Coronavirus in Sheffield: Here's what the community is doing - and how you can help

Communities groups and volunteers have been ralling round to help the city's most vulnerable as the coronavirus outbreak continues.

By Lizzie Day
Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 12:19 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 12:52 pm

With many people self isolating to help prevent the spread of the disease, Sheffield’s big-hearted volunteers have stepped in to help provide support and care.

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Here are details of the great work being done by the community. If you have a service or support group in the city you’d like people to know about, email the details to [email protected]


Coronavirus: How Sheffield's community is rallying together to protect the most vulnerable

Last updated: Thursday, 19 March, 2020, 17:32

  • Catering companies to deliver hot meals to care homes
  • Charities urge more volunteers to come forward to support the elderly
  • New telephone support service for the visually impaired
  • Co-op to recruit more staff to cope with spike in demand for food
  • Heron Foods cancel new Frecheville store opening and donate gift bags to charity
  • South Yorkshire's Community Foundation issue new funding advice for charities
  • Library book extensions issued in Stannington
  • Residents offer to run errands and collect prescriptions for those self isolating
  • Charity volunteers go above and beyond to support the older generation
  • Mental health workers continue to support patients during crisis
  • Children in Nether Edge create new self-isolation walking game
  • Anti food waste charity give groceries and hot meals to those in need
  • Nether Edge set up community support network to help vulnerable people
  • Sheffield sports bar becomes a food bank donation point to help the vulnerable
  • Sheffield dentistry students band together to help  during the outbreak
  • Sheffield app to provide information to communities about halted services
  • Sheffield households encouraged to put up front door self isolation notices
  • Sheffield business offers 'pay as you feel' groceries for people struggling
  • New kitchen needed for anti food waste charity to continue feeding the vulnerable
  • Sheffield baby charity calls for more donations to help struggling new families
  • National Videogame Museum thanks public for supporting emergency fundraiser
  • Care workers needed across Sheffield as national demand increases

Sheffield anti food waste charity supplies groceries and hot meals for people struggling amid coronavirus

Food Works Sheffield who re-purpose over seven tonnes of surplus food in the city every week, are adapting their services to keep people fed. 

The charity are giving away boxes of groceries at Sharehouse Market on Woodbourn Road between 10am to 3pm everyday this week. 

People can also pick up hot, healthy meals from the market using food which would otherwise have been thrown away. 

Food Works Sheffield are urging people to donate to their fundraising page so they can continue to feed people across Sheffield.

It is as disruptions from the pandemic increase the risk of food being wasted and shoppers stock-piling essential items means some people may go without. 

To donate to the cause, click here.

Children create new walking game to keep themselves entertained while in self isolation

Kids across Nether Edge have started to put drawings of rainbows up in their windows as a giant game of eye spy.

It's to give them something to count and entertain themselves with while they go on walks around the neighbourhood without their friends.

People are encouraging other households across Sheffield to join in the fun and put drawings in their windows, to stop children from getting bored during self isolation. 

Mental health workers continue to support people over the phone as pandemic worsens

The organisation who have cancelled all face to face activities, will now be helping patients through phone calls. 

Sheffield Flourish are organising weekly scheduled check ins for those requiring mental health support. 

The charity are also encouraging people self-isolating and anyone experiencing anxiety as a result of the ongoing global pandemic, to practice self-care. 

They advise sticking to your daily routine as much as possible, checking in virtually with family and friends, as well as only following official medical guidance. 

Volunteers adapt to support the older generation who are self isolated

Rachel Cundy, Good Neighbour volunteer

Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care has mobilised its volunteers to support their communities beyond their normal roles.

The SCCCC’s good neighbour friendly visiting scheme, where older people are visited by volunteers on a regular basis, has been suspended until further notice to keep our older generation safe.

Volunteers are doing a number of tasks, including food shopping, collecting prescriptions, telephoning their service user where possible and even writing to them.

Rachel Cundy, a good neighbour volunteer, said: “I love visiting my lady, but I know that having no face-to-face contact with her keeps her safe.

“I have been telephoning her on a regular basis and thought it would be nice for her to receive a letter through the post.”

