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Businesses Building Strong Bonds to the Community

If there was ever a time to demonstrate the strength of a community, that time would be now. 

 

We’ve seen a tremendous effort from businesses supporting local and wider initiatives, recognising the importance of their role in the community. Their resilience and ability to quickly transform in the face of uncertainty has contributed to building stronger bonds to Wimbledon Town Centre.

We know there are many heroes and we’ve highlighted just a few examples of Wimbledon-based businesses doing incredible work to make a difference in our community and beyond.

 

Repurposing Facilities to Combat Covid-19

With a global shortage of hand sanitiser, Coty, one of the largest global beauty companies, repurposed their factories in the UK, USA and Monaco to produce hand sanitising gel, distributing products free of charge to medical and emergency staff. Donations are expected to reach tens of thousands each week.

Firecracker Works, an event production company, adapted their facilities to manufacture PPE for the NHS, Healthcare and Frontline workers, with a target of producing 30,000 face visors.

Leading food packaging manufacturer, RAP, turned over its production line to manufacture disposable face shields, with an ambitious goal of delivering between seven and ten million a week.

 

Supporting the NHS and Other Organisations

Domestic & General partnered with Salute the NHS, a group of leading businesses including Tesco, Yodel, Absolute Taste, Leeways and British Army, Team Rubicon UK, to serve 1 million nutritious meals to key frontline NHS workers over the next three months.

Icon Solutions, a payment and enterprise solutions provider in the finance sector, generously contributed to Wimbledon Guild’s Covid-19 fund to enable them to continue to support the most vulnerable people in our community.

The Alexandra Pub alone has made over 4,000 meals for the NHS, whilst Lush donated bath bombs to NHS staff working on the frontline,  Elys supplied Easter Eggs to NHS workers and textiles to Ricards Lodge to be made into kit washing bags whilst Wilko donated toiletries and cleaning products to the Dons Local Action Group.

Feeding the Community

There’s been an overwhelming response to help feed the community. From donations to the Wimbledon Foodbank to feeding frontline healthcare workers and residents in need, we’ve seen stellar collaborations between businesses and organisations like the Dons Local Action GroupThe Old Rutlishians’ and The Old Wimbledonians’ Associations, The Little Community That Could (created by Centre Court) and the Wimbledon Guild.

Although culture may be on hold, Polka Theatre and the New Wimbledon Theatre have a presence through community outreach and establishments like The Antoinette Hotel, The Old Frizzle, Wibbas Down, Wahaca and Leon have each contributed through various initiatives, like providing food for meals at Merton’s Winter Night Shelter,  Wimbledon Foodbank and Merton Covid Mutual Aid and other organisations.

A big thank you to the Town Centre’s supermarkets, Morrisons, Tesco, Little Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s who have all made significant contributions and the countless cafes, restaurants and food shops who have provided discounts or priority shopping hours to NHS staff and vulnerable people.

 

 

All of these efforts signify hope and community spirit and a testament that together we will weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.

#StrongerTogether

 

 

Wimbledon Guild Overwhelmed by Support from Local Community

Wimbledon Guild has praised Merton’s community spirit in helping them to support the most vulnerable in our community.

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on our community is unprecedented. Wimbledon Guild is providing practical and emotional support to the most vulnerable in Merton. The charity has seen a huge increase in people needing help and it is currently supporting more people than ever before.

Wimbledon Guild is a local charity with the aims of reducing social isolation and loneliness, helping people through difficult times and enabling older people to be active and healthy. During the coronavirus pandemic the charity is supporting over 600 existing customers as well as providing assistance to over 400 vulnerable people in Merton who have been referred to the charity through the Covid-19 Community Response Helpline.

Wimbledon Guild has required additional volunteers to deal with the increase in demand. The charity has issued several asks for support from the local community and have received an outpouring of help in return. It now wants to say thank you to the people of Merton for their support.

Wendy Pridmore, CEO at Wimbledon Guild comments; “We have needed additional volunteers and funds to cope with the extra demand the outbreak has put on our services. The response has been greater than we could ever have hoped for and we are hugely grateful to local people for their support and generosity.

Every time we’ve put out a request for help, we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response from our community. We wanted to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has volunteered, donated, raised money for us or got involved in other ways.”

