Dons Local Action Group – Update

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The Dons Local Action Group provides support to the people of Merton and Kingston Boroughs during the Coronavirus pandemic.

They are looking for food, other useful items and volunteers.

Only a short while ago we reported on how supporters of AFC Wimbledon set up this local action group (https://wimbledoncommunity.org/afc-wimbledons-action-plan/).

They are working with local charities such as MVSC, Merton Mutual Aid, AFC Wimbledon Foundation, Wimbledon Food Bank, Age UK Merton, SPEAR and many more, who help identify vulnerable people in Merton requiring urgent food donations, delivered to their door.

By the end of week 1 the DLA volunteers had collected and delivered 100+ food parcels; this was increased to 250 last weekend. They are aiming for up to 500 this coming weekend!

If you or someone you know needs support now or in the coming weeks please don’t hesitate to contact their helpline: 0203 301 4511 or email: MAILTO:DLA@AFCWimbledonfoundation.org.uk

Food Collection Points & Times

Please help the DLA volunteers reach their goal this weekend and over the coming weeks! If you can, please drop some non-perishable items after your shop at any of the following food collection points:

Open Daily 11am – 5pm:
– Waitrose Raynes Parks
– Sainsburys Wimbledon
– Morrisons Wimbledon
– Sainsburys Morden

Open Daily 8am – 5pm
– Tesco New Malden

Open Saturday 8am – 5pm
– Old Rutlishians (Poplar Road, Merton Park)
– Old Wimbledonians (Coombe Lane)

If you are unable to drop off food at the above collection points please help them raise £5,000 for The AFC Wimbledon Foundation to support The Dons Local Action Group. The money is used to complete food parcels with items that are missing. Please donate to their JustGiving crowdfunding page: http://justgiving.com/crowdfunding/donslocalactiongroup?utm_term=Q98NqZK9Q

Follow them on Twitter #DonsLocalAction to stay up to date with their amazing work.

For further information on how to get involved in volunteering or ask for support please check our Coronahub pages:
https://wimbledoncommunity.org/volunteering/, https://wimbledoncommunity.org/mvsc-launches-new-coronavirus-support-helpline/

 

Can You Donate Your Old Laptops and Tablets to Keep Kids Connected?

The Dons Local Action Group are now in desperate need of old laptops and tablets so that kids in Merton and beyond can keep up with their school work and stay in contact with their friends.

They have had a massive response from schools who have identified children without a laptop or tablet, and are keen to step in and help. 

They will pick up your device, completely erase all the data, and refurb it so it is ready to use! They then deliver the devices to schools so they can give them to the children who need them.

So if you have a laptop/desktop/tablet that is less than 10 years old, in good working condition with a working charger that you no longer use, please do consider donating it. To donate, fill in the form at bit.ly/KeepKidsConnected

Update as of 30 April 2020

Things have moved on so quickly with the Dons Local Action group, we asked one of their own, Ollie Ryan Tucker, for an update.  Please read on to find out more about this amazing initiative and what they have achieved to date.

Dons Local Action (DLA) was formed on the 20th March, originally focusing on providing food assistance in the borough of Merton.  As of this weekend, it has delivered over 3000 food packages in Merton alone.

The project has quickly expanded both in location and in scope, with new hubs being set up in Kingston, and in Wandworth, with total one-week food boxes numbering around 5000.

At the same time, it has expanded into other areas of need after requests from other organisations.

The ‘Keep Kids Connected’ programme is sourcing laptops and devices for school children stuck at home without the ability to learn remotely.  It has provided 100 of these to local schools, playing an important role in bridging the digital divide cause by the lockdown.  With reports this week emphasising the educational outcome impact on low-income families without the ability to learn remotely, this project is of great importance.

DLA also began a Homeless Outreach taskforce 10 days ago.  Since then it has directly assisted in housing 4 homeless people, delivered dozens of essential grab bags of food and hygiene products to those who remain on the street, and is working in conjunction with local authorities and other homeless charities to supply food boxed directly to those in temporary accommodation.

DLA is now comprised of over 400 volunteers, working at most major supermarkets in the South West London area.  It has become the port-of-call for other charities looking for assistance, such as RacketsCubed in Roehampton Age UK, and other smaller charities.


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