United African Association (UAA) delivered food to over 2000 people as at May 2021 thanks to grants from Northamptonshire Community Foundation, Northampton Borough Council, DEFRA, Northampton Hope Centre, Shop Zero (Bags of Food), Co-op, Restore Northampton. We have also received funding from the National Lottery for the purchase of non food essentials.
Northampton Partnership Homes kindly let us use Leicester Street Community Room on Saturday mornings to bag the food for delivery to homes in Northampton & Wellingborough. Amongst our volunteers are members of Northamptonshire healthcare NHS Foundation trust, UAA members, Dancing Drums and some food recipients have come forward to offer their help.
A few of our volunteers are also phoning people in isolation in Northampton who have been referred to us by Northampton Borough Council. Many thanks to Leticia, Lyndsay, Peter, Selina, Lynette, Mavis, Ferries, Margo, Florence for their assistance.
We are thankful to the generous donations of food from ShopZero in St James, Northampton since March that have been donated to over 300 people – supplies of perishable and non perishable food items have been delivered to various families and individuals in Northampton and Wellingborough. For more updates on our weekly deliveries to households in the county please visit our Facebook page.If you wish to get involved in any of the above activities, please contact us.
Project Befriending over the phone
I started to speak with C. sometime around March or April 2020. During first lockdown certain initiatives were promoted to combat isolation. One of which had to do with befriending isolated people over the phone, to allow them to have someone to speak with and therefore, to alleviate the weight (and consequences) of being isolated. The person I was invited to speak with, C., is 87 years old. I was told that he was starting to struggle with talking and that it would be beneficial for him to continue to talk as much as he could, in order to exercise speech and therefore to keep that ability for as long as possible. C. as a family, a loving family who support him very closely. He also still has a few friends around, with whom he keeps regular contact. So this wasn’t exactly an example of someone who is entirely isolated or who doesn’t have anyone to support him.
I remember feeling a bit nervous before meeting him on the phone. I wasn’t quite sure what to say. I didn’t want to impose and I wanted him to feel free not to speak with me again if he didn’t think it made sense. After the first few weeks, I became a bit more confident that I wasn’t bothering him. It felt amazing to talk to someone with so much experience about life and with such rich stories to tell. I like History and enjoy learning about people’s cultural experiences and C. was able to tell me stories about when he was growing up during the Second World War and about Northampton in general. He also helped me to understand British culture a bit more. However, I would say that the most important thing about this relationship is that I feel I made a new friend and if I can impact his life a tiny little bit for the better, then I feel happy. The reality is that during this last year, C. also helped me to get through it and also has impacted my life for the better.