Food parcels, meals and plan for mental health support line for Thanet youngsters

Food parcel packing at GloGen

Orbit housing and Global Generation (GloGen) are working in partnership to help get food supplies to those in Thanet who need it most.

With Thanet District Council acting as the hub for incoming requests, referrals are sent to GloGen and to Age UK, who are working as a first line response delivering food parcels and meals.

Orbit’s partnership with GloGen church, based at Westwood Industrial Estate, was announced at an event last month.

Paul Richards, Group Customer Services Director at Orbit, said: “Our existing links with GloGen meant that we were already in a really good position to quickly divert our community investment funding to support those who needed it most. We know from our own welfare calls to customers just how much people are struggling, especially when it comes to everyday essentials like food.”

With funding already in place, GloGen was able to put a hot meal and food parcel delivery service into place within days of the coronavirus situation affecting the most vulnerable in society. GloGen now provides around 50 food parcels a week, mainly to emergency referrals and 30-40 hot meals every day to the isle’s homeless who are being temporarily housed in Margate’s Premier Inn.

As part of the partnership announcement in March, GloGen also opened the Listening Rooms, a new youth and family counselling centre, which was created in a former derelict building at the industrial estate site.

The Listening Rooms was due to provide a much-needed facility to help support young people aged between 11 and 25-years-old in Thanet, who would otherwise have to travel to Dover to participate in CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) counselling.

James Issott, project manager for the coronavirus activity at GloGen, said: “We have identified where our support is needed most and have been able to channel funds and volunteer resources to cover those areas across Thanet. This includes delivering meals to the most vulnerable in our society, collecting prescriptions or shopping and carrying out welfare checks.

“The timing with the Orbit funding couldn’t have been better because we were told to use that immediately so we could instantly deliver what was needed, and that was crucial to getting the food and support out early on when people needed it most.

“Although we cannot use the Listening Rooms for face-to-face sessions at the moment, we also hope to offer an online system in the next few weeks so that young people in Thanet still have the chance to receive wellbeing support.”