In Newport the Invest Local group Pill Unity have been working together with other local organisations to boost community spirit during lockdown.
The group have been making and delivering activity packs to keep local people entertained.
"We knew the implications of the enforced social isolation and having to stay at home could lead to boredom and frustration for many Pill families and residents,” said Pill Unity member Julie Fish. “We wanted to try and provide a bit of cheer, put some smiles on the faces of the people of Pill at a very difficult time, and reinstate some of the famous Pill community spirit.”
The Pill Unity activity packs have been produced for children, young people and the over-60s. They contain age-appropriate craft kits, art supplies, puzzles and games. Anyone living in Pill could request a pack, and volunteers from the group would deliver them to your doorstep. The group have distributed over 500 packs so far.
The volunteers – Julie Fish, Alison Stewart, Jayne Lewis, and Reggie Al-haddi – also delivered packs to local care homes and assisted living accommodation, as well as the Royal Gwent Hospital’s children’s ward.
The group have received lots of positive feedback from the community. Julie said: “The feedback to date had been amazing and to see so many happy, smiling children and older people has been the outcome we hoped to achieve.” One resident of Capel Court flats sent Pill Unity a thank you note, saying: “It’s at times like this you realise how lovely people really are”.
As well as coordinating the activity packs, volunteers from the group have also been involved in keeping the community of Pill fed during lockdown. A weekly food parcel service is up and running at the Pill Millennium Centre, led by Newport City Council’s Central Hub staff and Pill Unity members.