In a matter of 4 days as the pandemic hit Sheffield, ShipShape were able to pull together a Community Hub for the neighbourhood - a model that allowed us to continue to engage with our communities and ensure that the needs of any individuals, families and anyone who is vulnerable, isolated and at risk were able to receive the support.
"We had no food, no money and no one to communicate with. ShipShape found us, they knew where we were and how desperately we needed the support.
They gave us hope and a reason to believe that we can survive through this.
They are a lifeline for so many communities who are missed and forgotten about."
Being an anchor organiations based at the heart of the community, we had the capabilities to adapt quickly when hit my the pandemic at the end of March 2020. We had the capabilities to adapt so quickly, in light of Covid-19. ShipShape’s approach has highlighted that grassroot voluntary organisations are uniquely placed to respond swiftly and accurately to such crisis. Being an Anchor organisation, delivering community-based servicers for over 13 years, having experienced, well connected staff and trained volunteers and being imbedded in the community with an infrastructure that captures the needs of people across the neighbourhood, has made this possible.
Shipshape Community Hub
The Community Hub is a point of call for local residents who are vulnerable, isolated and at risk to call in and get the support they need. This includes people who are struggling with their Mental Health, at risk of Suicide, BAMER Community, Domestic Abuse victims, people living with Dementia & their Carers.
ShipShape’s Community Hub has been in touch and supported over 2000 people who have needed support, emotional, mental, wellbeing, health, medical, social, and financial support.
o Support with PIP and other benefit forms. Sorting out travel passes, asylum claims, community mediation with police and housing issues.
• Working with GP practices to put in support plans for the most vulnerable clients who became more vulnerable during the pandemic. I.e diabetes, suicidal victims, mental health and resilience during the pandemic.
• Engaging with communities in different community language and going through the government guidelines and explaining how large households adapt them in their households - social distancing, hand washing, wearing face masks and understanding signs and symptoms.
• Arranging social distancing outdoor activity – exercise session, wellbeing walks/doorstep conversations and activity packs for young people/children
• Supporting the local Sharrow testing site and engaging with communities
Shipshape Community Foodbank
Since April 2020, shipshape partnered up with S6 Foodbank and opened the centre as a local community Food bank. To help those who have been adversely affected by the crisis.
Over 1000 food packs have been delivered out since April supporting many families to survive through the pandemic. We've seen families that have really struggled without food for nearly two weeks but did not feel they could access a foodbank because in their mind it should be going to someone else who is more in need
"People were just really grateful and saying how having something so local has really had an impact and put food on the table for someone who would not have had food otherwise.” Knowing that the food is halal and suitable for vegetarian’s has been a reason many have turned to us and valued how communities’ needs have been thought of when setting up the food bank.
The next 3 months are predicted to see an increase in the food bank, and we plan to support communities as much as we can. If you can help in any way, please do get in touch.
If you are an agency and want to refer someone to the food bank please call our Foodbank community hub number:
0114 321 0733
For any further information
During the pandemic we have supported community members to get digital by sourcing and fixing devices as well as mentoring people to access zoom. Once set up on zoom our community members can reduce social isolation by video calling family, attending wellbeing groups and online activity classes.
"I'm useless with all this tech stuff and wouldn't be able to get onto zoom without being shown step by step like you did so god bless you for that"
Helping to get people online has given them access to some of our community sessions on Covid and the vaccine. It has also provided space for the community to speak with partners and organisations, to help inform how we respond to the pandemic and address needs.
Many school aged children have struggled with accessing technology so we have also liaised with schools to ensure that all young people have the equipment they need. Likewise, we have worked with some asylum seekers to ensure that despite having no money or access to funds, they are able to stay connected through zoom and engage in courses such as english language courses online.
& Carer Packs
Since April 100 weekly calls have out to people with Dementia and their carers.
This has been one of the most difficult times for people with Dementia and their carers as they have become even more isolated than before. Our upmost importance was ensuring that we put in the right support. Our Dementia support worker called out and has now been trained to how best we keep in touch with people with Dementia and their carers- which means from next month a number of support sessions will be set up as part our Dementia programme.
Activity packs with goody’s and worksheets have been put together by the team to go out next month. These will reach out to 100 people with Dementia and their carers. across Sheffield We are keen to look at how we reach out to people in the BAME communities to ensure their access the appropriate support during the pandemic.
If you are interested are getting involved in our dementia programme please get in touch –
Healthy Holiday Programme
Over the summer holidays this year, we at Shipshape supported 70 children over 30 families for the 6-week break.
We provided them with activity packs and recipe cards (as well as the ingredients for the recipes) to complete at home. These were delivered or collected according to what the families’ availability.
We made instructional videos of the recipes to send around to the families which received great feedback, and people really appreciated having some ‘face to face’ contact, even if it was through a video screen! The families were encouraged to do the activities and make the recipes, and then send pictures back to us via WhatsApp to show us what they have been up to.
Although the healthy holiday programme was run very differently to how we usually do it (because of COVID-19), we still received great feedback, and are looking forward to running a similar programme for the October half-term.
We had especially good feedback from parents who have been struggling a lot during COVID-19 trying to keep their children occupied at home; they said that having something to do each week has been a real relief. The children were all from local families, attending schools in Sharrow, Nether Edge and Highfield. They were aged between 5 and 18, and the activity packs were catered towards these different age ranges and we ensured their met the cultural needs
As the pandemic guidelines eased down during the summer, we started several weekly activities. Aimed at people who felt they needed to get out, were struggling with their mental health, became suicidal during the lockdown and those living with a long-term condition.
“I haven’t been out my house since lockdown – not even for a walk. When receiving a call from ShipShape men’s health worker who asked if I wanted to join a conversation walking group- I was lifted with hope and a sense of things thigs will improve- I felt safe and it helped with my mental health enormously.”
We worked with volunteers and Good Gym to clean out the outside place round shipshape and got it ready to deliver some outdoor activities. What was delivered - Outdoor women’s exercise glass, walking appointments and men’s wellbeing sessions alongside wellbeing café for Asylum seekers and refugees was set up.
“Being a refugee and seeing my mates who are asylum seekers struggling even more during the pandemic has had a real strain on my mental health. We felt we were forgotten and would struggle to come out alive after the pandemic."
Online Courses & Sessions
We usually run classes and activities through the week at our community centre, however with COVID we have had to adapt and take as many as we can online.
It took some time to teach people how to get onto zoom and to become confident with using the computer and attending the sessions in a different way. However we have slowly developed our sessions to be available for community members.
This has included online wellbeing sessions, physical activity sessions as well as community meetings about Covid and the upcoming vaccine.
Ramadan & Eid Programme
A warm THANK YOU to the amazing Business who team up with ShipShape and backed the local Community Hub.
They supported us through the most difficult time to ensure we could reach out and provide for the most vulnerable families/individuals in our neighbourhood.
From providing food ingredients, committing to keeping the food prices low during Ramadan.
Over 100 of hot meal boxes each week during Ramadan, discounts to families when ordering food from their food placers.
During Ramadan we were able to provide hot meals and Ramadan packs to over 800 vulnerable people.
Thank you to the Nether Edge Neighbourhood team and the wonderful community members/faith organisation/providers/groups who have donated throughout the pandemic to allow us to keep our support going for the most vulnerable people in our communities.