South Brent is a village on the southern edge of Dartmoor in Devon. What’s happening there at the moment is reflective of one truly good thing that is evident since the arrival of the virus. Community spirit.
Community is what we champion here at Devon Community Foundation. We are privileged to be able to see it at work, at its best, all the time. But something that the pandemic has highlighted for many is just how special it can be when people from all walks of life come together with one common interest. And in this, as well as in many, many cases all over the world, it is to support and care for each other, in times of extreme tribulation.
South Brent and District Caring is a befriending service that was established as a charity in 2013. With the wellbeing of its local and surrounding residents at its heart, it was built to provide connections and support to its now over 100 clients.
When the pandemic hit, South Brent and District Caring were quick to react. Within weeks they had enlisted the help of a further 160 volunteers including local businesses to help it deliver a long list of services to those self-isolating or in financial difficulty that includes both practical and emotional support.
- Phone befriending service.
- Facebook group
- Shopping and prescription deliveries
- Dog walking
- Virtual church services
- Email bulletins
- Leaflet drops
We at Devon Community Foundation were glad to recognise the immense value of this charity’s work by approving their grant application to our Devon Coronavirus Response & Recovery Fund.
A grant of £6,000 was awarded to ensure that the charity could purchase supplies for it’s foodbank and set up its own fund from which to issue small grants to those suffering the most severe of financial circumstances.
The charity told us:
“Villagers are being encouraged to look out for neighbours and there have been numerous acts of kindness. These have ranged from anonymous food donations on doorsteps, to offering to grow and share seedlings with the community.”
“The response of volunteers, local businesses and donors to the crisis has been outstanding. The spirit of community and co-operation in the area has been wonderful and heart-warming to see and will leave a lasting legacy when we return to more normal times.”
“If anyone has responded quickly to getting things in place, it is the Devon Community Foundation with a super fast decision and instant transfer of funds. This means so much to our Trustees who have to make decisions about putting services in place without any means of funding them unless people like you step up and give them the support they need to keep ahead of the wave.”
Read more stories here.
Find out more about South Brent & District Caring on their website here.
Donate to our emergency fund here.