The Neighbourhood Support Team have been building lasting and trustworthy relationships with the Braunstone Community since 2000.
With a persistent investment in community work, B-Inspired have a unique understanding of the complex needs within this diverse community. We offer a variety of projects and services, which aim to meet each of these needs.
Project: The Braunstone Befriending Service
One of the many services that we offer is our Befriending service. In 2014, after identifying a local need around loneliness and isolation amongst the older population of the Braunstone community, we set up The Braunstone Befriending Service. The service has developed over the course of the last eight years and we now deliver the following activities:
Talk time (Social Group for over 55s) – A friendly group for people to come together, to participate in a range of activities and enjoy a positive social experience. Talk Time sessions take place every Tuesday 10am-12pm at Sandyhurst Housing (37 Hockley Farm Rd, Leicester LE3 1HN) and every Thursday 11am until 1pm at St Peters Church Hall (Woodshawe Rise, Braunstone, Leicester, LE3 1RH)
Volunteer Befriending Opportunities – Volunteers go out into the community and create a positive relationship with an elderly person; helping them to feel more positive and become more involved in their community.
Befriender volunteers also undergo training, monitoring and evaluation. Following their initial training, they also have the opportunity to volunteer at Talk Time. This helps us all to see how the scheme works for them and to give them the experience they need to move forward.
Wellies Workshop – A social group for men, who come together to engage in a variety of ‘hands on’ activities. Wellys Workshop takes place at Preloved@45 Community Shop, 45 Wellinger Way, LE3 1RG
Project: Community Volunteer Qualification
Volunteers are an essential component of many of the services that B-inspired provides. We try to support our volunteers as best we can, by delivering continuous training and development opportunities.
In the last 3 years the project has developed a range of introductory and higher-level courses that help volunteers gain the skills and qualifications to support all aspects of our project work, along with providing people with work experience and certificates that can help in getting back into work or further training.
We’ve supported over 160 adults with qualifications in Food Hygiene, Health & Safety and First Aid, with many developing a record of their work skills to be included in the ASDAN volunteering qualification. The B-inspired team has also helped with information on how to gain certificates for Maths and English and can show you how to get started in using a computer and the internet, along with developing a CV and looking for work.
Continuing to survive and strive for success, during the Covid-19 pandemic
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we had to adapt our way of working considerably, so that we could deliver a vital service to the community, in the safest way possible. We are very proud of what we achieved during this challenging period and wanted to share some of this with you.
Our Neighbourhood Support Base remained open, even at the most critical parts of the pandemic. We were able to continue to deliver the majority of our services, albeit in a different way.
Many of the measures that we put in place during the pandemic continue to be a part of the service we provide today. We put these measures in place as a response to the evolving challenges within our community and they continue to be relevant to the service that we provide going forward.We have now begun to operate again on a face-to-face basis, with little-to-no restrictions in place, so that we can provide the best service possible.
We continued to deliver our Foodshare service throughout the pandemic. However, this took on a different form to the service we traditionally provide. We were able to continue to provide emergency and regular food parcels to residents in the LE3 1 area, by adapting our service to the ever-evolving situation.
When the pandemic started in March 2020, we were forced to close the doors of our Neighbourhood Support Base to the general public. At this point we begun to operate on a reduced delivery service, with a volunteer driver delivering food parcels to those most in need.
By September 2021, we were able to open our doors again, but with measures in place to make the process as safe as possible for our staff, volunteers and Foodshare users. At this point, we started to run Foodshare on an appointment-only basis, with the delivery service still available to our most vulnerable shielding members.
The Braunstone Befriending service
We were unable to deliver our Talk Time sessions and Volunteer Befriending Service, during the pandemic. However, we still reached out to isolated members of our community, at a time when they needed it most. We offered and delivered the following services:
- Welfare telephone chats for elderly people in their homes.
- Activity Packs for residents involved in the Befriending scheme; including a range of craft activities and puzzles.
- Developed our Wellys Workshop social group for men – The group begun meeting in May 2021 (when restrictions allowed), despite the challenging circumstances.
Volunteers were a critical part of our response during the pandemic. To support them we:
- Continued to provide our existing volunteers with training, some of which took place online.
- Made use of volunteer delivery drivers, who helped us to get food out to those who most needed it, including shielding members.
Braunstone Alert Magazine
We continued to produce the Braunstone Alert throughout the pandemic. In March 2020, the Alert begun to take the form of an online magazine. By May 2021, we were able to resume our usual service, with in-paper editions of the Alert being produced once again.