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Helping the isolated 

St Mary's Church, Melton Mowbray, has donated £1,000 to a community group which helps local people who are isolated and needy.

Each year St Mary's District Church Council donates £1,000 each to a local, national and international group or organisation as part of its charitable giving. 

At a meeting on Wednesday, February 10th, it was decided that cash should be given to the Help the Isolated group in Melton Mowbray, which is run by Sharon Brown, landlady of The Grapes pub in the town, along with a hard-working band of local volunteers.

sharon 2"I was overwhelmed at the offer of some financial help. At first I thought the church might be offering us £100, so I was blown away when I was told the figure was £1,000, " said Sharon, pictured left.

"It will be put to good use and used sensibly. Mainly the group helps schools with fresh veg/fruit tins and pasta, which I take directly to the schools due to data protection. They know the families most in need. They could be struggling because the children are now at home, home learning where they normally get dinner at school. Families are also now suffering hardship after people are being on furlough or being made redundant.

"There are elderly suffering from hospital appointments being cancelled and struggling at home, or isolating themselves because of the scare of Coronavirus. 

"We have helped people who are trying to get back into work by getting outfits from charity shops for them or getting their hair done for interviews. We also help mothers in homes for domestic violence. It could be someone who can't afford a child’s school shoes." 

More recently the group has been helping families without computers/technology to be able to access on-line teaching material for their children to use at home while schools are closed.

"We’re used to getting smaller donations which people give to me or post through The Grapes' door," added Sharon.

 "At Christmas we raised enough to take 98 full Christmas dinner hampers out to the elderly in villages and Melton, and families through schools or recommended to us. That was huge and hard work, but we gave something to people who wouldn’t have otherwise bothered because they were on their own.

"I run the group and its Facebook page but I do give all the praise and thanks to donators and the local community, as we all help between us. You only have to ask on the Facebook page and someone helps."

*On Friday, February 12th, an emergency situation arose and the group used some of the money donated by St Mary's Church to calm down and bring hope and a way forward for a suicidal lady.

"This shows that every penny counts to be ready for situations like this," said Sharon. "If people were not donating, we couldn’t have acted as quickly as we did."

Melton Team Parish Rector, the Revd Kevin Ashby, said: "It's good to be able to support a local charity, helping out local people. I know of folk who have been supported in what are very difficult times for them at the moment."

To view the Helping the Isolated Facebook page click HERE.

Phil Balding, 12/02/2021

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