#TogetherForPreston - thoughts from Councillor Nweeda Khan
#TogetherForPreston highlights the work of Communities and Social Justice. Councillor Nweeda Khan has long played an active role in her community of Plungington giving a helping hand to community projects and food banks...
The importance of community has seldom been as strong as during this pandemic. Throughout the country there have been inspiring stories of neighbours and communities coming together to support the most vulnerable in their area, and Preston is no exception to this.
Ensuring vulnerable people had access to food and vital supplies was an essential first step. The city council immediately sought to work with our neighbouring authorities as well as emergency services throughout the county to make sure the most vulnerable in our city had what they needed.
This led to the creation of Preston Together - a centralised port of call to anybody in Preston needing help and support. I have been inspired by the work of council staff and volunteers in reaching out to vulnerable people to ensure they have access to food, help with shopping or prescriptions or even a friendly voice on the end of the phone at a time when families could not be together.
To date this service - along with volunteer run food hubs throughout the city - has supported 1200 families every week by providing 19,680 food parcels equating to 236,160 essential meals for families most in need. I'm humbled by the generosity of volunteers and organisations who continue to make this happen.
Our cities various faith groups have played a key role in this by establishing food hubs, providing key workers and stranded students with fresh, warm meals and setting up volunteer help lines for people in need of spiritual support.
I am honoured to work closely with these groups in my role and feel privileged to have worked alongside my fellow Cabinet members in supporting local efforts throughout the city.
The faith forum also came together to hold an online vigil in memory of George Floyd and everyone facing discrimination and injustice around the world. This was a powerful moment and I am thankful for everyone who took part.
I am also grateful for everyone who came together on Windrush day to raise the Windrush flag above Preston Town Hall for the first time. This was another significant moment and celebrates our incredible Caribbean community and everything they bring to Preston through music, food, business as well as the healthcare workers who've been on the front line of this crisis.
The effects of this pandemic will be felt for a long time to come and it's vital that communities continue to pull together and look out for one another. I have been humbled by the generosity and resilience of our communities who have pulled together throughout this crisis and continue to make Preston Proud