A community champion has been going the extra mile to support people in Droylsden during the challenging times that the coronavirus pandemic have brought.
Full-time mum Emma Power – who has three sons Jack, Jordan and Alfie – has been arranging food parcels, clothes, shoes, toys and more, with the help of donations from the community, for families who are struggling during the current lockdown.
The 41-year-old delivered presents to less fortunate families over Christmas with her six-year-old Alfie, who was dressed as Santa, and will be giving out chocolate eggs to local youngsters for Easter.
Emma, who lives on Ribble Walk, has also set up a Facebook group to reach more vulnerable people in the community and has set up raffles with donations and items she’s made herself to raise money to help even more families.
Together with Alfie, they have both been a huge part of their community recently.
Alfie turned into Father Christmas to give out gifts at Christmas to local children
Katharine Taylor, who lives in Droylsden and has known Emma since she was around eight years old, got in touch with the Reporter as she was keen for Emma to receive some well-deserved recognition and know how much her efforts are hugely appreciated by everyone.
'She would literally give you her last pound'
Katharine said: “It started around Christmas. Emma was struggling herself including buying presents for her youngest son and everyone else in the community, as well as her friends, helped her.
“She was really overwhelmed by that and thought ‘if they could do it for me, I can do it for somebody else’.
“So she set up a group on Facebook asking how she could start to help. Lots of people, including some of her friends who helped her, brought shopping around to her house and said ‘this is for other people who you are helping’.
“She had people approach her saying they were in the same situation and she really felt for them. She thought ‘I need to do something’. Honestly, she’s just a brilliant person – she’s the loveliest person I’ve ever met. She would literally give you her last pound, if that’s all she had in the world and you needed that, she would give it to you. She’s that kind of person.
“She’s made lots of thank you cards and has delivered them to the local hospitals to say thank you to NHS staff. I make key rings so she asked me to do lockdown hero key rings which she has given away. She’s brilliant, she just wants to make everyone happy and she has done. Even just a thank you card means the world to some people.”
Some of the thank you cards that Emma has made
Emma is very modest about how much she’s helped people but has been there for folk when they have needed it most.
Katharine continued: “She doesn’t understand that this is all her work, she’s like ‘oh no I couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for everyone else’. I was like ‘yeah we understand that but you need to realise that if you hadn’t stepped up and done this, nobody else would have done it’.
“Foodbanks are so overwhelmed and some people don’t feel comfortable going to them but if Emma helps, it just feels like it’s a friend dropping off some shopping that she’s done for them.
“She always says that there’s no shame in asking for help and tells people to let her know if they need any help.”
Some of the staff who received a thank you card from Emma
Emma, with kind-hearted Alfie by her side, continues to be a real inspiration in her community and is on a mission to ensure youngsters in the area get a sweet treat this Easter.
“Emma was my neighbour and then I moved to Ashton but kept in touch with her,” Katharine explained. “I’ve since moved back into Droylsden so we’ve got talking again. She’s never changed, she’s just always been really lovely.
“Alfie dressed up as Santa at Christmas and gave out presents he’s made and things he wants to give to everyone. He knocked on my door with a little thing he made for my tree which was so sweet.
“Emma has been collecting lots of Easter eggs, some she has bought herself and others which have been donated. Her and Alfie are both dressing up as rabbits to go to the Droylsden Centre to give them out to children. They have over 300 already!
“Alfie is just like Emma – if he can help anyone, he will. It’s really lovely and he’s got a brilliant role model as his mum.”
Some of the Easter eggs that Emma will be giving out to youngsters in the local area
Emma took it upon herself to selflessly help others in these toughest of times and Katharine is determined to let her know that everyone in her community appreciates what she does.
“It’s something that Droylsden needs because it does get a bad reputation sometimes,” she added. “It’s not all bad, there are good people and Emma is certainly one of those. It brings everyone closer. She just wants to make everyone happy and make them feel like they’re not alone. She’s just really nice.
“I just want her to know that she’s appreciated and needed.”
Some of the food parcels Emma has put together to distribute to local people in need
'You make me so proud to be your local MP'
Local MP Angela Rayner has also paid tribute to Emma, describing her as “a wonderful example” to her sons and an “embodiment of what I know Droylsden to be”.
The Droylsden MP said: “The past year has been hard for us all as we’ve had to adapt to new restrictions and cope with not being able to see our friends and some of our family members.
“I want to pay tribute to our wonderful key workers for their incredible efforts to keep the country going. The pandemic has undoubtedly touched us all in some way and I would like to offer my sincere condolences to anyone that has lost a loved one.
“I’ve always known that the people living within the constituency that I am so proud to represent are caring and wonderful. We look after each and we make sure everyone is okay. We don't leave anyone to struggle on their own. This past year has shown me exactly how brilliant our local community can be and it fills me with pride."
Angela Rayner MP, who represents Droylsden
She went on: “Emma has been doing some amazing work to look after those around her that might be struggling – what a wonderful example she is setting for her three sons.
“She says the community helped her when she was struggling and she wants to continue the kindness. I think that is absolutely fantastic and the embodiment of what I know Droylsden to be – full of friendly, caring people who really care about their community and the people in it.
“Well done Emma - and Alfie - and thank you for all your fabulous achievements. You are making so many people feel happy and you make me so proud to be your local MP.”
Emma with her young son Alfie.