Burntwood Be A Friend – Burntwood Town Council
Posted on 6th October, 2021
Burntwood Be A Friend (BBAF) was set up immediately before lockdown in March 2020. Working in collaboration with St Anne’s and St John’s Churches, Spark (Burntwood) CIC – a parent-led organisation which runs the local children’s centre – local businesses and the Foodbank, the Town Council initially acted as an umbrella organisation to bring numerous partners together. The partnership wanted to ensure that all residents could easily access support, especially families under financial stress and the relatively high number of older adults living alone.
When lockdown was announced Be a Friend immediately set up a telephone helpline, email address and Facebook page, reaching over 13,000 users in Burntwood out of a town of 28,000, by the end of March, with over 130 volunteers. The Council provided an emergency set-up grant of £1,000 and applied for external grant assistance on BBAF’s behalf. Volunteers DBS-checked and trained in Safeguarding, facilitated by Spark, and the Council Leader took part in and fed back from district-wide collaboration teleconferences, enabling BBAF to be linked into district and county-wide emerging issues and opportunities.