HAOS Covid Support

Covid Response from Our Schools and Partners
Covid Response from Our Schools and Partners
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HAOS Covid Support

Food and Care Packages Update Report, April - August 2020

The Background 

At a HAOS Trustee meeting it was recognised that during this Covid 19 crisis there would be a need to support the children and families within our local communities. Like many organisations and schools, we would not be able to operate as normal, so it was decided that we would, in partnership with our member schools and other schools within our local community work, together and provide food/care packages as a way to offer some relief to the many struggling families that would be suffering during this difficult time. 

We contacted all of our member schools and consortium schools and informed them of what we were hoping to do. They were asked to complete a referral form to identify which of their vulnerable families would benefit from a food/care package. We did our first round of deliveries to 24 families just before the Easter weekend. We are now in our 18th week of support and the number of families that we are supporting has increased each week. 

The table below show the number of schools/familes and people who have accessed our support. 

[see adjacent table]

Our partner Schools 

We have sent emails out to over 37 of our local schools of which 20 are HAOS member schools. We have had responses from 27 organisations including schools, the family support team, community referrals and local community organisations. 

Handsworth Locality schools/organisations that have accessed the HAOS Care Bank Project HAOS Member Schools Non Member Schools/Organisations Benson Primary Canterbury Cross Primary School Broadway Academy James Watt Primary School Cherry Orchard Primary School Westminster Primary School Grestone Academy Highfield Primary School Grove School Heathfield Primary School Hamilton School St Mary's C of E Primary Academy and Nursery Handsworth Wood Girls Academy Oasis Boulton Holyhead School Family Support Team Oasis Foundry Community Referral – Councillor Paulette Hamilton St. James C of E. Primary School Handsworth Wood Youth Group St. Matthew’s C.E. Primary School St. Michael’s C of E Primary Academy Wattville Primary School Welford Primary School William Murdoch School Hamstead Hall Academy 

HAOS Member Schools who have not accessed the Project 

Non Member Schools/Organisations who have not accessed the Project Eden Boys - North St Teresa’s Catholic Primary Eden Boys - East Handsworth Grammar St Clare’s Catholic Primary King Edwards Girls St Augustine’s Catholic Primary St John Wall Catholic Secondary School 

Birchfield Primary Lozells Primary Holte Secondary 

Our partners/Contributors/Supporters 

We have had amazing support with donations from SewaDay, Gurdwara Aid and donations from Tescos through the Fareshare Programme. 

Gurdwara Aid Food Project - is a food project based in West Bromwich. 

Sewa Day is an international day of volunteering, held numerous times per year. It is inspired by the concept of selfless service. The West Midlands Sewa Day volunteers have been supporting us by supplying a generous range of donations. 

Sewa is a universal concept, which involves performing an act of kindness without expectation of reward. It is performed selflessly and without ulterior motive. 

HAOS have also been signed upto Fareshare and are listed on a daily schedule of Tesco stores to receive end of day charitable donations. I receive a text which tells me if there are any donations available for collection either that evening or the next morning. 

The Team/Volunteers 

Debbie Thomas and myself Debz Bonnique have worked extremely well together to make sure that this service is of a high standard which meets the needs of our schools/families/children and young people who need it. We have had incredible support from our HAOS driver the inclusion team at Hamstead Hall Academy, Handsworth Wood Youth Group,who have been doing some deliveries. We have also had regular volunteer support from DHT at St Marys Primary, Pastoral Lead – Grestone Academy and Pastoral Lead – St Michaels Primary . We have had other offers of support from staff and we can contact them if we need to take them up on their offer. Also, DHT from Westminster Primary spent a weekend of her time with her sons, creating over 30 children’s activity packs for us to donate with our packages, and my 11 year 

old daughter, has independently raised £10 from our local neighbourhood to purchase items for the food packages. 

The food/Care Packages 

We have tried our best to provide a varied diet of fresh fruit and veg along with sweet and savoury items but we are unable to filter based on what ingredients each items contains. So we ask schools/organisations to inform their families that the donations maybe non halal and may also include some near date or past date items and some items may contain nuts. 

We received a large donation of Easter eggs, groceries and a range of toys and books from SEWA Day and they have continued to provide us with weekly donation of various items, including McDonalds bacon and breakfast muffins, burger baps, children’s books, toys, socks, sandals, M&S sweets, biscuits, nuts, crisps, tinned goods, pasta, drinks, toiletries, face masks, gloves, antibac wipes, and anything that they are offered they give us a call and ask us if we can make use of it and I ALWAYS say yes, because I know we have enough families to distribute them to. 

Gurdwara Aid have provided us with 200 very well stocked fresh fruit and vegetable food hampers. As they are supporting organisations across the West Midlands, we have been very fortunate to have been supported so well by them, and so we are aware that this will not be weekly support, but they will continue to provide us with donations as and when they are able and this will include any items that they are given. We are currently awaiting a donation of face masks and hand sanitisers which will be delivered to us to distribute to our school staff. 

