Albert Dickinson, Queen Alexandra Gardens resident

THE SPIRIT OF SALFORD Salford’s community spirit shines through during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic


As the coronavirus outbreak worsened at the start of spring, many people across our neighbourhoods displayed the Spirit of Salford, by stepping forward to help older and more vulnerable people in our community.

Two of these people were Dana Wrigley and Lindsey Bester from Ordsall. They were shopping in their local Sainsbury’s during lockdown when they noticed an elderly man struggling to find anything to fill his basket with.

As news spread of lockdowns within Europe, people had rushed to the shops to fill their trollies and left the aisles stripped bare for others.

This included 78-year-old Albert Dickinson, who was trying and failing to do his weekly shop.

Dana and Lindsey started to chat to him and offered to do his shopping for him once the store had been restocked in the evening. They took his address from him and found out that he lived in Queen Alexandra Gardens, one of our sheltered schemes in Ordsall. They later went and dropped off supplies for him.

As elderly people were starting to be encouraged to self-isolate, Dana and Lindsey knew other people living in the sheltered scheme would be struggling to get their shopping.

After asking for donations on Facebook, they were flooded with offers of food and supplies for the residents of Queen Alexandra Gardens.

Thanks to the generosity of their neighbours and the amount of donated goods, the friends had been able to make two drop offs a week to the scheme during the lockdown period.

Dana and Lindsey’s act of kindness is just one example of the Spirit of Salford. Scores of local people have been donating their time and resources to help vulnerable people in their communities.

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Throughout lockdown, sounds of clapping, horns and bells have sounded out across the country as people showed their appreciation for the NHS and keyworkers in a variety of different ways.

Members of the Gypsy and Irish Traveller community went one step further in lockdown, by donating pizzas for the hardworking frontline staff at Salford Royal Hospital.

A resident of our Duchy Road Caravan Park, who helped to organise the pizza donation said: “Everyone on the park wanted to show how grateful we are for the hard work the NHS staff are doing to save lives. We thought organising a pizza delivery would be the best way to say thanks.”

Gypsy and Irish Travellers have been living in and visiting Salford for generations, with some families still living in trailers on our official traveller site, Duchy Road Caravan Park.

Warren Carlon, our communities service director said, “The Spirit of Salford is alive and well even in these challenging times and the generosity of the residents of the Duchy Road Caravan Park is just another shining example of this.”

“We are all really grateful for the dedication of keyworkers to keep people safe and to keep the country running and it’s good to show it any way we can.”


As lockdown restrictions swept the country in March, our immediate concern turned to our elderly and vulnerable residents. Within a couple of weeks, a team of 50 volunteers from across our organisation had put themselves forward to make sure all 1,635 of our tenants identified as being potentially vulnerable received at least two welfare calls a week.

The calls not only made sure that the tenants had access to food, fuel, and medicine, but also provided the human contact that was missed during isolation.

By the end, we had made 43,633 calls.

Here, our ICT service delivery manager, Ellie Morley, shares her experience of being part of the team.

Ellie said, “I decided to volunteer as I have a passion for people and a lot of empathy for those struggling, so thought the calls would be a good way to do my bit for those who needed a little support during these hard times.”

“We spoke to the same people twice a week which really helped to build relationships. Some had partners living with them and didn’t need any additional support, but some had literally no-one. I would be the only person they speak to all week, so they really looked forward to speaking with me.”

During one of her scheduled calls, Ellie found out that a tenant hadn’t seen her carer for a few weeks. After realising she had run out of personal health care items needed due to an ongoing health condition, Ellie made an emergency one-off doorstep delivery to the customer to drop off her essential items.

The tenant then received care packages from the Spirit of Salford network.

We are one of many Salford organisations signed up to the Spirit of Salford Network, providing targeted support to vulnerable residents across the city.

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