Fans Museum delivering packed lunches to families during coronavirus lockdown

Sunderland’s Fans’ Museum is supporting the city’s most vulnerable people through the coronavirus lock-down.

Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 6:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 6:08 pm
Loading up the van

With the North Bridge Street venue closed for the duration of the lock-down, founder Michael Ganley and members of the volunteers team have been using the museum’s distinctive minibus to deliver packed lunches and hot meals to schoolchildren and elderly people across Sunderland and Washington.

Michael said the work had originally begun in response to a public appeal for help from Sunderland City Councils’ chief executive on social media.

“Patrick Melia put a request out on Linked-In for people to help during the on-going coronavirus situation and I responded that if there was anything I could do to help, I would.”

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With many of the museum’s own volunteers in isolation, Michael realised there was a limit to the help he could offer – but when some of the team came on board, he was able to get in touch and offer their services.

“We have got a restricted team because of the age and medical condition of some of them, but I phoned up and spoke to Helen Peverley at the council and we found ourselves going out to deliver packed lunches to some of the kids around Fulwell, Roker, Monkwearmouth and Southwick, then Millfield and Pallion,” he said.

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Over the last couple of weeks, the team have extended their work to providing hot meals for people in sheltered accommodation and Michael is keen to expand the service even further.

The team on the road, complete with protective masks

“I have a couple of the team, Andy Parkin and Dave Barkel, helping and we’re now looking after the care schemes for Gentoo,” said Micheal.

“Our next thing is that we are going to be setting up a bit of a mobile library. A lot of people are having to sit in on their own and they are not even able to see family members.

“What we want to do is drop them off a couple of books to help keep them entertained – it’s also a good way to reassure people that we will be coming back.”

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Andy and Dave make a drop-off

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