Westfield United Reformed Church (URC) was also awarded funding that has helped to make a difference. In 2018, the church was granted £226,400 from the HPC Community Fund. Among other improvements, the grant has allowed the church to carry out renovations on a refurbished hall and counselling rooms.
The resourceful church has since adapted its services to provide vital support to vulnerable people in Bridgwater – because the renovation was completed during lockdown, it couldn’t be opened to the public. However, the church has found other ways to help the community.
Treasurer Jacky Bartholomew explained: “Since March, we’ve carried out more than 3,500 ‘acts of kindness’ and vital support for the elderly and people unable to leave their homes due to self-isolation or shielding.”
From late-March to early-October, the church provided:
- 1,569 meals to rough sleepers
- 94 sets of clothes and toiletries to those in need
- 41 emergency accommodation referrals
- 889 meals to the elderly and isolated
- 115 food bank vouchers
Jacky added: “Our continued community work has been described as a lifeline for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. We hope that our work with local supermarkets to provide free food will be just one way we can continue to help people when they need it most.”
In 2021, the third year of grant funding will be used to support recruitment and ongoing costs for a community worker, to provide, manage and increase community support.