New van gets food deliveries motoring

Published Thursday, 17 December 2020

A new van, purchased at a cut price cost, is helping speed up food deliveries from the Moat House Community Trust (in Wood End and Henley Green) to people on a low income in surrounding neighbourhoods.

Pictured – Jeremy Townsend Opel- Vauxhall and Suzanne McBride MHCT

The Coventry Food network had struggled to put together activity packs and distribute parcels for children in the school holidays. 

Distribution was identified as a continued barrier for the network moving forward. With the support of the Council’s Community Resilience Team, The Moat House Community Trust successfully applied for funding of £10,000 for a vehicle for the Coventry Food network.

The Community Resilience Team contacted Opel-Vauxhall to see if they could offer their help and negotiated for the Moat House Community Trust (MHCT) to get a £16,000 Citroën Relay 35 L3H2 van for £8000.

Jeremy Townsend from Opel-Vauxhall congratulated the Trust for the: Inspirational work you’re all doing for which we should all be grateful.  We’re so pleased that we could help in a small way.”

The Council’s Community Resilience Team, work with people and volunteers from small and large organisations in the voluntary sector in Coventry. The team help them to set up, forge beneficial partnerships, and provide practical advice and support to help them grow and become sustainable.

The got in touch with local developer Eurovia and Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service who have both provided volunteers, to pack and deliver parcels provide transport which enabled the project to run successfully.

Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said: “This is another example of how communities and business partnerships have been making a difference to the lives of local people particularly in recent months. The work of the Coventry Food Network has flourished because of the important support being made available.”

Since the start of the pandemic the Community Resilience team has: stepped up and been involved in supporting people to become community messengers; given up-to-date information on the pandemic; and supported the creation and operations in six new social super markets that provide emergency food to people and families that need it.

The team has also been helping voluntary sectors organisations to access funding to support their community spaces – to ensure they can still operate after the pandemic.

One of the more specialised pieces of work that the team does is working with local developers in Coventry to see what support they can offer to local community groups and organisations in the city.

As part of a developer’s social value commitment they are encouraged to give something back to the local community.

The Community Resilience Team reach out to the developers to see what sort of support they could offer.  This could be a financial donation, purchasing of goods or volunteering staff time to support local projects. This kind donation goes a long way for many of the groups who rely on local support to keep going.

Support has ranged from community centres being decorated, additional security for food hubs, equipment to facilitate film clubs, donations towards summer holiday activity packs for children on free school meals, vouchers for school shoes for families who experience financial hardship or staff volunteering their time to help. The team have worked hard to also build relationships with businesses and make links with the voluntary sector particularly through the COVID19 pandemic.

Coventry City Council