COVID-19 Update

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Update – Over 500 phone and video calls, 700 comfort box deliveries and 1000 meals later! We are constantly reviewing updated government guidelines and connecting with other similar projects around the country to share our thoughts. This network is invaluable to ensure we cover all bases and also give us a little bit of reassurance that we are doing ok! We have a raft of plans, ideas and checklists in place to allow us to start introducing clients back along with fun external activities to hopefully help bridge the gap until that happens. So… watch this space!

Update – Parklea are very fortunate to have fantastic support from a partnership with some of our local Co-ops. Port Glasgow and Bridge of Weir in particular.
 
As food share partners we work together in the redistribution of surplus food by sharing it within the community, thereby helping those who need it as well as preventing perfectly good food going to landfill.
 
The staff at the Bridge of Weir branch have liased with their colleagues in Kilbarchan, Houston and Bishopton to donate money to Parklea from the Community Donation Fund. Yesterday we picked up the ‘big cheque’ for £1000!
 
This enables us to buy extra refrigeration units allowing us to store more fresh food and prepared meals.
 
Huge thanks to David, Angela and Kate at Co-op Bridge of Weir for their support! 
 

Update – We would like to say a MASSIVE, HUGE, ENORMOUS heartfelt thank you to every single one of our customers who has made a donation or bought plants from us this year! Your support has been phenomenal!

 
As you know, we are a small independent charity that is not for profit, so all income goes directly back into running the project. We always rely on the social enterprise of plant sales to provide crucial financial support that helps us to continue to provide our service to vulnerable members of our community. This year, while we have had to diversify and be creative in the way we could sell to the public, we have valued and appreciated your custom more than ever.
 
We sincerely hope that in turn you have managed to gain some enjoyment and therapeutic benefit from your plants and gardens during these weird old times! (Maybe we have even made new gardeners out of some of you and we will see you again next year!) We would love to hear your stories of how your gardens have helped during Lockdown.
 
Thank you so much from all the team at Parklea! X.
 
We are still open Mon-Fri 10am-3pm and have lots of lovely plants available for sale
 
UpdateElvis” impersonator John Reid entertained some of Parklea Branching Out’s clients who are currently sheilding, serenading them with a rendition of with “Return to (Sender) Parklea!”.
 
Everyone had a great time and the sun came out too! Thank you to John and our team at Parklea Branching Out for organising this Event.
 
The event was covered by the Greenock Telegraph as well as featuring in Inverclyde Council’s “Lockdown Stories”.
 

Update – While certain plants are now sold out we still have a range of beautiful plants still available for sale. Although our bedding packs are slightly limited we still have a great range of trailing plants, alpines, perennials, ready made planters, hanging baskets and MORE! 

 
We have included a copy of our updated availability list to give you an idea of what is available. A copy of this can also be downloaded from our website.
 
Come and visit us this week- open every day Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm. Please note that you may have to queue as we are only allowing 4 cars in at a time due to the current Covid 19 Pandemic.
 

Update – Thank you to all the customers who came to buy plants from us today on our first day open again.

 
Everything seemed to go smoothly and the 4 cars maximum worked well as custom was fairly steady throughout the day.
 
**PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WE DO NEED TO CLOSE THE GATES AT 3PM TO ALLOW US TO WATER ETC **
 
There was a sudden influx of customers today just before 3pm queueing to get in and although we did stay open longer, unfortunately a few people had to be turned away.
 
Update – With government restrictions easing allowing garden centres to re-open, the team at Parklea have been putting procedures in place to allow us to open to the public as safely as possible.
 
We will continue to take orders by phone and email for delivery & collection but will re-open the gates on Wednesday 3rd June at 10am for customers to come in and choose their own plants.
 
***PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE. COMING TO PARKLEA***
 
According to the size of our premises, guidelines suggest for us to have a maximum of 4 people in at any one time. The gates will be manned and we will restrict access to the carpark to 4 cars. Ideally we would like to request that only one person gets out per car, but we appreciate this is not always possible. Bear in mind the more people you bring may delay entry for those behind you.
 
Please do not park on the street at the moment, if it is busy a member of staff will take your mobile number and direct you to the main car park at the playing fields. We will phone you when it is your turn to come in. We would ask you to limit your visit to a maximum of half an hour if possible.
 
There will be a sanitizing station by the trolleys and a one way system in place where possible. Please use the same social distancing rules you are using elsewhere and maintain the 2 metre rule.
 
Update – We are currently working together at putting guidelines in place so that we are able to open to the public next week.
 
We are aiming for Wednesday/Thursday of next week and will keep posted via social media and our website.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support.
 

Update – Thank you to all of our customers who have supported our charity by purchasing plants from us so far this summer. In the last two weeks we have processed over 350 orders brightening the gardens of Inverclyde and surrounding areas.

We have had some lovely feedback about how our plants are providing a therapeutic benefit to people during these difficult times.
 
We will be closed over the weekend so will be unable to answer any order requests. We still have lots of beautiful plants and will post an updated availability list this Monday coming.
 
Update – Thank you to all our customers and supporters of Parklea Branching Out. We have been overwhlemed with orders received and our small team are working hard to get through these.
 
For all those who have placed orders over the past couple of days, please be assured that you will receive a telephone follow up call to confirm your order. We sincerely apologise for the difficulty people are experiencing when trying to contact us through telephone and e-mail but be assured we are working through your orders and we be in touch with you from Monday onwards.
 
