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Dartmouth Community Chest gives out tens of thousands of meals over the year

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Dartmouth Community Chest gives out tens of thousands of meals over the year

Dartmouth Community Chest has released their round up of the year to thank their volunteers and businesses who work alongside them. 

In their end of year report, Dartmouth Community Chest (DCC) started the year, along with everyone else, in lockdown, but that didn’t stop their volunteers cooking and delivering 16,000 meals to peoples homes. 

“More than 8,000 food parcels were given out and hundreds of prescriptions and essential items were collected and delivered”, they said. “Phone calls of support and to keep us all connected were made daily so no one felt alone.”

They made hundreds of shopping trips, topped up utility metres, and sent out their “'sanity packs' full of arts, crafts, crosswords etc”. 

Dawn Shepherd of Dartmouth Community Chest said: “As we moved out of lockdown, we knew our community would need support so we started to connect with the services and get the help people needed.

“Working with Youth Genesis, we organised 'Holiday Activity and Food' for our kids during the Easter and summer holidays. Each child had a healthy meal, different activities every day and a pack to take home. We had an Easter egg collection and gave these out to our little'ens.

“Working with [the charity] TQ6 we held two 'get ready for winter' events, where locals could change energy suppliers, get help with benefits and debt and speak to local housing providers and agencies.

“The uniform swap was very helpful to families again this year and lots of good items were recycled and reused. Our 'stitch and bitch' group altered uniforms and work clothes for our community. 

“Our furniture recycling scheme saved dozens of great items from landfill, we delivered them around the town and villages, helping people to avoid high interest debt.

“We moved into the community cafe and turned it into a free meeting place for our community and a place local groups could raise funds for their projects. We also held three community markets for local charities and community groups.

“Working with an amazing public health team, we turned the cafe into a place where locals could come for covid tests. They also held two vaccination days in our cafe and we supported them and our community.

“The cafe was used as a support base after a serious fire in town, supporting those affected and our brilliant emergency services. We worked together to find emergency housing and essential items.

“A collection was organised by the lovely Sue Payne for clothes and essential items for the homeless charities, we delivered two vans full to local hostels and support workers.

“Sue also organised the reverse advent calendars again this year and we delivered 132 hampers to the town and villages. Thank you Sue, you're a diamond!”

This year the ‘toy bank’ was busy again, with 197 children receiving “some extra gifts for Christmas Day” and their Christmas day meal was “as magical as ever”, and “everyone had a bag of goodies to take home and an extra meal for Boxing Day”.

Dawn continued: “Many thanks to all the local shops and businesses who never let us down, your kindness brought so much joy to so many. To all our amazing volunteers, who put so much of their time and effort into their community every day, none of this could happen without you all. You are the best of the best.

“Thank you to all of you for your continued support and friendship, it means so much to all of us. Whatever 2022 brings, we'll face it together as a community, let's hope it's kind, to all of us.”

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