Better Staff at the Sobell Leisure Centre in North London, have answered the call to support community resilience during COVID-19.
With all leisure facilities in the borough closed since 20 March, a skeleton crew are now maintaining, cleaning and securing Islington’s Food Distribution Hub which is providing relief for residents most in need.
Centre staff have been working alongside Islington Council to transform the Leisure Centre’s Sports Hall and Ice Rink into a temporary food warehouse, receiving, storing and dispatching ‘essential living’ supplies to local food banks where they can be delivered to the doorsteps of low-income families and the vulnerable in isolation.
Transformed with protective matting, shelving units and social distance signage, the Sports Hall is providing a safe and secure working environment for workers and volunteers, while the Ice Rink viewing gallery – at a cool 10 degrees - has taken on a new role - as a chilled storage area for fresh fruit and vegetables.
Generous donations of food and other items have been received from local businesses and faith organisations including HI5 Church and Arsenal Football Club’s players and supporters.
Better General Manager Tom Popsys said:
“We are all in this together and while we regret we cannot yet re-open our leisure facilities to the public, we are really pleased to be able to do our bit to support Islington Council and local communities in this way.”
Islington's Food Distribution Hub at Sobell Lesiure Centre is not open to the public. Residents needing support in Islington or wanting to donate or volunteer are asked to visit www.islington.gov.uk/coronavirus to find out more.