Wimbledon Guild Overwhelmed by Support from Local People
Wimbledon Guild praises Merton’s community spirit which is helping them to support the most vulnerable people in our community during the coronavirus outbreak
The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on our community is unprecedented. We’ve needed additional volunteers and funds to cope with the extra demand the outbreak has put on our services. The response has been greater than we could ever have hoped for and we are hugely grateful to local people for their support and generosity.
Every time we’ve put out a request for help we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response from our community. We wanted to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has volunteered, donated, raised money for us or got involved in other ways.
So far over £30,000 has been donated to our Covid-19 Relief Fund Appeal. The money is being spent on delivering food, medicine and other essential supplies to those unable to leave their home and giving supermarket vouchers to those with no other source of funds.
Our corporate partners have kindly donated and supplied volunteers to help support our work. Waitrose Wimbledon and Marks and Spencer have also given us fresh produce to distribute to families in need.
During this time when our customers are unable to visit us, we’re taking Wimbledon Guild to them. By partnering with a local catering business, we are able to cook nutritious meals for us to deliver to our HomeFood Café customers. Our army of dedicated staff and volunteers have been contacting every customer, many of whom have been advised by the Government not to leave the house, to make sure they have what they need and provide them a connection to life outside their homes.
Every day we’re inspired by our volunteers sharing their time and talents with us, and by the positivity and resilience of our customers.
Our volunteers have been telling us how good it feels to be making a difference and doing something useful during the outbreak. They are finding directly seeing the impact of their acts of kindness on the lives of others very rewarding.
“I really enjoy volunteering for Wimbledon Guild. It’s a great chance to meet interesting people in the local community and hear some of their stories as well as making a real difference to their lives. During the current situation I feel it’s even more important to help out, and the work I do gives me a fantastic sense of doing something worthwhile. “
Helen (89) and Laurie (91) are regulars at Wimbledon Guild, with Helen usually visiting every day to take part in one of our activities.
During lockdown they’re making sure they keep physically fit thanks to activities set by one of our class instructors. “We both do weights and then incorporate some of Chris’ exercises from the usual Wednesday morning class!”
They’re also keeping mentally active with Brain Games sent to them from another of our instructors, “thanks for the great Brain Games – up till now we have been doing online word games and Sudoku”.
Most importantly, they’re staying positive and looking forward to better days ahead: “we’ll see you back at Wimbledon Guild when we’re able to!” They’re sharing their story in the hope of inspiring others during lockdown.
Wimbledon Guild wouldn’t be able to do all this without the kindness and generous help of local people. It’s heartening that in this time of crisis our community spirit is shining through.
Life will return to normal, but a new normal – one where our sense of community and togetherness is stronger. Through it all Wimbledon Guild will continue to be here for Merton, as we have been for the past 111 years.
CEO, Wimbledon Guild