Holbeck Together Joins Prince Edward for Virtual Visit to Yorkshire

30th March 2021

Holbeck Together was privileged to be chosen as one of a number of charities and community leaders recently invited to a virtual meeting with the Earl of Wessex to share their experience of working during the Covid pandemic.

The CEO of the organisation, Elissa Newman, was invited by the West Yorkshire Lieutenancy to join Prince Edward’s virtual visit to the county, where he heard from eight campaigners and charity workers who have all faced challenges throughout the pandemic. Elissa was joined by Yvonne Hall, co-founder of anti-slavery charity Palm, and Michelle Foster, from alcohol abuse charity The Basement Project. Prince Edward was also introduced to representatives from the police, the courts service, hospitals and councils, who discussed the impact the pandemic had had on their services.

Reflecting on the past year since the Covid pandemic began, Elissa shared an overview of the community initiatives undertaken by Holbeck Together’s volunteers to bring together a phenomenal community response. Since adapting its services to ensure that people in the community were looked after, able to access food and essential supplies and able to stay connected, the organisation has provided:

  • over 8,500 meals delivered to older people in their homes
  • more than 1,500 meals to families affected by the impacts of Covid 19
  • a volunteer to do shopping on behalf of someone who couldn’t get out on nearly 200 occasions
  • food relief through over 2,100 food parcels 
  • nutritious food and activities for 65 children through school holidays, lockdowns and beyond
  •  wellbeing support (includes: befriending calls, wellbeing checks, outreach support, crisis support, wellbeing packs) on more than 4,000 occasions
  • 2,000 at home activity packs for our older community and young families 
  • weekly check-ins (5-10 minutes) for 60 isolated older people, exploring emotional welfare; immediate practical needs; any health worries  

The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson, said of the meeting: “He was very interested, we were delighted to introduce him to such a diverse mix of people.”

Elissa added, “It was a privilege to be able to share with His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex the great spirit of the Holbeck Community coming together during the pandemic. 

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