6 May 2020

Yew Trees Nursery in Tarnock, part of YMCA Dulverton Group, has recently adapted its services to meet the evolving community need at this time.

The nursery has remained open to key worker families and has been providing support and help online to those who are at home.

Yew Trees Nursery Manager Heidi Brook said: “We have been offering online support to our families that are at home at the moment so we can continue to be there for them all, and have been extremely humbled and encouraged by so many heartfelt message of support and gratitude from our families. The staff have been absolutely amazing at providing a calm and reassuring environment for the children and it has been great to see the group making new friends and looking after each other.”

As well as the early years provision continuing for key worker families the on-site kitchen has become the base for the YMCA Catering team to prepare and distribute meals to residents across Somerset.

Over 300 individuals and families staying at YMCA accommodation across the county are being given three meals a day, where the catering team are using food donations from a variety of organisations such as Landaid, Yeo Valley and Holdsworth Foods, amongst many others.

Leading the YMCA Catering team are Chefs Amira Sleigh and Angus Martin who between them have over 40 years’ experience and manage YMCA Early Years and Hospitality Catering respectively.

Angus Martin explained: “We are fortunate to have at the YMCA a team of Chefs who have stepped up to the mark when asked and have bonded and formed a strong brigade. I am so proud of them all and going forward we know we can achieve anything, however big the obstacle.”

The catering team have been working to provide over 450 healthy and nutritious meals each day; having quickly adapted to prepare and pack meals which are then delivered to residents across Somerset, encouraging them to stay in and not leave their accommodation.

Amira Sleigh said: “I am happy and excited that I get to go into work every day and cater for all the people, it has really given me a sense of purpose during these times.”

The Early Years and Catering teams have in recent weeks modified their roles to offer a service which reflects the current community need and will continue to provide vital support to those most vulnerable throughout this time.

Anyone within the local community who would like to help YMCA Dulverton Group should get in touch by emailing: info@ymca-dg.org