A new awards ceremony, the Camborne Community and Commerce Awards, organised and hosted by Camborne BID and Camborne Town Council took place on 19th May and Kehelland Trust were lucky enough to scoop two awards: The ‘Covid Hero’ Award and winner of winners ‘Citizen of the Year’ Award.
Camborne Rugby Club offered the venue for free. Decked out in Cornish colours with Bucks Fizz, Rowes pasties and saffron cake provided, all nominees were beautifully catered for and entertained. It was a really enjoyable evening.
Kehelland Trust were nominated for the ‘Covid Hero’ Award but we did not expect to win it.
It is fantastic that the Trust team has been recognised for the hard work put in during lockdown and beyond to support learners, trainees, parents, carers, families and local residents.
Some staff were furloughed for different parts of 2020 and 2021, and the centre had to close to visitors, trainees and our college learners. This presented many challenges to the Trust, but, as always, those challenges became opportunities to better support those who couldn’t be with us.
We continued to grow veg and plants then contacted Prima bakeries, Baker Tom, Cornhill Farm and Rodda’s creamery alongside Westcountry & Continental for any local veg we weren’t growing and our grocery box scheme was born. In the depths of lockdown we were supplying over 60 boxes a week and all staff on site were rallying round to ensure all boxes were filled in time for the Thursday afternoon pick-up.
Alongside our own boxes we started to supply veg to Helston Local Food Hub and we were introduced to their online food hub run by the Open Food Network UK. This offered the Trust the valuable opportunity to utilise a high quality online platform for all our stock: plants, produce, veg and groceries. We were able to expand our range of foods into more dry goods, environmentally friendly cleaning products and refills. Our online presence both helped support the community in making our products accessible but also allowed us to continue to trade through those difficult times.
Some of our staff continued working from home supporting trainees and learners who were unable to come onto site. There were daily calls to families to check in and see how they were, zoom calls and a weekly ‘What’s on Wednesday’ video posted on our social media platforms. On-site staff each took photos from their own perspective across site. These activities were a a lovely way for everyone to still feel they knew what was happening on site. They watched crops go in and come out, develop and ripen, watched Holly cat get into mischief lying on the plants, watched the blue skies and listened to the birdsong. It was a vital lifeline to many.
Our college staff ran online teaching sessions for our learners and supported them in their distance learning. This provided access to learning workbooks & fun activities via Google Classroom and there were regular phone-calls home and videos helping to support peoples’ mental well-being.
We are so grateful for the adaptability and resilience shown by our staff team, learners, trainees & their families. We are also particularly grateful that the awards ceremony last night has afforded the Trust the chance to look back on that time with a sense of pride that this has been recognised and celebrated.
Thanks to Cornwall Council and Cornwall Adult Education and everyone else who has supported our charity through lockdown and beyond and seen our team not only cope but grow and thrive in difficult times.