New name for Brinsworth Senior Support Group

Brinsworth Senior Support was set up at the very beginning of lockdown in response to the need to help the vulnerable and elderly members of our community.

Sarah Burgess, one of the group leaders told us all about the group and the invaluable work they have been carrying out

'We asked for volunteers and were overwhelmed with the support we received as people turned up to bring donations of food and deliver flyers asking residents to get in touch if they needed support. We started by delivering a few essential items in each bag such as tins of beans, pasta and a toilet roll but word quickly spread and soon we were receiving donations from local businesses and delivering to over a hundred households. We had the support of Jo Davies as Morrison’s Community Champion, who regularly set aside donations each week for us and we have also had financial donations that enabled us to buy fresh fruit and vegetables to deliver. We have not had any grants or funding and each week we have had enough (and sometimes more!) to ensure we could meet the needs of our ever-growing list of residents, thanks to the kindness of people in our community. As demand for our service grew so did our ‘army’ of volunteers. We had people to pick up the donations from businesses, people to date check donations, people who did small grocery shops for residents, people to sort and organise the ‘stock cupboard’, people who packed the bags, people who made tea and coffee and of course people who delivered to residents. Our volunteers were aged from 13 years to 60 years! Some were furloughed, some retired and some were students, but all wanted to do something to help in a time of crisis. We have heard some distressing stories from people who were alone, frightened and desperately in need, but we have also seen how small gestures can bring so much joy. We have learnt that people sometimes just want to see a friendly face and most of all they want to know someone is there!

Now that things are starting to look more normal and people are going back to work or studies, we have had to think about ‘what next’ for this amazing group. We asked our residents to complete a survey and the response was overwhelmingly in favour of needing to keep in touch. A few still feel that they need our help and some would like guidance or pointing in the right direction for support. With this in mind, we are hoping to produce an information leaflet with details of local businesses who could help such as gardeners, cleaners, dog, walkers etc. We also have available a few volunteers who are willing to continue to help with small grocery shops or prescription collections!

If there are any local businesses or volunteers who would like to be involved please get in touch!

We felt that our name needed to change to reflect the future of the group and ran a competition to help us decide. So, with thanks to our winner Brooke Robinson, our new name is: BSS Community Aid – Here to Help. We also have a new phone number that is available every day, within reason, for people to contact which is: 07719531301. You can also contact us through our facebook page and we will do our best to help! Thank you to all the businesses who have supported us either financially or with donations (Morrison’s, Singhs, Tesco Express, Cineworld, Rotherham Round Table/KD Davies, Staff at Costco, Maria's Yoga Class, Tracy Waite). Thank you to all the residents who have donated food items – your help has been invaluable. Thank you to anyone who has given us monetary donations – we were able to do so much more than we thought with this help. Finally thank you to the volunteers. Without these selfless people we would not have been able to do what we did. Whether you came once or twice or every week without fail, your support has not gone unnoticed. You made this group work, you served our local area and you showed true community spirit! We hope we never have to do this again, but I have no doubt that if we were needed, we will step up once more'