As the UK went into lockdown in March, all UpsnDowns trustees met to discuss how they could provide support to all the member families throughout Northamptonshire, many who are shielding children that are clinically extremely vulnerable and in isolation because of underlying medical conditions.

We recognised early on in lockdown that many UpsnDowns families would struggle to get online delivery slots or get out of the house safely to do their grocery shopping.

In April, the trustees agreed that all families would be offered a funded fresh produce box each week.

For the last 8 weeks we have used local supplier Collins Fresh (based in Northampton) to deliver weekly boxes to UpsnDowns families across the county. The boxes contain fresh fruit and vegetables, plus other essentials such as bread and milk.

Collins Fresh have been fantastic, and we are incredibly grateful that they waived their delivery charge for all the UpsnDowns boxes.

The fresh produce deliveries have been funded by UpsnDowns and with the help of a £3000 grant awarded to us from the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal Programme, through the Northamptonshire Community Foundation.  

We decided last week to continue delivering fresh produce for an additional 4 weeks.

Fiona Drinkell, mum to Christian (age 9) said, “When UpsnDowns contacted us to ask if we would like a fresh produce box delivered to our house every week, it was a godsend. It has helped more than they could ever imagine and has made sure we got plenty of healthy foodstuffs to keep us all on top form, we would have really struggled without it. We have no family close by to help so have been isolated on our own for nearly 10 weeks now.”

All our member families have been so grateful for the support provided by UpsnDowns, and as a charity, we are eternally grateful to our amazing supporters and fundraisers. You have enabled us to provide much needed support to our families during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Members have been keen to share recipes and photos from their fresh produce boxes. We would love to take this opportunity to share with you a quick and easy recipe for blueberry pancakes. Enjoy!

American Blueberry Pancakes


  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml milk
  • knob butter
  • 150g pack blueberry
  • sunflower oil or a little butter for cooking
  • golden or maple syrup


  • Mix 200g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl.
  • Beat 1 egg with 300ml milk, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and whisk in the milk to make a thick smooth batter.
  • Beat in a knob of melted butter, and gently stir in half of the 150g pack of blueberries.
  • Heat a teaspoon of sunflower oil or small knob of butter in a large non-stick frying pan.
  • Drop a large tablespoonful of the batter per pancake into the pan to make pancakes about 7.5cm across. Make three or four pancakes at a time.
  • Cook for about 3 minutes over a medium heat until small bubbles appear on the surface of each pancake, then turn and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden.
  • Cover with kitchen paper to keep warm while you use up the rest of the batter.
  • Serve with golden or maple syrup and the rest of the blueberries.