Please could you tell us a bit more about the food bank?
During the pandemic, we started delivering food packages to residents who were shielding and couldn’t leave the house. As COVID restrictions were eased and the cost of living was becoming increasingly expensive, many residents still needed help with food, so we started a food bank. It’s open every Thursday, 1pm to 4pm, and tickets are distributed from 10am.
The food bank is run by an amazing group of volunteers who tell us that they love volunteering – for some, it helps them find a community of like-minded people, and others enjoy the feeling of giving back.
What kind of advice and advocacy services do you offer?
We support residents to navigate application processes and forms that will help them with housing issues and money advice. For example, bidding for homes, and applying for benefits, benefits and hardship grants. If we’re not able to help residents ourselves, we will put them in touch with a suitable organisation.
We also find that while residents may come to us for advice with one issue, they are often struggling in other areas – and particularly with housing, debt, money worries or their mental/physical health. So we try our best to get a holistic view of what’s going on so we can help residents access support with everything they’re going through.
We always try to see people who need us as quickly as possible, but if we are really busy there may be a bit of a wait for an appointment.