The Well in 2020
2020 has been a full year for The Well. Our charity has grown both in terms of its physical footprint on the High Street and in vision and capacity for helping those most in need in our village and surrounding villages.
Back in March we began a pop-up food bank in response to local need caused by the lockdown. In the early days, Sam Shields from the Railway Arms, local school leaders and our local Social Prescriber helped us. They provided food or connecting us with those most in need. We also worked closely with Harborough District Council and Jubilee Foodbank.
We were overwhelmed with support from local people who arrived daily with bags of food. They also contributed to costs and as time went on gave generously of other items such as produce from allotments and on one occasion a bike for a client! As weeks turned into months we started other services to help people cope with lockdown – for example a Listening Helpline.
Looking to the future
As lockdown lifted demand for food remained steady and we were faced with a crucial question. How could we keep this new, loving service going while also re-opening The Well cafe and charity shop?
While The Well seems the natural environment for a food bank, we realised we would need additional space. Could we help people to develop other life skills and develop relationships if we had more space?
47 High Street, next to The Well, became available just as we needed to make a decision. Though sad to see the GEMS charity shop go, the space was perfect for our food bank. Miraculously, the tenancy arrangements and funding came together at the same time. We are delighted that we can continue with the project for at least a year – and hopefully beyond.
Shortly afterwards we were in receipt of a phenomenal number of Harvest Festival donations from local churches and schools. However, we would be so grateful for further donations from the public, either in the food bank basket at the Co-op, or directly to the door at 47 High Street, Tuesday to Thursday 10am-12noon.
Now that the food bank is secure, we have turned our attention to decorating and re-configuring the Cafe space. We hope to open in the mornings with a reduced menu and customer capacity from late November.
The clothes shop has been opening in the afternoons since the summer. This will continue until we are able to remain open all day. We will resume other services, such as our free Legal Clinic and Senior Groups as soon as we are able.
We need more volunteers!
As a charity, The Well relies heavily on volunteers. We need more volunteers to help in the Cafe, Shop and Food Bank in order to extend our opening hours. We are always delighted to hear from local people who feel they can help.
If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me (Centre Manager) on (0116) 279 0148 (9am-3pm). Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can pop into The Well for an application form.
The Food Bank has a referral system – telephone 07517 350912 (10am-3pm) or email Emma.