Carlisle Community Help was created at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
A group of local councillors wanted to help as much as they could, so started a Facebook group and advertised a mobile phone number for people to call if they needed help with shopping and prescriptions. The outpouring of support was inspiring, the group recruited 400 volunteers within a few days and systems where set up to collate requests for help with shopping and prescriptions. They began working with Cumbria County Council and took referrals from the councils hotline. Thousands of people across Carlisle have been helped, with the group gaining a lot of media attention for the work they did.
When they saw that parents with children on free school meals where going to be left without support, they raised £50,000 to provide every child with a weeks worth of food, for every week of the lockdown until school started in September. They are now a finalist in the Pride of Cumbria community group of the year category for 2021.
The group has been well supported by local businesses and received funding from Cumbria County Council and Cumbria Community Foundation. The group is now operating 6 affordable food hubs and is looking at future resilience for Carlisle.
In the News ...
- Emergency coronavirus foodbank set up by Carlisle COVID-19 Community Help Group | News and Star
- Community group welcomes government free meals U-turn; ITV News Border
- Emergency foodbank set up in Carlisle as demand surges amid covid-19; ITV News Border
- Carlisle's affordable food hub has busy half-term | In Cumbria (in-cumbria.com)
- ‘Forgotten’ children in Covid-19 crisis | News and Star
- Carlisle is 'sleepwalking into a massive crisis' after Covid-19 | News and Star