Kensington church ‘gifts’ essentials to residents

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Kensington residents have been gifted care packages delivered to their doors by members of City Church Liverpool.

One of the care packages delivered by City Church Liverpool. Image: Alex Usher

The hampers include donated essential items such as hand sanitizer, toothpaste and shower gel, provided by the church as well in conjunction with charity Samaritans Purse.

Associate Minister of the City Church, James Earnshaw, said: “In Kensington we know there is a real need in terms of some of the practical and physical side. People are quite isolated. It’s just to actually give a gift out to bless them.

“We do have foodbanks and we’ve given other stuff out. But rather than this being just a foodbank thing, it was just simply to say ‘we’re here, we’re thinking of you and here’s a gift.’”

The Liverpool ward suffers with poverty and, with an average household income £8,000 less than that of the city centre, and £17,000 less than the national average, a clear divide in the standard of living is visible.

According to 2018 statistics from Liverpool City Council, some areas of Kensington are within the top 1% of the most deprived areas in the UK, with the area having a deprivation rate more than double that of Liverpool city centre.

Kensington resident, Jack Foley, said: “I think it’s great that they’re giving these out. A little goes a long way especially in times like these. It definitely made my day.”

Essential items inside the care package.

Pastor Earnshaw described the importance of giving back to the community during these trying times as “absolutely paramount.”

He added: “I think that it’s communities like Kensington where there’s not a great deal said about them. Kensington is always talked of in negative derogatory comments really, so I think for Kensington to make sure that community is well looked after.

“Unless it’s churches and charities to keep rising up and supporting them, I think a lot of people will go unnoticed.

“I think that level of poverty is just unknown to a large part of the UK, certainly people that do not live there. A big thing for us is to work on social cohesion; to not just say “here’s some food, here’s some stuff”, but actually “here’s a community centre where you can get to know and find other services.”

Over 8000 food parcels from the Trussell Trust were delivered across the Liverpool region from April to September last year.

With the end of lockdown now a reality, the effects of the restrictions are slowly showing themselves, but the impact it could have on deprived areas such as Kensington remain subjective.

About Alex Usher, JMU Journalism