Thank ypu for your understanding at this time from the Parklea Branching Out team.
 
Update – Some of our plants are now ready for sale! We have a selection of alpines and perennials as well as the first of our summer bedding. Please see the photos for the plant availability list this week – there is also a link on our website where you can view the list too. There are also ready-made hanging baskets and mixed plant packs to take away any hassle of choosing specific plants if you don’t want to.
 
Please note: Not all of our summer bedding is ready just yet, some will be another couple of weeks and the availability list will be updated each week.
 
We have been coming up with alternative ways for you to purchase plants this year, as restrictions at the moment mean we are still unable to open to the public for customers to come in and browse.
 
At the moment customers can either place orders through e-mail or by telephone.
 
Update – Food delivery!! Parklea delivered 22 food parcels out to households last week consisting of a range of fresh, tinned and packaged produce.

Inverclyde council has teamed up with charity food distributor FareShare to help those who are in need of food assistance during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Parklea is amongst the community groups who have been allocated a share of this surplus food to distribute to those that have been identified as most in need due to self isolation or other circumstances preventing them from accessing fresh food and essentials. It is hoped that this food allocation will come into Inverclyde on a regular basis allowing us to continue to support our community.

If you or anybody you know is in need of help please contact us and we will be able to signpost you to those within our network who can best support your needs.

Update – Parklea would like to take this opportunity to thank our FoodShare partners at the Co-op Bridge of Weir and Port Glasgow and their customers, who have kindly been donating money to help charities tackling food insecurities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

These donations have been vital in allowing us to buy fresh ingredients that we can use to make healthy readymade meals. These are prepared here in our kitchen and delivered to those within our Parklea community who, in conjunction with Inverclude HSPC have been identified as most in need. .
Some of the healthy meals that have been made include pasta bolognese, beef stew, vegetable curry, chicken & mushroom rice and roast chicken dinners.
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We are now preparing 70 fresh meals per week with the support of Environmental Health to ensure that we meet the new regulations. Keeping our community safe is of paramount importance to us. So far a total 362 meals have been distributed!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has donated to help us to provide this essential help to a vulnerable community.

Update – Last week we told you about how we are providing Comfort Packs to our community of service users that would normally attend Parklea but are having to isolate at home. The combination of the effects of isolation and support resources being so stretched during these challenging times has a huge effect on peoples emotional wellbeing. We are are hoping that we can go a small way to help rebalance this by ensuring all our regular service users who are needing our support can get it through phone calls, food packs or some flowers to brighten their day.

So far the team at Parklea have already made 113 ‘home-cooked’ meals here in the Parklea kitchen that are being delivered to those people who have been identified to be in need of them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our local Co-Operative and Marks & Spencer stores, who we continue to work in partnership with by collecting some of their food surplus and re-distributing it to our community who are home isolating. 40 Comfort Boxes have been sent out in the last week allowing us to maintain vital contact with service users and let them know they are not alone.

Update –  During these challenging times that we are all experiencing the team at Parklea have pulled together (from a safe distance!) and are working to support our community in any way we can.

Obviously our gates are closed to all our regular clients and to the public, but at the moment government regulations allow a small core team of staff to still be able to come on site as we are able to easily maintain the strict hygiene and distancing rules.

Our role has always been to support our community and we are continuing to do this, all but slightly differently to usual!

We are all aware of the strain the current situation is putting on resources and are proud to have been asked to work together with our local Health and Social Care Partnership assisting them in maintaining contact with those who are needing help at this time. Between us we have identified individuals and their families who know the staff team at Parklea and although we cannot have direct contact we are keeping a line of communication open for if we are needed.

We have offered our services in a number of ways:
Staff will make weekly phone calls with everyone that has been identified.

We will be batch cooking healthy fresh meals that can be delivered to the doors and reheated.

We will provide weekly “Comfort Packs” – a box of mixed food, maybe a plant to cheer up a windowsill or doorway and a small newsletter to keep clients connected with Parklea with a snippet of what is happening here while they are isolating at home.

Community is more important now than ever and Parklea will continue to work with our local partners to provide help and support in any way we can. Please stay safe – we will get through this together!

Update – The latest government advice is for Health and Social Care facilities to maintain operations where possible. The service we provide to the adults and young people in our community with additional support needs is fundamental to maintaining some normality to their routine as well as supporting both their own and their families mental health and well-being at this challenging time.

We recognise that our partners within the social care system are experiencing a strain on their resources and we will continue to work together to be able to support those in our community who need us most. Our secluded natural environment gives us the benefit to be able to offer space, fresh air and a place for respite from the difficult circumstances we are all experiencing.

We continue to follow health and safety advice and we are doing this by:

– Using all up to date hygiene recommendations.

– Regular deep cleaning of toilets, communal areas and hand tools.

– Working with families and care agencies to identify those most at risk and keeping them at home.

– Maintaining social distancing by working individually or in small groups and utilising the space we have to separate workstations and working areas.

– Keeping the cafe closed and taking away the self serve element, but providing drinks and light refreshments on request that can be taken and consumed within our grounds.

-Encouraging clients and staff to bring packed lunches.

We appreciate the value of a supported natural environment now more than ever and will do our best to continue to operate for as long as possible.

We have been coming up with some creative and exciting ideas to allow us to continue to support our community as well as provide plants to our loyal customers – details of this will follow in later posts.

Stay safe! The team at Parklea