This organisation works to reach every rural corner of the County, bringing face to face contact for those isolated. However, as the pandemic hit and Lockdown 1 took hold in March, this face-to-face contact was put on temporary hold. The team at the Rural Coffee Caravan knew that inevitably a lot of what they would have to do would be online but were conscious that this wouldn’t catch everyone that they see on a regular basis. They reached out to communities to work together – firstly by distributing a model for a telephone chat tree and encouraged communities to use it or set up something similar. They also contacted Churches and suggested this for congregations.
A resources page on their website gave ideas on creative things to do and to keep connected in this disconnecting time. It can still be found on their homepage www.ruralcoffeecaravan.org.uk.
From a ‘Cascade of Kindness’ open group on Facebook for people to share their experiences of giving and receiving and then pass it on. https://www.facebook.com/groups/885597545214906/ , to a thank you card that people can print off and tape to their bin or pop in their milk bottle to hold up to a cashier at the checkout etc, to many a visit delivering bunches of flowers as an act of kindness – the team at RCC have found so many ways across these lockdown periods to find ways to support as many of their normal recipients as they can, just in different ways.
That we have been able to do these things and that we as an organisation are still here, is all possible due to the kind funding from donations made into the Rebuilding Local Lives Fund and the team at Suffolk Community Foundation who help to distribute this vital funding to groups like ours. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have helped us make a difference to many who are feeling vulnerable and isolated, especially as we go into Lockdown 2 this winter – it will be more vital than ever.