POPCAN set out their plans in February before Covid kicked off in March. But the coronavirus lockdowns haven’t dimmed the energy, enthusiasm or achievements of the Westbury resident-led group. Tina Devereux highlights some of POPCAN’s activities despite the challenges
This year will go down in history for many as the most difficult, challenging we have had to face. Covid-19 has indirectly affected us all, some more than others. However, we want to remember 2020 was the year that the community of Westbury came together to help each other, be proud of the response we had, send many thanks to the local people and community groups who throughout the pandemic have been continuing to function for the good of their local community.
Although Covid 19 has stopped many opportunities this year, POPCAN has continued to support their local area.
POPCAN donated £500 to Abraham’s Kitchen, where food ingredients were sent to families to cook a meal from scratch.
POPCAN member Samantha Shore has been busy delivering food boxes.
We held a UNIFORM HAND IT ON event in August at the WCP where we asked for donations of unwanted, still useable school uniforms that we could pass on to others who could make use of them. We had a great response and we managed to help out over 30 families. We still have a stock of uniforms left so if anybody needs anymore, we may be able to help.
POPCAN said a fond farewell to Scott Jacobs-Lange, Sovereign Housing Community Engagement Officer who helped to set up POPCAN, but Scott left behind a community group with a voice who are continuing to do good for Westbury.
When able, we plan to have a regular monthly POP-IN session at WCP on the first Tuesday of each month 12.30-2.30pm, where people can come along, have a chat, catch up and join in the discussions of the day. We will have a wooden Chest where people will be able to post their problems or concerns so we can try to help- “Get it off your chest” – it’s good to talk.
Working, in conjunction with Team10 – a team of school children who work alongside POPCAN – we have been the instigators of getting some new play equipment in the local park. Team10 ran a consultation with a questionnaire for the local residents and children to vote what type of play item they would like to see in the park. Thanks to Westbury Town Council, we now have a new multi-purpose play item newly installed.
On a personal level, before Covid 19 raised its ugly head, I had the great pleasure of meeting Hazel Stuteley of C2 and throughout my months of lockdown due to my poorly husband. Hazel and her team have been there for me, supporting and encouraging me via Zoom and Teams. Through them, I have met so many interesting and like-minded community groups and individuals who are doing outstanding things to support their communities during this difficult time. I am so proud and honoured to be invited into the C2 Family. They got me through a very challenging time. I look forward to 2021 where I can put into practice things I have learned from this brilliant organisation.
Next year: We hope to put on our annual POP-UP Fun Day at Penleigh Park and be here for Westbury.