Meet Up is our Youth and Family Centre on Thetford’s Redcastle Furze Estate. Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, its main aim is to provide leisure activity and support services for young people and the local community. It enables them to access provisions in a safe and informal environment and make positive choices and changes where necessary.

While the centre itself is currently closed for its usual groups and activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our colleagues at Meet Up have been working on a scheme called ‘Bags of Love’ to let Meet Up members know we are still thinking of them at this challenging time. The Bags of Love also provide activities they can enjoy while staying safe at home. Meet Up’s Becky explains more:

“We have been putting bags together with little packs of treats, including craft activities for the young people to make – butterfly themed of course! For our Senior Citizens, we have packed the bags with puzzle books, biscuits and tea or coffee as they are unable to join us for their weekly cuppa and chat.”

Becky and colleague Sofi have been distributing the bags safely, while adhering to the Government’s two metre social distancing guidelines.

Becky continues:

“Our first week of outreach work has been fantastic; we were so pleased to see that the members we visited were all keeping safe and well. The parents are all in the swing of home schooling now and our seniors have settled into a different way of life. Everyone loved their Bag of Love and said they were happy to have something different to do. One of our senior members even said: “TBF comes out top again!”

“We have also been taking some photos of our members on their doorsteps as part of a project to snapshot this strange time, which those who have taken part have enjoyed – many saying it’s good to have everyone home at the same time!

“We have only had positive reactions from our visits; everyone saying they miss Meet Up but are glad we took the time to visit, strengthening that bond we have with our members. It also reinforces the fact that time is a precious thing, and spending it with those we care about whether family, colleagues or those who use our services, can be as valuable to us as it is to them.”

Learn more about Meet Up and their fabulous work in the local community here: https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/service/meet-up/

People are very generous in what they donate and the quality is amazing.

Norwich Furniture Store staff member

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