A celebration of community with local people at its heart

Northamptonshire ACRE (NACRE) is a countywide, independent charitable organisation working with rural communities to improve their quality of life, especially for the disadvantaged. NACRE offers advice, resources, and support on a range of topics relevant to rural communities and wants to shine a light on the good work being done across the county during the pandemic.

In the summer, NACRE launched Northamptonshire’s COVID-19 Community Champions. Groups across the county were invited to enter and share details of the many ways they are supporting the more vulnerable in their community. 75 entries from various individuals and community groups were received and all entrants will be presented with a Community Champions certifi cate and booklet and have been invited to attend a celebration evening at the Hunsbury Hill Centre in spring 2021.

A few of the community groups that entered are highlighted below and what they have been doing and continue to do to support their community may inspire other community groups on how you can reach out to those in need and help everyone to stay positive as the pandemic continues.

Brigstock Support Network

Brigstock has been very active in lockdown in a variety of ways: street coordinators distributed leafl ets with a central phone number and email address of who to contact if they needed support and also set up an ‘Isolators’ Facebook page for those who are shielding. The coordinators took the initiative to support those who were self-isolating by collecting shopping and prescriptions. The volunteer group widened its activities and gave gifts to people who were self-isolating, naming this The Gift Fairy. Villagers donated items and cash, nicely presented in gift bags and were very much appreciated by those who received them.

The Village Hall became known as the Brigstock Pantry. The aim of the pantry was to provide groceries and other essential items to those in need. The Bake & Brew tea shop gifted unsold bread and cakes, which was distributed to elderly residents who were isolating. Residents knitted rainbows, held plant sales and set up driveway stalls to raise funds for their two local churches and other local charities - just some of the village initiatives that took place during the fi rst lockdown.

Broughton Village

Broughton Village also stepped up to help those in need. Many came forward and volunteered their time and resources to support their neighbours. A few allotment holders donated surplus produce to those in need via food banks and volunteers. The Broughton Rex lifted moral in the village for children and adults alike and made a very special guest appearance to a resident who celebrated her 94th birthday. 

Northamptonshire ACRE