09:30AM, Sunday 10 January 2021
Photo taken before COVID-19 restrictions
A drop-in group has received a £3,000 donation from the Louis Baylis Trust to continue supporting families in need over a difficult period.
Re:Charge R&R normally runs weekly drop-in sessions at Maidenhead. It provides help with parenting, stress and difficulties with home life.
In ordinary times the drop-in is open throughout the year and during the holidays.
“We have been severely disrupted by COVID as we haven’t been able to operate in our usual way since March,” said operations manager Amy Stock. “We have closed all our sessions and had to re-invent how we operate.”
Re:Charge is using Zoom, WhatsApp and Facebook to touch base and also makes contact by phone.
“A good thing that’s sprung out of this is people are coming to groups who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to come, so I think we will keep the Zoom groups going forward,” said Amy.
There have been a number of challenges in holding a virtual ‘drop-in’– without the ability to use craft materials at the centre, involving the children has been difficult.
Contact with members was maintained over Christmas and Re:Charge also sent presents to each of the adults and children it supports.
The children received Christmas decoration crafts, a book and chocolates, while the adults received a card and voucher.
Re:Charge said that for some adults who attend their Re:Focus Session – for vulnerable adults or those in recovery from addictions – this is likely to be the only gift they received at Christmas.
The charity was also able to run a Christmas card competition for the children, with Lester Tanner of Maidenhead Foodshare deciding the winners. The winners received a hamper and gift vouchers.
The £3,000 donation from the Louis Baylis Trust has helped the charity to keep its paid staff in work at a time when financial support has been thin on the ground.
“Our quiz fundraisers have had to stop. It’s always a struggle for a small charity to get funding,” said Amy.
“This is a difficult time for those who would have attended our sessions and Christmas party,” said Amy. “Financial and mental health pressures are very real most of the year and more acute at any Christmas season.
“With the ongoing pandemic, we expect the stresses and strains to be even harder this year – especially in light of the lockdown.”
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