Celebrating just some of Lancaster and Morecambe's many pandemic heroes on the first anniversary of lockdown

There were many unsung heroes who have helped out enormously during the coronavirus pandemic, from foodbanks, voluntary organisations and helplines, to schoolchildren, midwives and artists.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 4:53 pm

Here are just a few of the many:

*Morecambe Bay Foodbank saw a 368% increase in demand for assistance and delivered almost 39,000 food parcels to local families during 2020.

Chair of the Board of Trustees Joanna Young said: “From the moment Covid-19 took hold, staff and volunteers have had to adapt incredibly quickly to try and continue to provide emergency food to people who need it quickly, efficiently, and most importantly, safely.”

Annette Smith, foodbank manager at Morecambe Bay Foodbank.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Morecambe Bay Foodbank has been operating in partnership with Lancaster City Council and is currently based in The Platform, Marine Road, Morecambe.

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Morecambe Bay Foodbank hands out 20,000 emergency food parcels in eight months

*In August Eggcup surplus food redistribution centre for the Lancaster district won a sustainability award in the annual Visitor Sunshine Awards.

They said: “During the Covid-19 crisis we’ve stopped huge amounts of food from going to waste, much of it from local businesses Read more.

The Olive Branch foodbank has temporarily moved into St Thomas' Church in Lancaster during the coronavirus pandemic.

*More than 400 crates of food and toiletries were sent to Morecambe Bay Foodbank during the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to the residents of south Lancaster. The crates had been collected at Barton Road Centre which had been a drop off point manned by volunteers from June to December 2020 Read more.

*Lancaster Coronavirus support line helped around 1,200 vulnerable and elderly people across the city. The support line was staffed by volunteers from Hope Church, Lancaster.

*Safe: Pop-up project has engaged with 27 young people up to 25-years-old across the Morecambe, Lancaster and Carnforth area via Zoom, offline activity packs and phone calls.

*Carnforth Covid-19 support group along with the support of Carnforth Town Council, Carnforth Free Methodist and a group of volunteers supported residents by doing their shopping, collecting prescriptions, walking their dogs and offering advice and support. In January, members of the Carnforth community who had gone above and beyond to help others during the Covid-19 pandemic were honoured at a special virtual ceremony Read more.

Heysham Power Station representatives and FMorecambe Bay Foodbank volunteers in The Platform. Staff at the power stations donated the cost of their usual Christmas lunches to the Foodbank

*The Well Communities successfully engaged over 350 people from April to September in Lancaster and Morecambe, received 20 more phone calls to its Morecambe office and around 15 more website requests for help..

*The Olive Branch in Lancaster, operating from St Thomas’ Church in Marton Street, carried out vital work to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. In May last year the food bank was delivering around 650 parcels a month to homes across Lancaster and further afield Read more.

*Father’s House Elim Church in Owen Road is still holding a twice weekly community food poverty cafe, which currently feeds around 200 people who are struggling due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as those in the Skerton community, volunteers regularly see people visiting from further afield including Morecambe for help. The church also looks after the homeless with food and clothing Read more.

*Last October, Lancaster City Council launched a Government funded Emergency Assistance Grant Scheme to help residents experiencing financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme was to support all those struggling to afford food, gas, electric and other essentials and in need of immediate help Read more.

An Eggcup volunteer sorting out some of the local produce.

*An 11-year-old girl from Lancaster made more than 600 masks to help out during the coronavirus crisis. Year 6 pupil Matilda Gleeson raised more than £1,000 for Morecambe Bay Foodbank after asking for donations in an honesty box instead of payment Read more.

*A volunteer group led by a retired Halton midwife sewed 60 sets of scrubs for Morecambe Bay Health staff. Sandra Lively enquired about purchasing fabric from fabric printer Standfast & Barracks in Caton Road, Lancaster, just enough to make two or three pairs, and said she was stunned when the company offered a donation of 1000 metres of fabric enough to make 300 pairs of scrubs. The first 60 sets of scrubs were delivered to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on April 16, 2020, with another batch due to be ready the week after Read more.

*Local entrepreneur Mateo Sanderson set up his own business supplying PPE to local businesses to raise money for two causes close to his heart. Mateo started selling PPE that he purchased through his parents’ business in July 2020. Mateo is in a wheelchair and sometimes struggles with speech, so his mum, dad and personal assistant, Lucy and Cerie, helped him with his charitable business. He had orders of more than £3,000 with all the profits being divided between St John’s Hospice and Beaumont College to help their important work continue Read more.

*Staff and pupils at Bay Leadership Academy supplied hundreds of pieces of vital PPE to essential key workers as part of the Star Academies Coronavirus Appeal. The team worked tirelessly to design and create face shields and face masks for the whole community Read more

*An artist from Morecambe launched a crowdfunding appeal for materials for NHS visors during the coronavirus lockdown. Artist Andrew Morris raised £850 to purchase materials to make face visor shields for NHS staff Read more.

*A Lancaster dad launched a campaign to help raise money to provide schoolchildren in need with laptops and tablets. Shaun Gash was able to present his first purchases to a school in Lancaster recently Read more.

Matilda Gleeson has made almost 400 face masks.

*A financial adviser from Hest Bank handed over £2,500 to the Morecambe Bay Foodbank Uniform Project. David Makin, who owns DGM Financial Planning Ltd, presented the foodbank with a cheque to help pay for school clothing including shirts, jumpers, trousers and skirts Read more.

Lucy Bradbury (Mateo’s PA), Mateo and Lauren (fundraising coordinator at St John’s Hospice).
Shaun Gash with a teacher from Ryelands Primary School.
Artist Andrew Morris with his laser scanner.