Rachel in Birmingham writes: There have definitely been highs and lows! We started lockdown operating pretty much as a food bank and delivery service to the elderly and vulnerable - this was very rewarding but also extremely sad, as we heard stories of living through lockdown with no gardens or access to internet and, of course, issues around job loss.
In July, we started serving hot food from the front of the Haven, at first once a week, and through August 5 days a week. We served over 1000 lunches in total! As we did this, volunteers started coming out of the woodwork, all of them people who we had connections with but who hadn’t officially volunteered with us before. We have put in place a well-organised scheme to support them and they all sport their Haven T-shirts and ID badges with pride.
The Haven has become a real hive of activity with volunteers cooking and serving our community 5 days a week
In the autumn, we have managed to reopen many of our previous groups in a ‘Covid secure’ way, including twice a week café, stay-and-play and women’s group. As we look to the future of the centre, we do so with excitement: whilst it is no fun living through a pandemic and we know many who have a lot to grieve, we feel more than ever that we are in the right place and excited to work with those whom God has brought to us.