Burntwood Be A Friend – Burntwood Town Council
Posted on 6th October, 2020
Burntwood Be A Friend was set up to help any individuals in need of support, from emergency food parcels to prescription collections, and to offer advice on concerns and problems via signposting
To meet local demand, the Burntwood Be A Friend (BBAF) scheme was created immediately before lockdown. Working in collaboration with St Ann’s and St John’s churches, Spark children’s centre, local businesses, and the local Foodbank, the Town Council initially acted as an umbrella organisation to bring numerous partners together. The Council wanted to ensure that all residents could easily access support as it was aware there were pockets of significant deprivation in the town, that many families were already under financial stress and that the area had a relatively high number of older adults living alone. When the lockdown was announced the Be a Friend partnership immediately set up a telephone helpline, email address and Facebook page and coordinated over 80 volunteers, including eight Town Councillors, to promote services. These included shopping, delivery of emergency food parcels, collecting prescriptions and responding to a whole range of other queries. As a result, it reached over 13,000 users in Burntwood out of a town of 28,000, by the end of March. While numbers of active volunteers reduced as people have returned to work, as of September, BBAF had over 130 volunteers.