November 2020-January 2021
We continue to make connections in our community amidst adversity
Hi everyone, Sue here. I just wanted to stay in touch with you all via an update on what has/is going on at Salford Naz.
As with everywhere else, the moving and shifting of national Covid restrictions is having an impact on the Naz. We were able to have some regular rental groups recommence their sessions here for a few weeks only to have to put things on hold again due to the latest lockdown situation.
This causes great frustration for the group leaders and the participants. One group that runs for new mothers and babies really misses the opportunity to meet with each other as many of the new mothers are feeling isolated with their new baby and feel that the lack of adult support is affecting their mental health is very understandable.
We were very excited to welcome a new mother and baby group commencing mid- January specifically for refugee and asylum seeker mothers but again due to the latest lockdown we have had to postpone this essential weekly gathering. I am reminded when talking to the leaders of these groups just how these restrictions impact on individuals, specifically their sense of social isolation, loneliness and mental health.
Fortunately, we are able to continue with the Food Pantry service 3 times a week which continues to be vital to the local people. We have had some new referrals recently from people who now find themselves back on furlough thus reducing their financial income. The reduced cost of food from the Pantry allows their money to go further whilst giving opportunity to purchase food items that they could not afford to buy at the supermarket.
The Naz painting project has now recommenced over the last week and we have now turned our attentions to the small hall, kitchen and additional toilets. That should us busy over the next few weeks!
I had a lovely conversation recently with a new lady who attends the Food Pantry weekly. She has had a very difficult time over the last months but felt comforted and appreciated being able to share her situation with me. I thank God for those small but very significant moments of connection and sharing and know that the Holy Spirit will continue to work in and though those God given opportunities.
Longsight Church gifted the Naz some of its massive food delivery just before Christmas and from this I was able to give every customer at the Naz Food Pantry a free food hamper as a thank you for their support and encouragement over the last year both to me and the Naz. This small gift was greatly received from folk and they were reminded via a gift tag on each bag that Love, Hope, Joy and Peace were prayed upon each of them for 2021.
The Naz Trustees continue to meet with me on a regular basis and we continue to look at how Salford and Longsight churches can continue to remain and develop our relationship with each other. Individuals connected to the Naz have been able to join Longsight for Zoom meetings and hopefully in the near future we will be able to gather in Salford in-person and join you via Zoom to participate in the services.
What we were able to do was keep the Food Pantry service open – albeit with some changes to make us as safe as possible during Covid. This has been and remains a very vital support for many local residents and it was important for me that the Naz doors remained opened at a time when the community was in crisis. Home food deliveries were made to those folk who were unable to come out of their homes. This new adaptation to service delivery seems to have worked well and it’s been such a blessing to be have been able to maintain weekly contact with people during these last months.
We’d appreciate your prayers (see below) but, until next time, thank you for your time in prayer. Sue.
- Covid safety of building as people come in and out for the Food Pantry.
- Safety for me I deliver this service, that I will be kept safe from Covid infection.
- For my ongoing conversation with the lady mentioned above, and her search for peace and belonging.
- For my husband as he supports with the painting project.
- For the continued and vital contact relationships I have at the Naz via Food Pantry. That familiarity will create trust and meaningful conversations.
- For the Trustees as they continue to steer the Naz into 2021
- For creativity in maintaining links and communication between Salford and Longsight churches.
- For Gods will to continue in Salford despite the challenges of the Pandemic around us.