Taking action: providing essential support to those in need

We are proud to be working in partnership with four local authorities in Hampshire to support vulnerable people living in the county.

During this unprecedented time we are providing essential support by funding, providing food and stocking community hubs identified in four key areas in Hampshire across Portsmouth, Southampton, Whitehill & Bordon and Gosport.

The support we offer to each area is tailored, allowing us to provide the best assistance provision needed at this time. Managing Director of Community Services at Radian Group, Michelle Dawson, said:

“Our Community Involvement team work year-round to support customers, families and individuals living in communities around Hampshire; that help is required now more than ever. We are committed to supporting vulnerable and isolated people during the current climate, delivering food, funding community services and identifying where our resources can directly benefit communities.

“Our work with those most vulnerable in the community is of the highest important and we will continue to focus on ways in which we can keep them safe and healthy not only now, but in the future too.”

In Portsmouth we have provided £2,500 of funding to the Landport Community Centre. Run by Enable Ability – an independent charity that works with disabled people – and Portsmouth City Council, this essential funding has equipped the hub’s kitchen and allowed it to get up and running quickly.

In just a few weeks our Community Involvement team have already supplied more than 600 meals, 150 sandwiches and 25-30 fruit baskets. In April, Portsmouth Football Club player Christian Burgess visited Landport Community Centre to help prepare hot food, preparing a vegetarian curry to be provided to families and individuals in the city for free. Portsmouth in the Community is just one of a handful of dedicated organisations joining us in supporting people in need.

“We are all facing difficulty in many ways in these very uncertain times, and it has never been more important to pull together as a community to support those who need help the most. In circumstances like this it has been paramount to set aside normal operations, and Enable Ability at Landport Community Centre are so grateful to be working with such supportive businesses including Radian Group and HIVE Portsmouth, so that we can make this project a success. This would not be possible without them!” – Hollie Sherred, Partnerships and Events Officer at Enable Ability

In the neighbouring Gosport, Community Development Officer, Barbara Cooke, has been working in partnership with Gosport Borough Council and Gosport Voluntary Action to coordinate the distribution of food – providing on average 80 parcels per week – and supporting homeless people who have been temporarily rehoused. We have also funded Jacobs Well Care Centre and First Light Trust, which supports veterans living in the community.

Café 1759 and Roundabout Café – two much-loved community hubs – have been adapted to provide essential food. In Whitehill & Bordon we have partnered with primary schools to distribute 50 meals a week across three schools. This is possible thanks to East Hampshire District Council re-directing funding from their Healthy New Town’s School Readiness Programme.

“At the very start of the current crisis Radian Group’s Community Development Officer, Susi Drummond, contacted us to see what areas of need our families might have. In response, she has organised the provision of freshly prepared meals that families can reheat at home. As a school, we can then give these meals out to families in need of some extra help and support.

“Families have been enormously grateful with one parent telling us that the provision of meals had significantly reduced her stress levels as it was one less thing for her to have to worry about. As a Headteacher it has helped me as I know that my children are getting one fresh and healthy hot meal each day. With so many families now not working and the issues the supermarkets had and continue to have, this support has been invaluable for many families providing children with food they otherwise would not have had.” – Matt Greenhalgh, Head Teacher at Bordon Infant School

In Southampton, Good Grub Club has been adapted to a home delivery provision, serving families identified by Housing and Income teams as vulnerable with food parcels. The Community Involvement team now provide 98 parcels to 63 families in the city, with stock provided by FareShare.

This essential action does not end here and we will continue to support those most in-need in the coming months, taking proactive action to keep communities healthy.