Helping protect vulnerable neighbours and public health

Published Wednesday 13 May 2020

Organisations across Leicestershire have come together to support vulnerable and homeless residents during the COVID-19 crisis.

Harborough District Council, FCC Environment and Melton & District Furniture Project are each playing their part to support homeless families in the local community as well as to protect public health.

With the Government’s commitment to ‘house’ rough sleepers to help them stay safe during the coronavirus lockdown, Harborough District Council was looking to help its most vulnerable members of society, including finding furnished accommodation for a couple of families. Needing to provide essential home goods to prepare the families’ apartments, the Council soon faced problems, with all business selling non-essential products closed and no-one but key workers allowed to travel.

Fcc crews help furnish flats

Like the vast majority of businesses during lockdown, Melton Mowbray-based Melton & District Furniture Project had to temporarily suspend its services. The charity usually collects and re-distributes second-hand home goods to those in need. It was one of a few organisations able to step in promptly to help the families, providing a range of essential household amenities such as furniture and cooking utensils.

Meanwhile, a crew from the Council's environmental services contractor FCC Environment stepped in to take care of the delivery. Normally busy collecting waste and cleaning the streets across Harborough district, the team was delighted to be able to help the families by working with the Council and the charity.

Waste managers have been identified as key workers and have been at work across Leicestershire, carrying out their crucial work to support their communities; ensuring essential services are maintained and playing their part to protect public health. The Harborough district bin crew immediately responded when they were called to help the rough sleepers in the area.

FCC Environment’s Contract Manager, John Whitup said: “I am delighted to deliver essential goods that homeless families need to get through the COVID-19 crisis. Our bin crew has been receiving an overwhelming amount of support and kindness from the community as we found heart-warming messages from residents and colourful drawings from children on our collection rounds in the past couple of weeks. We are pleased to have an opportunity to give the kindness and support back to the community by being part of this initiative.”

Harborough District Council Councillor, Jonathan Bateman said: “I am proud of the organisations in our area for always stepping up to do more for the community. Providing accommodation for homeless people is crucial; protecting rough sleepers from becoming ill, but also safeguarding public health by reducing the risk of the spread of virus. We could not have carried out this project without the great help from FCC Environment and Melton & District Furniture Project.”