A local charity – which has made several adjustments to the way they provide their services during the coronavirus pandemic – is helping to support hundreds of vulnerable residents each week.
Chell Area Family Action Group (CAFAG) provide activities designed to improve the physical, mental and social health of the communities surrounding them. Usually weekly workshops, fitness classes and gardening projects take place at the Whitfield Valley Centre, where coffee mornings and an over 55s lunch club would also take place.
The Fegg Hayes centre, which is also home to a Youth Club and a gym managed by Aston Fitness, has its own Health and Wellbeing department – ‘change to project’, provides baby weigh ins, Nursery and creche services, but had to close its doors to the public when the virus hit.
The charity moved quickly in order to adapt and have since been helping residents to stay connected online via their Facebook page – ‘CAFAG at the Whitfield Valley Centre’ @CAFAGWVC
Yoga sessions are taking place with Embody Rose Yoga, CAFAG’s youth workers are hosting activities for young people aged 10-18 years, the Nursery and Creche staff share daily activities to do whilst at home, plus regular weekly updates concerning important information about Covid-19 and the community are provided.
Emily Taylor, Assistant Charity Manager at CAFAG, said: “Our online sessions have become extremely popular, some of our videos have been reaching over 1000 views and it’s another great way we can stay connected during this uncertain time.
“Our weekly community update is so we can share what work is being carried out and to encourage residents to be a part of this journey with us. There’s something for all ages and we encourage anyone to get involved.”
Emily adds: “All our staff quickly and efficiently adapted to this new way of working and everyone at CAFAG is doing their best in helping to lower the number suffering with their mental health due to loneliness, or who are vulnerable.”
As well as increasing social media offerings, CAFAG have also been working in partnership with other local organisations such as, The Hub @ST6, Fegg Hayes Futures, Chell Parish Church’s, Fegg Hayes and Chell Heath Residents Association supported by the Big Local.
“We have worked in partnership with these organisations for a long time now and we have all been working together during these tough times to provide invaluable support,” says Emily.
“Since March 30, we have been carrying out essential practical tasks including shopping for necessities, dog walking, collecting prescriptions, befriending telephone calls and delivering food parcels for those who are isolated, cannot leave their homes, have no family members, or just need support. Working together with the other organisations has enabled us to reach more vulnerable people and to still provide a strong community support system.”
Anyone who would like to get in touch with CAFAG Health and Wellbeing officer is asked to call Nannette Husle 07895 446 710. For Youth Club support contact Jim (CAFAG Youth Worker) – 07803 361 745 or Lewis (CAFAG Youth Worker) – 07803 359 939.
To find out more about CAFAG’s online sessions go to https://www.facebook.com/CAFAGwvc/
**CAFAG have now been nominated for a “Our Heroes Award” in The Sentinel newspaper.**