We have begun a Community Hub in Fishersgate, which gives us a space to take in and organise donations, and to organise deliveries. It gives us the ability to reach and support many more people and has three strands. The ‘Grub Hub’ provides food vouchers, fresh food, emergency food, weekly calls to tailor the response to food need and support Foodbanks, shopping for people who can afford it but can’t get out, care parcels (including soap, deodorant, sanitary items, loo rolls) and home care parcels (including cleaning products, laundry powder). The ‘Kids’ Hub’ provides baby care parcels, kids' clothes - gift wrapped by age and stage, kids' activity and educational packages, toys, books, children’s birthday cakes and gifts. The ‘Help Hub’ provides advocacy, signposting and help with navigating the benefits system, help with housing issues, befriending people who are isolated, up to date information and advice about local shops and services, building communities and improving wellbeing.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Many people in Shoreham, Southwick and Fishersgate were already living on or below the poverty line before the corona virus hit us. Together we recognise that our community needs a response which will last well beyond the immediate crisis of Covid-19. If people ask us for help we make sure that there are no barriers, no criteria, no hoops to jump through. We provide a person-centred, family-centred and caring service. Our holistic response recognises that people need different types of food support and other support at different times. We wrap around existing services (such as the Foodbanks) to make sure that together we are meeting all food need in our area at a community level, and universally.
Steps to get it done:
We recognise that charity shops are closed and clothes are hard to access. That grocery prices have gone up. That people can’t afford delivery costs. That children being at home means they eat more. That free school meal vouchers have been difficult to access and that people on low incomes are often hit hardest. That people’s self-employed businesses have folded or are in limbo; they’ve been laid off work, or they can’t make ends meet on furlough. That when you are ill with Covid, or have caring responsibilities and isolating, you cannot meet your family’s needs in the usual way. That there is a terribly long wait for Universal Credit, and that many people aren’t used to asking for help.
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