Community project feeding families during lockdown in volunteers plea

Some of the team behind the Wymondham Community Outreach Project emergency food service at their bas

Some of the team behind the Wymondham Community Outreach Project emergency food service at their base at Wymondham Catholic Church. Picture: Keith Morris - Credit: Archant

The “inspirational” people behind a community project have been working tirelessly through lockdown to support vulnerable families, but now they need help.

The Wymondham Community Outreach Project is largely made up of older, more at-risk volunteers who have been forced to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic.

During lockdown younger parishioners stepped up to take their place, helped by staff from Wymondham Leisure Centre who were seconded by South Norfolk Council to provide a contact and delivery service for families across the town.

But the council staff will be returning to their day jobs from the end of June, leaving the community project in desperate need of new volunteers.

Karen Brindle is a receptionist at the leisure centre, but has spent the last couple of months leading the team organising the huge amount of work needed to provide a bi-weekly food delivery and collection service.

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She said: “We are feeding 80 families a week and anyone who is in need can come in and collect some food – which is free.

“There are lots of people who cannot leave their homes and families with young children who are really struggling. We personalise the boxes for people according to their needs.”

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Food donations have come from local people as well as in the form of donations from local supermarkets such as Waitrose, Morrisons, Lidl and Co-op.

Parishioner Arnie McConnell, who coordinates the project, said: “Karen and her team have been extraordinary when there was a lot of fear and uncertainty about, reassuring people – they have been inspirational.

“The project has been working in partnership with South Norfolk Council, Wymondham Town Council and Norfolk Police who have been able to identify people in crisis who we are able to give prompt support to.

“We need volunteers to help collect food, organise it at the church base and deliver it. We want people who are ready to serve the community.

“We are a fully inclusive project, working with parishioners and with people who have no contact at all with the church. We are united in wanting to serve the marginalised and vulnerable in the community at this particular time.”

The project can be contacted on 01953 603104 or via email at

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