In East Wittering, Community Warden Drew Allardice is helping package up festive bundles for youth club members who have not been able to meet over the last few months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The bundles were made possible after Drew applied for a grant from the social enterprise FareShare, which prevents good food from going to waste by redistributing it to frontline charities. The £2,000 grant is being spent on putting together 100 festive food parcels for young people who attend East Wittering Youth Club.

The youth club has a close connection with FareShare, who over the last two years have been supporting the club and other community organisations by donating good quality left-over food from the local Tesco.

"The young people who attend the youth club have had a difficult year, and have not been able to meet up, and we thought this would be a nice way of spreading some cheer," explains Drew. "The local Tesco have also been really supportive and their staff will also be helping to pick and pack up the bags."

Because the group can't meet up due to the Government restrictions, the local fire crew have offered to help distribute the bundles to young people's homes.

Dawn White and Gareth Jones, Community Wardens for Oving and Tangmere, are working with Oving Community Watch to put together 80 treat boxes. These will be delivered to elderly people in Oving parish. Normally they would have been involved in cooking a Christmas meal at Oving Jubilee Hall, but because of coronavirus, this has been cancelled. As the residents can't meet in person this year, it was decided to put together some treat boxes to let people know that they had not been forgotten.

This year, Gareth has also been carrying out mental health welfare visits to certain residents in his patch. Over the Christmas period he will be continuing to visit people to check that they are okay.

Community Warden, Sue Long, who covers the Chichester West area, nominated residents in her community for special Rotary Club vouchers to cover Christmas costs. The scheme runs each year, and people usually receive hampers, but because of coronavirus, this year they are receiving vouchers to spend instead.

Sue says: "I usually nominate a few people that have come to my attention over the year. One particular lady who I nominated this year does a lot for the community and she was over the moon to receive her voucher."

Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Culture and Community Services at Chichester District Council says: "This year has been extremely challenging and difficult for many people and our community wardens have been doing a wonderful job checking in on those who need extra support. Although our usual Christmas get togethers and celebrations will be very different this year, the wardens have been working closely with their local contacts to help make this time of year as special as possible for residents in their communities and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved."

Date of release: 11 December 2020

Reference: 3956