07:00AM, Monday 30 August 2021
A mum from Iver Heath is on a mission to combat the financial hardship and loneliness experienced by young families in her area during the pandemic.
Charity worker Helen Alves, 40, attended an Eden Project Community Camp during lockdown – workshops and activities for people with an interest in community action.
Shortly afterwards, she set up The Ivers Hive, a weekly group for parents to socialise and redistribute pre-loved items, such as school uniforms, other clothes and toys.
“During lockdown I kept noticing young mums out and about and I knew there wasn’t much for them to do,” Helen said.
“My own children were missing socialising and I was worried about families who were not only socially isolated, but financially isolated too.
“The idea has grown from there and it’s been amazing to see the community flourishing after such a difficult year.”
Since its inception in June, the initiative has grown to offer a summer holidays programme. Helen plans to hold more themed recycling events in time for Christmas.
“Attending community camp gave me confidence and strengthened my resolve to start this project,” she said. “It was amazing to see the buds of some really brilliant ideas growing.
“Even though it’s still in the early stages, it’s been lovely to hear the buzz around our events and to see the joy on children’s faces when they play with friends or pick out a new toy.”
For more information on how to sign up for an Eden Project Community Camp (in October) visit: www.edenprojectcommunities.com
This weekend’s smart motorway closures on the M4 will be shorter than usual due to separate bridge works taking place in West Berkshire (Junctions 13-14)