Vi Wood is the face and founder of ‘Leslie's Care Packages’, which has been set up in loving memory of her husband Leslie. Vi wanted to do good work in his name to keep his memory alive.
Initially set up to help the homeless, the non-profit voluntary organisation now helps all groups of vulnerable people right across the Black Country. After seeing so many people in need in the Stourbridge community, Vi initially put out appeals for help on Facebook, back in August 2016. Since then, LCPs has attracted a big response from generous people across the West Midlands.
The charity’s mission is to provide much needed provisions, such as food, toiletries, sleeping bags, and clothing to homeless and other disadvantaged people. As the organisation receives no funding, it relies solely on the general public and local businesses for support and donations.
During the Covid19 crisis, Vi found that increasing numbers of people were struggling and in need of her help. As ever Vi stepped up and responded in many ways, such as collecting and distributing food parcels for families struggling financially; shopping for those who were self-isolating; and donating treats to NHS Staff and Key Workers. LCP received more referrals than ever from the local authorities and other charities that have heard of Vi’s reputation for responding quickly and with indiscriminate compassion.
Through her growing Facebook group, Vi was able to galvanize local support. Members of the public have supported the charity by collecting food and toiletries, pledging money, donating Easter Eggs and even hosting raffles to raise much needed funds.
Amongst the charity’s achievements since lockdown in March are the distribution of over 234 chocolate bunnies to the staff (NHS Trust) in Wolverhampton; raising £150 to help replace stolen bikes for the children of the Benson community project; distributing 30 care packages to homeless victims, and even providing new toys for the 5th birthday of a local child with Downs Syndrome.
A labour of love, Vi works tirelessly for the charity in her own spare time, often assisted by her beloved grandson.
“It has been a very challenging 4 months for LCP to get all those essential goods out to where they were needed, as well as finding the time for collections, shopping, preparing and packing, but we have done it!.
The local community have been amazing in answering my calls for help. They have made such a difference to people’s lives. It has restored my faith in humanity. Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported us during such a difficult time.”
In 2017 Vi Wood won the Dudley Mayor's Award.
If you’d like to know how you can help Leslie’s Care Packages, visit facebook.com/Leslies/Care/Packages