AFC Wimbledon Foundation, the Dons Local Action Group and Merton Giving team up to get essential supplies out in to the community during coronavirus crisis
For many in our communities, the lockdown has brought hardship, with food poverty increasing and those having to shield facing difficulties in getting basic provisions.
With the community’s love for its local football club, AFC Wimbledon Foundation and the Dons Local Action Group were able to mobilise a fantastic response to the COVID-19 crisis to help reduce the burden on vulnerable people.
AFC Wimbledon Foundation supports disadvantaged communities in Merton through sports, education and social inclusion projects. Teaming up with the Dons Local Action Group, led by Xavier Wiggins, who jointly set up a food collection and distribution service with the Old Rutlishians’ Association, it sought to collect and distribute necessities to those in need.
Foundation staff have been leading a call centre, delivering food collections and providing links to other community groups for appropriate referrals, such as Merton Age Concern. It has also coordinated prescription collections and other essential tasks that vulnerable residents might need.
A grant from Merton Giving contributed to costs such as deep cleaning at the distribution hub, protective equipment, and diesel for the mini-bus.
Volunteers have been vital in the success of the project and have been helping in roles such as collecting food from donation points outside local supermarkets.
By early June, AFC Wimbledon Foundation’s partnership with the Dons Local Action Group had resulted in 5,000 food parcels and countless prescriptions delivered.
Says director Philip Rudling: ‘’AFC Wimbledon Foundation has been delighted to be a part of the Dons Local Action Group initiative over the last ten weeks supporting vulnerable communities in Merton – the funding provided by Merton Giving has been essential in underpinning this work.”
He added: “The strength of this project has been the immediate reaction of local people to volunteer and organisations to work together to make a difference to local peoples’ lives.’’