This Friday (13 November) marks World Kindness Day, and Merseyside Police’s Natalie Bennett and colleagues have gone the extra mile – supporting vulnerable children in Merseyside.
Force Contact Centre (FCC) Supervisor Natalie, together with friend Samantha Powell, got together to collect food and essentials packages. They also provided hot meals for vulnerable school children in Merseyside who might otherwise have gone without during the half term.
Natalie said: “People are really struggling because of the impact of Covid. It’s something that I felt strongly about. So we posted an ad on a local Facebook community site, offering food packages and hot meals and asking for donations. Initially we were aiming to help 20 families but we got so many donations, in just three days, that we were able to help more.”
Natalie, her colleagues and friends and family, have raised £350, helped 27 families (including 37 adults and 61 children), and delivered 60 bags of food and more than 150 hot meals. It took a fantastic team spirit.
Natalie continued: “Colleagues in the FCC at Netherton have stepped up and showed great community spirit in these unprecedented times. Over three days, we worked very hard – shopping, cooking the meals at home, packing and delivering the parcels. It was like a mini conveyor belt operation in the work canteen, putting the food and essentials parcels together including cereals, drinks and nappies.”
And they have received some amazing feedback from the families they’ve helped, many on furlough from their jobs.
“One family said the food was the best they’d ever eaten but unfortunately it wasn’t one of my meals!”
“I’d like to give a special mention to colleagues Rob Jones, Amy Milne, Rebecca Hayden, Bev Marr and Jane Hodgson who helped with shopping and making up food packages.”
“I can’t express enough my gratitude and appreciation to everyone who has helped over the last few days. The outpouring of support has been truly overwhelming.”
FCC Operations Manager Tony Jackson echoed the sentiment: “In these challenging times this is a fantastic story, highlighting the work and support offered to vulnerable families during half term by staff at the FCC.
“At a time of great uncertainty and challenging times for the vulnerable members of our communities, the efforts and support shown by Natalie and her colleagues is outstanding and demonstrates Merseyside Police’s Community First approach in action.”
Fellow supervisors Dylan Evans and Ben Pollard, who have been working with Natalie to collect food, are delivering it twice a week to local foodbanks.
But Natalie isn’t quite finished yet. She is considering doing a similar thing at Christmas to spread some cheer at what will be a very difficult time for many in our communities.
World Kindness Day promotes the importance of being kind to each other and ourselves. Its purpose is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together.