Community street stalls at the Stanley Road Bunanza
Community street stalls at the Stanley Road Bunanza

As well as providing the local community with much needed cake, biscuits and festive gifts, the Stanley Road Bunanza has been giving people a way to stay connected and stay positive despite the many challenges of the pandemic. Residents of Stanley Road have been putting on regular socially-distanced bake sales since March 2020, and the Bunanza has grown ever more popular with people living locally. The final bake sale of 2020 attracted queues of people, of all ages, all hoping to get their hands on the delicious produce.

Getting help to those who need it

The Bunanza has raised considerable funds for local charities including foodbanks, which have seen a huge rise in demand since the start of the pandemic. To date, the Bunanza has raised a remarkable £12,542 to support those facing the biggest challenges brought on by the crisis.

The charities that have been supported by the Bunanza are:

Baby Basics: Supporting new mothers and families who are struggling to meet the financial and practical burden of looking after a new baby.

Family Voice: Supporting families in the Sharrow, Lowfield and Nether Edge areas with aims that include offering information and advice, providing positive opportunities and reducing social isolation.

Local Foodbanks: Gleadless Valley Foodbank; Salvation Army (Duke Street, Park Hill) Foodbank; Burngreave Foodbank

Cake stall

The proceeds from the sales have made a big difference, as Louise Hutchings from Baby Basics underlines: “Since April, the bun sale has helped us to directly support so many families in need of help”. Referring to the work done by Family Voice, Kate West adds, “The Stanley Road donations have helped us to support many more families during the pandemic”. At a time when increasing numbers of people are facing hardships, these groups and the support they are given by the wider community are more essential than ever.

Councillor Paul Turpin shared his fears about the ongoing level of need in Gleadless Valley ward, and the essential work of local organisations to limit the impact: “Sadly, I feel the rise of the foodbanks is not yet over and 2021 will continue to see an increase of people in need and places such as our foodbanks rising to the challenge of helping those people”.

Bringing the community together

As well as supporting vital charitable organisations, the Bunanza has allowed local residents to come together, renew and make new friendships, and take positive action at a time when things can feel hopeless. Anne Baber, who lives on the street and bakes for the Bunanza said “the bun sales have really brought our street and community together”. New ways of connecting with each other have been born out of the bake sales, including new WhatsApp groups forming and neighbours knocking on each others’ doors to say ‘hello’. Sarah Deakin, a key organiser of the project, put it that the Bunanza has “created valuable networks of support” – support that we all need during these extraordinary times.

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