University student coordinates emergency food provision

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A Dundee student has organised a community-based response to coronavirus in one of the city’s most deprived areas. 

Neil Campbell, along with his organisation Rocksolid Dundee, has been helping almost 100 of the most vulnerable households in the city’s East End.

Neil, who studies Community Learning and Development at the University of Dundee, says he was been “overwhelmed” by the support.

When the coronavirus crisis started, Neil and RockSolid development manager Audrey Thomson and their team initially set up a food larder at a church serving around 20 households.

However, thanks to help from other organisations, this became a much bigger effort and now the team distributes around 200 lunches per day to local people and families.

Neil helping out – image supplied

The group also delivers food parcels to those isolated, vulnerable, or unable to leave their home, continuing to support those most in need in the local area.

Neil said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support of the local community.

“Statutory bodies are working extremely hard and doing a great job to tackle the difficulties faced across the city at this unprecedented time, however they cannot do everything.

“That is why it is so important that we all support one another and work together to ensure that everyone can receive the support they need. 

“We are working in close collaboration with Dundee City Council, Faith in Community Dundee and Dundee Volunteer & Voluntary Action in emergency food provision across the city. 

“We have also been humbled by the generosity of cash donations of close to £1,300. This has enabled us to purchase food and equipment and cover volunteer expenses.” 

Neil is due to graduate from the University this year, having already submitted his dissertation, entitled ‘Critical Pedagogy and Faith-Based Social Action’. 

He continued: “My plans for the future are to continue to develop RockSolid with the learning and critical reflection I have undertaken.

“I also hope to be able to pursue further studies or research in the area of faith-based social action as a form of community development.” 

 
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