So far, over £30,000 has been donated to the Wimbledon Guild Covid-19 Relief Fund Appeal. The money is going towards delivering food, medicine and other essential supplies to those unable to leave their home and giving supermarket vouchers to those with no other source of funds.

The charity’s corporate partners have made financial donations and supplied volunteers to help support its work. Waitrose Wimbledon and Marks and Spencer have provided fresh produce for Wimbledon Guild to distribute to families most in need.

 

“During this time when our customers are unable to visit us, we’re taking Wimbledon Guild to them. By partnering with a local catering business, we’re able to cook nutritious meals for us to deliver to our HomeFood Café customers. Our army of dedicated staff and volunteers have been contacting every customer, many of whom have been advised by the Government not to leave the house, to make sure they have what they need and give them a connection to life outside their homes. Every day we’re inspired by our volunteers sharing their time and talents with us, and by the positivity and resilience of our customers.”

Wendy Pridmore, CEO at Wimbledon Guild

 

Volunteers have been telling Wimbledon Guild how good it feels to be making a difference and doing something useful during the outbreak. Directly seeing the impact of their acts of kindness on the lives of others is very rewarding.

Volunteers like Mark from Wimbledon, who helps Wimbledon Guild alongside his day job:

“I really enjoy volunteering. It’s a great chance to meet interesting people in the local community and hear some of their stories as well as making a real difference to their lives. During the current situation

I feel it’s even more important to help out, and the work gives me a fantastic sense of doing something worthwhile.”

The charity has also been hearing from its customers on how they are keeping their spirits up.

Wimbledon Guild regulars Helen (89) and Laurie (91) shared their story in the hope of inspiring others during lockdown.

They are both regulars at Wimbledon Guild, with Helen usually visiting every day to take part in one of many scheduled activities.

During lockdown they’re making sure they keep physically fit thanks to activities set by one of the charity’s class instructors. “We both do weights and then incorporate some of Chris’ exercises from the usual Wednesday morning class!”

They’re also keeping mentally active with Brain Games sent to them from another of Wimbledon Guild’s instructors; “Thanks for the great Brain Games – up till now we have been doing online word games and Sudoku”.

Most importantly, the couple are staying positive and looking forward to better days ahead; “We’ll see you back at Wimbledon Guild when we’re able to!”

Wimbledon Guild wouldn’t be able to achieve what it has, and will continue to in future, without the kindness and generous help of local people. The charity says it’s heartening that in this time of crisis our community spirit is shining through.

Wendy Pridmore, CEO, leaves us with the comment that; “Life will return to normal, but a new normal – one where our sense of community and togetherness is stronger. Through it all Wimbledon Guild will continue to be here for Merton, as we have been for the past 111 years. Thank you.”

For more information about how Wimbledon Guild are supporting the people of Merton during the coronavirus pandemic visit www.wimbledonguild.co.uk.

 

#RaiseTheBar to Save Our High Streets

Your favourite pub, restaurant, cafe and shop need your help!

Thousands of businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector lie above the current rateable value threshold to access the £25,000 grant.

Love Wimbledon is supporting a national campaign, #RaiseTheBar, which believes access to the £25,000 grant is the difference between survival and bankruptcy for businesses on High Streets across the country. The grant will enable businesses to mitigate significant challenges relating to stock losses, cashflow and rent. Many businesses are not in a position to take on further debt or have serious misgivings about being able to survive the recovery and service loans. Other cash pressures include suppliers, service charges and the cost of re-opening to repurchase stock and ongoing running costs.

By increasing the threshold from £51,00 to £150,000 an additional 180 businesses in Wimbledon would be supported, representing 5,600 jobs and around 30% of the employment in the town.

You can help the businesses in Wimbledon Town Centre.

Please SIGN THE PETITION and share widely.

 

“Teokath of London has built up a reputation as one of the best bridal retail shops in the UK. We are about delivering on the dreams of our brides and feel a massive responsibility to making sure they have their once in a lifetime dress. It means everything. Our business is our family, we all live, work and breath it – it’s our passion. With no income, we need access to a grant to pay suppliers and give us the breathing space we need to survive – without it we face the daunting prospect of folding.”

Steve Sotiriou, Teokath of London (Wimbledon)

Easter Inspiration

 

Looking for fun ways to keep your children occupied indoors during this crisis? Check out our list of engaging and entertaining Easter activities for children, to keep their creativity flowing.

