Since receiving a £1,000 donation from Coventry housebuilder Barratt Homes, Canley Community Centre ensured it was well-equipped to deal with the new-found needs of local people.
The neighbourhood facility received the contribution from the leading housebuilder’s Community Fund scheme to support its projects with young children, but the impact of the pandemic has meant usual operations were postponed and a new way of working was introduced.
Canley Community Centre now runs a ‘social supermarket’ which, similar to a foodbank, provides food for families but they have the freedom to visit the Centre and select their own items twice a week, for £4 per week.
Tom Hickinbottom, a Trustee at Canley Community Centre, said: “There have been big changes in the past year and we’ve had to shift and pivot in our way of working. We’ve started the food hub to provide security for those living in food poverty.
“It’s a collaborative effort with other community centres and the FareShare network, and we’ve gone from having 60 families with memberships when the pandemic started to 150 in recent weeks.
“We’ve become a trusted resource for the local community and have built relationships with those in need. Moving forward, we’ll be working with the Coventry Law Centre to provide help which goes beyond the food provision and into other support services.”
Feedback from local residents has shown how instrumental the social supermarket has been over the past year, with many people needing the support during difficult times.
Barratt Homes’ £1,000 contribution prior to the pandemic was to support the Centre’s youth programme and helped fund the ‘Tuesday Fun Club’ for 8 to13 year olds, which involved games and craft making in a safe environment for children to make friends.
Tom added: “We’re really looking forward to re-engaging with our groups and events as restrictions ease, and we’re looking to resume our existing groups on a weekly basis from September.
“Donations such as that from Barratt Homes are so important to us as it meant we had the capacity to support the community during a difficult time.”
One event which will commence at the Centre is the Canley Pop-Up Café, which was already underway as a community cohesion event to bring people together for socialisation.
As the youth programme resumes, Canley Community Centre will be looking to enlist a part-time or full-time youth social worker to assist with the projects, whether it be arts, sports or music.
Mark Cotes, Managing Director at Barratt Homes North Midlands, said: “We were delighted to hear how Canley Community Centre had made use of our donation and since supported its local people during a testing time for many.
“Helping others make a difference in the areas in which we build is exactly why our Community Fund scheme was introduced and the efforts of everyone involved with the Centre over the past year have been admirable.”
For further information on Canley Community Centre, visit www.canleycommunitycentre.co.uk/.
Barratt Homes is delivering new homes in Coventry and supporting the communities in which it builds. To view the homes available in the area, please visit Deram Parke.
For further information, call the Barratt Homes sales team on 033 3355 8472 or visit www.barratthomes.co.uk.