Coronavirus: YMCA Romford receives donations from businesses as it reveals support for its residents

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 April 2020

The YMCA building in Rush Green Road, Romford. Picture: Google Maps

The YMCA building in Rush Green Road, Romford. Picture: Google Maps

Google Maps

A Romford charity has received donations from businesses as it reveals the support it is offering to residents during the coronavirus crisis.

The YMCA hostel, which has 148 residents, said it has been “overwhelmed” by the generosity of businesses, including McDonalds, which has given chilled stock and Lush, in Romford, which has provided 150 bars of soap.

TK Maxx has also donated items while the Romford branch of Waterstones has given books.

The charity has had to close some of its services during the coronavirus outbreak, such as the Diner, the hub for groups to eat and drink.

Viki Bainsfair, health and wellbeing manager, said it is offering its fitness classes online to members instead of on site.

“We’ve been working really hard to keep our fitness provision going as much as possible.

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“We know how important it is to keep your mental health strong during times of difficulty.”

The charity said residents normally share bathrooms and eat communally at the 1960s building, in Rush Green Road, but the coronavirus outbreak has created an “unprecedented” situation.

Director of housing, Brian Cooke, said many residents have nowhere else to go if they have to self-isolate.

“For our residents who present with Covid-19 symptoms, we have taken measures to support them with self-isolation.

“Each residential floor has two bathrooms so one has been designated for those with symptoms. We’re also offering room service, providing breakfast, lunch and dinner to those affected.”

A YMCA spokesman said the response of residents during the crisis has been “incredibly positive”.

Brian added: “So many of our residents either study or work and are now staying in the hostel due to the lockdown. However they are keen to help our neighbours and their fellow residents.

“There have been offers of help to pick up cleaning duties, as many of our current cleaning team fall into the vulnerable category; offers of picking up shopping for those that live near to the YMCA buildings, as well as the suggestion that they create online training videos for the gym members. “The sense of community here is one I’m really proud of.”

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