Fareshare have provided us with a range of bakery, fruit and vegetable, drinks, sweets, flowers, drinks, and any non-chilled items. Depending on which store we are allocated some of the donations have been extremely generous and I now have a contact that makes sure that we get any additional items that are available on that day. 

HAOS have been very fortunate that because of the generous and regular donations we have received so far we have not had to spend a huge amount of our budget on resources/supplies. We initially had to purchase non-food items, such as toiletries, cleaning materials, washing powder, fabric softener and activity resources. We have since only had to do food shopping twice, when we did not receive fresh fruit and veg donations and some minor top up items to supplement the packages when we had large numbers of referrals. If we do not have any donations of any fresh fruit and veg donations and our supply of grocery items needs to be topped up for the 50 plus weekly referrals, then we do have a budget which we have set aside to support this project. 


Grestone Academy - James Bird, Head of School 

On behalf of the school and our families can I say a huge thanks. I know the hampers were of a really high quality that families really appreciated. 

It’s amazing to see how much you are supporting local families, once again thank-you. If there is anything further we can do please let us know. 

Hamilton School - Sarah Eaton, Pastoral Manager 

The care packages have been an invaluable resource during this challenging time. Without these packages many of our families would struggle to feed their children. The content of the packages is nourishing, and you can feel the care involved in producing them. Thank you for this extremely essential service! 

Hamstead Hall Academy - Carolyn O'Sullivan, AHT 

Can I just say a massive thank you to you and your team for providing the support to our most vulnerable families within the Handsworth area. You have been a ‘God send’ to our families and they have been so grateful for all that you have done and for the food parcels provided. You are an absolute star. 

I really do appreciate all the support and the hard work that is happening at the moment - so please say a heartfelt thank you to everyone in your team too (From all at Hamstead Hall Academy). 😊😊😊 

Highfield School PACT - Mr Mudassar Farooq, Trust Pastoral Leader 

It means so much especially in such challenging and unprecedented times. On behalf of the PACT I would like to thank you and all those working with HAOS in all your efforts to support our families and be a true pillar of support for all these local communities. It truly does show a united community working to better the lives of those in the most vulnerable situations. 

If there is anything I can support you with in the future please do not hesitate to get in touch, more than happy to help. 

Holyhead School – Jennifer Bent, Head Teachers PA 

Thanks for your email and update on the wonderful support you have been offering our local families; it is truly appreciated. 

Oasis Foundry/Oasis Boulton & Benson Primary – Megan Tucker, FaB Community Hub Leader 

I wanted to say a huge thank you to you and Debs. It was lovely to meet you both. 

The parcels we delivered were prepared with so much love and care and thought – it was a pleasure to deliver them. 

There was a lovely moment when we delivered the parcel to one family- the older sister became really excited when she saw something in the bag- I couldn’t see what it was, until a few moments later, saw a younger sibling wearing the pink crocs- they had them on in a few seconds and calling mum to see- they were all delighted. 

Thank you once again 

Wattville Primary School - Renu Samuel, Deputy Head Teacher 

The food parcels have provided many of our families with support at this very difficult time. Many of our families have commented on the generosity of the contributions and the variety of the packs. The joint effort between schools and Handsworth Association is an excellent example of collaborative work and dedication. I have worked closely with Debz throughout the last few weeks, including setting up Food Share links and her positive attitude runs through all that she does. I want to also say a very big thank you to the driver I spoke to last week. 

The food parcels have provided many of our families with support at this very difficult time. Many of our families have commented on the generosity of the contributions and the variety of the packs. The joint effort between schools and Handsworth Association is an excellent example of collaborative work and dedication. 

Wattville Primary School Parent 

Hi Miss Samuel 

Just a quick note to say that I have been in receipt of food parcels... My son and I have appreciated the effort and variety in the parcels and they have come as a great relief in this time of struggle. 

What Next 

We hope to continue with the project but not just to include food parcels, we recognise that many children’s learning has been greatly affected by their lack of access to school. So we want to address this by providing more learning opportunities and resources at home. We would like to purchase and seek support through funding or donations to provide a range of home learning resources for our disadvantaged families. These would be in the form of English, maths and other subject activity books, pens, pencils, rulers, erasers, crayons/felts, writing books, paper, and any other useful resources to support children and families learning together at home. 

We have over 15,000 children in our locality schools and so we would need to 


Although it has been hard work and some long hours, we have been committed to this project it has been rewarding to see the outcome and we have hopefully have achieved the HAOS objectives. This project has been very positively received, not only by schools but more importantly by the families and as long as we continue to receive the donations from our partner organisations, we can carry on providing this very worthwhile service for a little longer.

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Our Funding Partners

Handsworth Association of Schools thanks our generous funding partners

hm gov community fund
lottery funded
Police Crime Commission
Reduce Violence
Ernest Cook
NHS University Hospital Birmingham
near neighbours
Hear tof England Building Society
Birmingham City Council
Sandwell and Birmingham Hospital Trusts