When the Coronavirus first hit the UK, Love Kingston worked with Kingston Voluntary Action and Kingston Council to help them form the Kingston Stronger Together Hub. Council staff, KVA, local voluntary services, churches, community groups, and businesses all worked night and day for weeks on end to deliver a coordinated response to the crisis that covered emergency food provisions, emotional/ support care packages, medical/ pharmaceutical assistance, practical and technical guidance on the new digital working life.
At Love Kingston we faced staff sickness and bereavements but still managed to raise £20,000 for covid relief and provide grants to 19 local organisations.
We have seen some incredibly inspiring efforts from local volunteers and staff who dedicated their time and energy to making sure the needs of the borough were met; from foodbank and babycare provisions to telephone support and online activities we feel it's been a privilege to see this work unfold and we are proud to have helped so many organisations do this great work.
One volunteer told us
'I spoke to a lady who cried with relief when she knew meals were coming tonight.' I cannot stress how much these meals are needed and you have helped make this work possible.”
A staff member at one organisation said in response to receiving a grant from us
"The level of need is incredible, and these are families who we have never seen before and would not normally need our service" "So a massive thank you. It has literally changed our working lives for the better"
Now we are faced with further lockdowns and the impact of a recession on people's homes and livelihoods, we are still just as determined to continue raising funds, so that we may provide grants to local voluntary groups and charities in Kingston. We know from first-hand experience how vitally important they are, now more so than ever.