 

Do-It-Yourself Easter decorations

Utilise everything from pipe cleaners, coloured card, pom-poms and tissue paper to create some colourful decorations. Ideas include: Papier-mâché Easter Baskets, Bunny Bookmarks or Bunny Bunting, an Easter Egg Gardland and more.

 

Cook Up Some Easter Treats 

Add an Easter twist to your breakfast with Chocolatey-Cereal Nests or Mini Egg Muffins. Have a biscuit bonanza with Chick or Easter Egg-shaped biscuit treats.

Follow Lakeland’s blog for great recipes, top tips and lots of Easter baking inspiration.

Easter Games

Get the whole family involved in an Easter Egg hunt around the house and think of some creative hiding spots. You can place them on leaves, in cupboards or under the bed…. but remember – you’ll still find those little eggs months after, cropping up in places you forgot you had put them! Many supermarkets have smaller eggs available that are perfect for hunting! But, if you don’t have eggs, then opt instead for a hidden post-it note clues with some home made treats for the winner.

 

Remember to join Merton Council’s massive Merton Easter Egg Hunt, by helping to create a trail of colourful eggs in the windows of homes across the borough. Show off your designs by posting on social media with the following hashtags – #MertonTogether #EggsInWindows, and tag in @Merton_Council so they can share your creations!

 

Hold Your Own Storytime

Encourage reading by holding your very own storytime! Or prefer to leave it in the hands of the professionals? Then visit Polka Theatre or Gymboree (virtually) for virtual storytimes, downloadable activity packs, play-and-learn classes and lots more!

 

Tips To Manage Your Teenagers Mental Health

Wimbledon based, award winning charity Stem4 have issued tips to help parents manage their teenager’s mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak. The CEO of the charity, which focuses on supporting teenage mental health, Dr Nihara Krause (Consultant Clinical Psychologist) has provided the following tips for parents and carers amidst the pandemic:

Feeling safe is essential in the effective management of anxiety. The current, everchanging global health situation can therefore contribute to increasing anxiety symptoms in all of the family. The teen years in particular, need special focus since adolescence can be a time when emotions are experienced intensely.

  • Explain the nature of anxiety to your teen. Anxiety is an essential emotion we all feel in response to threat. It will bring about a response which affects all parts of our body, our thinking and our behaviour. When anxiety is managed it can be helpful – allowing us to harness it’s protective nature to spur us into positive health management.
  • Help them to develop positive self-care behaviours to maintain health and hygiene. This will build their confidence in their ability to protect themselves and learn to take responsible action.
  • Help them to challenge negative thoughts that may make them overestimate dangers, leading to difficulties such as over thinking and over worrying. This means providing them with facts to minimise fear. Make sure these facts are from a trusted, scientific source.
  • Help them regulate the amount of information they have access to through the news, social media and online. Misinformation spreads fast and an ‘infodemic’ is as unhealthy to the mind as a pandemic may be to a nation.
  • Practicing social distancing does not come easily to teenagers. Risking becoming what may be perceived as an ‘outcast’ is probably one of the biggest punishments a teen may feel. Provide a benefit to social distancing such as, for example, being able to do a task they highly value. This will provide an incentive to follow through with distancing rather than make it a punishment to try and avoid.
  • Social media can provide a safe alternative to keeping up with friends, despite it not always helping a young person’s mental health. Help your child or young person to place boundaries on their use and keep communication open as to what discussions might be happening on line.
  • Shift the focus to helping others. Providing social support not only increases empathy and helps avoid negative or stereotypic attributions but also helps build confidence in their ability to face difficulties.
  • Challenge compulsive behaviour. Constant checking, contrary to belief, does not help reduce anxiety, instead it fans it. Suggest they scale back on checking phones and the internet for information updates since they can become digital intrusions. Suggest instead that they limit screen time, trusting the adults in their lives to share significant information instead.
  • Encourage searching for positive bits of news and provide feedback on what’s going right rather than fixating on what may be wrong. Enhance the development of a balanced perspective.
  • A frightened captain will make a frightened crew so anxious adults should take steps to manage their own tense thoughts and behaviours and counterbalance negative ideas and actions with positive, uplifting ones.

For a full list of resources visit the following page: https://stem4.org.uk/resources/