Please find an update and some asks for support below.
Laptops, tablets, desktops
With schools closed, much of the learning has moved online. However, many young people do not have access to a device or reliable internet. The Government has only provided help for a fraction of pupils.
A huge thank you to those of you who have already brought in your used devices. They are currently being refurbished by our partners Mer-IT. Through your donations and a grant we secured we have now 72 computers that we will be distributing to young people in the neighbourhood next week through Newington Green Primary School and our Food Hub. However, we need 22 more devices to help another local school.
If you, your friends, housemates or workplace have laptops/tablets/desktops that you could possibly donate, please reply to this email with “Laptop” in the subject line and we’ll let you know the address to drop it off at. It would be a really significant achievement if we could collectively ensure that all local kids have at least one device in their household.
The Food Hub
Thanks to the amazing volunteers, donors and supporters the Food Hub continues to grow. We expect to be operating for another two months and are focusing on helping recipients access all the support they are entitled to and supporting them to plan financially. We have helped people apply for universal credit, negotiate with their landlord, switch utility providers and access mental health services. This means that we have many people coming off the Food Hub list as well as new families coming on.
None of it would be possible without the people who receive this email and the ongoing support of The Mildmay Club. Every other food project in London we speak to says that donations are down and that people aren’t engaging as much as they were. We have had the totally opposite experience. New people come and donate every week, some of the initial recipients who are back in employment are now contributing and we are expanding to provide baby clothes and reading supplies for kids.
If you want to know a bit more about the Food Hub reply to this email and follow us on Instagram. We’ll be publishing a full list of the businesses that have supported us thus far next week.
On Friday we ran out of Corn Flakes, flour and tinned fruit so those would be good things to drop off on Tuesday or you can donate here so we can purchase items (at a discount) from local shops.
Cycling safety lessons
One of our volunteers. Clemence, has offered to provide free 20-minute cycling lessons to people new(ish) to cycling in London. Clemence was trained by Camden Council to be a cycle buddy. Councils haven’t restarted their bikeability courses yet so this is a really great opportunity to brush up on your skills.
If you’d like a cycling lesson with Clemence, please reply to this email with “Cycling” in the subject line.
Cakes for carers
Thank you to our group of volunteers who bake cakes every week for the carers at the Mildmay care homes! The care workers and managers say that it means a lot to them to know that the community remembers them at a time when no one is allowed to visit the homes. Our three local care homes remain Covid-free, a testament to how seriously they take infection prevention and control.
A couple of the bakers have had to step back from the group because of work and family commitments. If you would like to join the group please reply to this email with “Cake” in the subject line and we’ll add you to the WhatsApp group.
Black Lives Matter protest in Newington Green
Last weekend a small group of artists and youth workers organised a Black Lives Matter demonstration on Newington Green and we wanted to send a huge thank you to them. The protest was very well attended and the organisers handed out masks and frequently reminded attendees to socially distance.
Schools and free school meals
The success of Marcus Rashford’s campaign means that we are confident that we can continue to provide support to all who need it if donations continue to come in.
However, food is just a small part of what kids need to not fall behind. A local parent has started this petition. Please have a look and sign it if you agree.
New shops reopening
With many cafes and restaurants reopening, please continue to check our supporting Local Businesses webpage for details.