In Plas Madoc, Wrexham, the Invest Local group We Are Plas Madoc have a team of volunteers who are keeping people in the community connected, fed and entertained.
While the award-winning play project The Land is closed, staff and volunteers have found creative ways to keep local families busy.
The supply of wooden pallets usually used by the children to build dens have been transformed into a variety of items to help local residents appreciate the great outdoors while they’re in lockdown.
Families on the estate have had a delivery of a wooden planters, along with compost and seeds to grow strawberries and sunflowers. They’ve also built some mini-greenhouses, which they’ll deliver with a supply of seedlings.
The group have also been building benches and distributing to local people so they can enjoy the Spring sunshine in their gardens. The project has proved so popular that the group now have a waiting list for benches.
But that’s just a small part of the work going on in Plas Madoc to support the community during the Coronavirus crisis.
At the start of the crisis, the group distributed activity packs to every household on the estate, with a colouring or puzzle book, pens, an item of food and a telephone number for We Are Plas Madoc that people can call for support. The group are supporting people with collecting shopping, prescriptions and food parcels from the local food bank.
They’ve also recently launched ‘Chinwags’ – a free telephone service for people who are feeling lonely or isolated. There has also been street bingo and weekly ‘Dance on Your Doorstep’ session.
Around 80 households are receiving fresh fruit and vegetable deliveries – thanks to some extra funding that the group got via the Wales Coronavirus Resilience Fund. The group have also sourced funding from Tesco Bags for Help and The Steve Morgan Foundation to continue this work during the crisis.
Community Development Officer and resident Donna Jordan said:
“In times of social distancing, we’ve been connecting with more people. We’ve seen a lot of community spirit in Plas Madoc – with lots of people doing things for others and new friendships being made.
“The fact that we already were a strong community and had an established group of volunteers helped us to get support out there quickly as soon as lockdown was announced.
We’ve actually gained around eight new volunteers too. Working with the local CVC, we were able to get fast-track DBS checks so they could start volunteering quickly. It was also useful to connect with other organisations in the area – mapping out what they are doing and seeing where the gaps are in what people needed support with.
We’ve gained a lot of trust – people are recognising what We Are Plas Madoc are and they want to be involved. I think we’ll have a lot more residents engaging with the programme after the crisis too.”