Hornchurch Sports Centre sets up food and PPE hub to support community during pandemic

A leisure centre in Hornchurch is supporting the local community by operating a food and PPE support hub out of its sports hall.

The team at Hornchurch Sports Centre, which is managed by Everyone Active in partnership with Havering Council, worked with the local authority to set up a support hub at the centre during its lockdown closure, providing food packages to shielding residents, local foodbanks, children’s centres and PPE packages to local care homes and key workers.

The support hub facilitated the delivery of over 3,000 food packages and over 500 PPE deliveries – with the PPE number rising daily as the hub is continuing to work with care homes.

During this time, the Everyone Active team took receipt of all the deliveries organised by the council, put together all the food and PPE packages, controlled all the stock coming in and out of the centre, and prepared the deliveries which were then distributed by the council, all while maintaining a Covid-secure system to ensure social-distancing guidance was adhered to.

Tom Fletcher, contract manager at Everyone Active, said: “I am so proud of the teams at both Hornchurch Sports Centre and Havering Council who have worked so well together on setting up and operating the support hub.

“There was a core team of four at Everyone Active who were manning the support hub seven days a week, from 6am to 6pm during its peak, and offered out of hours cover when it was required too!

“It was fantastic to be able to utilise the centre during the closure and help the local community through such a challenging time for everyone.”

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council, said: “I am extremely proud of the speed by which the council, Everyone Active, and other partners set up the distribution hub.

“The tireless dedication of staff and volunteers to support our most vulnerable residents and the way in which we have been able to coordinate across the public, private and voluntary sectors to tackle unprecedented challenges, is truly impressive. It makes me, as a Havering resident, feel incredibly inspired and reassured to know that the people that need this support can rely on us to give it to them.”

Hornchurch Sports Centre reopened on July 25 for gym, public swimming and swimming lessons, and group exercise classes.

For more information on Everyone Active, visit: www.everyoneactive.com

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]