Kelham Island and Neepsend residents to pick up food for people in self isolation

The community group are offering help for those who can't leave the house due to the threat of Covid-19. 

The Kelham Island and Neepsend Community Alliance can pick up books, food, cleaning supplies and medical prescriptions. 

Local residents are also providing friendly phone and video calls to stop people self-isolating from becoming lonely. 

To get in touch, call or text The Kelham Island and Neepsend Community Alliance on 07743250060.

Don't worry about having to return your library books..

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South Yorkshire's Community Foundation issue new guidance for charity funded groups

The organisation, which helps to finance charity activities across the region, has outlined the steps community groups should take. 

They are urging groups funded by the South Yorkshire Community Foundation to get in touch if scheduled charity events are cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

It's after the Prime Minister introduced new measures to slow the spread of the pandemic - by banning mass public gatherings and advising people with a high temperature and a new continuous cough to stay at home for seven days. 

South Yorkshire's Community Foundation urge those who have received grants for specific charity events to email them if planned activities are now delayed. 

Any financial costs that will be incurred by re-arranging plans should be communicated to the charity, before groups commit to them. 

But if planned activities are cancelled and grants are unspent - charities should contact the organisation as soon as possible and return the remaining funding.

South Yorkshire's Community Foundation are also appealing for funds to distribute to local charities supporting the vulnerable people who are struggling as a result of coronavirus. 

They are supporting The National Emergencies Trust's call for funding to aid grassroots projects, helping those most at risk. 

To find find out more about funding implications, contact The Grants Team via [email protected] 

You can donate to help people struggling in the UK here.

Heron Foods postpone new Frecheville store opening amid concerns over customer safety

The new branch on Birley Moor Road was supposed to welcome customers on Thursday 26 March.

Heron Foods have cancelled the Frecheville store opening until further notice due to concerns over customer safety in light of coronavirus. 

Goodie bags intended for shoppers will be donated to Gleadless Valley Foodbank - for those who are unable to leave their home or find food due to stock-piling. 

Heron Foods’ managing director, Tony Dobbs, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to reassure our shoppers that during this difficult time, all of our team are continuing to work tirelessly to ensure the shelves are stocked and the basic essentials are available for everyone within the community.

“We would like to ask that you bear with us during this period of uncertainty and reassure you that demand in the market has been unprecedented and the store will be at our usual high standards as soon as possible. We thank you again for your patience during this difficult time.”

A new date for the official opening event will be announced in the future.

Co-operative employ more staff to cope with shoppers' stock-piling demand and champion new food-bank appeal

The retailer plans to recruit more workers to cope with increased demand amid coronavirus and provide food-bank donation points in store.

Co-op are appealing to shoppers to donate essential items as charities reported a shortage of supplies due to shoppers stockpiling over fears about Covid-19.

People are encouraged to drop off  cereal, tinned food, pasta, biscuits and long life milk at their local stores.  

This produce will be used to create food parcels which will provide at least three days' worth of meals for those in need. 

 Co-op is also looking to employ more customer service advisers across its 242 food stores to meet the global spike in demand for food. 

The temporary 3 month contracts include serving customers and replenishing stock. 

It's after the government advised people to work from home and self isolate for 14 days if they show symptoms of the disease - in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

This led to consumers raiding supermarket shelves for everyday items such as toilet roll, bread, eggs and milk.

Co-op is one of the supermarkets imposing a two-item limit on products in store and urging shoppers to only buy what they need.

It posted this joint message as a member of the British Retail Consortium asking consumers to be more considerate. 

Central England Co-op Chief Executive Debbie Robinson said: “We also wanted to say we are working hard with our suppliers to make sure that shelves are regularly re-stocked, as a community retailer we know how important it is for everyone to have access to good quality food and vital essentials."

The retailer has also donated to FareShare Midlands - a charity that provides meals for vulnerable people out of the surplus food given to charities. 

The money will pay for extra transport and staff to ensure that emergency food packages continue to be delivered for those in need. 

For more information about vacancies, ask in store at your local Co-operative.

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