A Community Response Team established to support Perry Common and Wyrley Birch residents through the Coronavirus lockdown has secured more than £150,000 of funding.

In April, Witton Lodge Community Association, Urban Devotion Birmingham, St Margaret Mary’s Church, St Martin’s Church and The Net Pentecostal Church joined forces to reach out to vulnerable and elderly residents.
The Team has mobilised more than 80 volunteers to ensure the level of support provided has been delivered in a strategic and targeted manner. A total of 3,603 food parcels have been distributed to homes across the community while bespoke support services have also been rolled out to safeguard people’s mental health and wellbeing. This has included 147 online activities and 1,056 befriending phone calls.

As well as distributing food and household supplies, volunteers have also submitted and collected more than 50 medical prescriptions.
Flourishing Community Services Manager at Witton Lodge, Rob Netherway, said the Community Response Team has succeeded in responding to an unprecedented challenge.

“While our work to support people is continuing, the team has made a huge difference since the start of lockdown,” he said.
“Collaboration has been the key in responding quickly and positively to finding solutions to a wide range of issues. The hard work and passion of people who care about this community has driven the response; creating and delivering services to keep our residents safe and healthy. Funding secured will allow us to continue to target provision and support local recovery and resilience.”

Meanwhile, Andy Winmill, Director at Urban Devotion, also paid tribute to the people who have rallied to the cause to help others.
“Covid19 has devastated lives in our community and we, as a team, have been asked questions like never before,” he said.
“Among the tireless and selfless work that has taken place I must pay tribute to our volunteers whose commitment and support has been an inspiration and invaluable in delivering the help people have needed.

Fr Simon Ellis at St Margaret Mary’s Church, echoed these sentiments, reflecting on the Community Response Team's oversight of a tremendous community spirit and resolve.

He said: “Over the last few months the people of Perry Common and Wyrley Birch have come together in so many different ways; harnessing the power and strength of community spirit to ensure we successfully navigate through these unprecedented times.”