Bringing Smiles Back To The Community

SINCE the first strains of Covid forced the country into Lockdown, we have worked across the Tees Valley to support people who may have been feeling isolated or lonely during the pandemic.

We all hoped that first Lockdown would be short, sharp and do the trick. History has has taught us different and a new way of going about our lives.

There are still hundreds for whom life remains a bigger challenge than what used to be classed as normal.

Among our other work, we continue to make calls to residents and send out meals, letters and puzzle packs and we’re working hard to help people gain confidence to become part of the community again.

Working with local partners and with thanks to funding from Middlesbrough Borough council, we are creating a wide range of groups and sessions to bring people back together again.

Over the last few weeks we have set up a community meal club in Breckon Hill, a Cue Club for people to play snooker and pool in the Middlebeck Social Club in Pallister Park. There are community bingo sessions, and boxercise and walking football sessions in the Herlingshaw Centre.  With our Thursday online quiz group and the gardening club in St. Oswald’s Church we are trying to provide something for everyone.

People are really enjoying the sessions, one lady who joined us at Breckon Hill community centre told us: “That was just what I needed, I have loved everyone’s company and it has been ages since I have laughed so much”.

Groups are meeting safely and we all still have to be very aware of Covid restrictions, but it is great to get people back together again.  Smiles are back on faces, including at a barbecue for the volunteers who have helped St Oswald’s bring their garden and centre back to life.

MFC Foundation staff mix in at the Middlebeck Social Club Cue Club in Pallister Park where it looks like they’re hoping for snooker tuition.