thank you and report back to you on the £250.00 grant we were awarded to support Marsh and Micklefield residents with 20 activity packs.
These were delivered successfully to individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions and families under stress. 16 packs were delivered in Micklefield and 4 in Marsh. 3 people were experiencing symptoms of Covid 19 and 1 was in mental health crisis. 2 families in need had children’s activity packs but had a shortage of food so Wycombe Mind provided large food deliveries and linked them in with other agencies.
Examples of these packs, which all included hand sanitiser and hand wash were:
- 5 gardening packs with compost, seeds, seedlings and flowers, hanging baskets and pots.
- 5 arts and crafts and pamper boxes to single women.
- 5 children’s activities packs including books, dvds, colouring, bubbles and children’s planting packs.
- 1 pack where there was bereavement from Covid 19 included food and anti-bacterial items for the widow and children’s activities for the step child and granddaughter. This pack was subsidised by Wycombe Mind in the circumstances.
- 1 pack was for a mother with quite severe symptoms of Covid 19 and her two sons and was culturally appropriate food and toys for the two sons. Again, this was subsidized by Wycombe Mind as one of the son’s was in severe distress having already lost an Aunt to Covid 19. We are pleased to report the mother has now recovered although characteristically is very tired.
- 1 pack was individually tailored to wildlife and birdwatching, with magazines related to the subject.
- 1 pack was indoor plant care as the woman as well as being shielded had sustained a broken hip and could not do gardening as planned.
- 1 woman with symptoms of Covid 19 received a Henna pack and Asian sweets and miscellaneous cooking ingredients as she was celebrating Eid alone. She was then linked in with a food delivery service.
From this snapshot and other people we are helping subsequently we think that future mental health needs will be best addressed by support for families in food poverty and mental health support for those effected by the economic downturn possibly through group support, employment peer support and referral to debt and welfare benefits advice. We are also in a better position to plan for a second wave of Covid 19 or other pandemic as there was a clear pattern of need throughout March, April and June. Our experience of this is that it started with the panic buying for food and essential items where digital exclusion prevented online delivery. Then boredom and frustration and anxiety set in for many people who needed diversion and activities whilst in Lockdown. Currently people are requesting face masks for use on public transport and hand sanitiser.
WRISE Project Coordinator