The huge media profile of the We Care food bank has lead to a constant increase in numbers by 10% each week, growing from 28 people to almost 1000.
We Care is in our second year, and it has taken us this long to get systems in place and thanks to the work of Gene who has transformed our charity shop into a sustainable organisation allowing our team to develop our advice, support and out reach work.
The way ahead; I do not intend the Food Bank to act as a subsidy to cover the Governments Welfare reform, and its impact on the poor.
We care is about fighting poverty and the cause and empowering communities, the way I see this developing is trough building self esteem, confidence and helping people to learn how to cook great food on a budget , how to grow your own food, this we hope can be developed by taking over local residents unloved gardens and turning them into places to grow fresh fruit and veg, keeping Bees and chickens and developing strong neighbourhoods of people supporting and helping each other, not creating another level of work for me to do.
Other Projects we are developing are a cloths exchange, turning the CV workshops into a larger project empower people to create there own business, ideally through co -operatives to create local jobs and boost the wider community,
We are Looking to set up a Tea Club to help isolated members of our community come together and support each other over tea and a chat, as well as boosting the support and interaction between the increasing numbers of clients unable to read or write and or speak English, the numbers of local residents desperate to engage but isolated buy lack of communication skills is time consuming but crucial to our work, and I hope people out their will come and take ownership of projects to make them happen and help us builder better communities of support NOT dependency.
Christmas is coming and we plan to insure NO one in Lewisham or Greenwich goes without a Christmas dinner, and we are already collecting food donations and kids presents, we would also welcome some one helping with a fund raiser, as clearly feeding 1000 people with no state funding is tough on the charity shop income. We are still seeking to raise the £5000 we must raise to get charity status, once we have this we will be £800 a month better of, as this is what we have to pay Lewisham Council in business rates.Housemartins continues to pay wages of staff and pay any shortfall as part of its Community support programme.
Security of the Project;
We have had this building on a short term agreement for 3 years, with the property market booming, we expect the landlord to develop our shop and office into flats. Lewisham council has given planning consent for flats, and so we almost certainly after Christmas have to raise money to buy our own secure building, if you have ideas or can help with this, please email me.
November 5th National Day of Action;
We Care will be working with All London Groups to raise awareness of Poverty under 2 slogans. Fight Poverty, Not the poor, and Poverty makes me sick. We are building a huge installation to highlight and to gain international publicity, we need huge numbers of donated shoes for this, and people to help between 9am-11am on November 5th, Can you help? this will look amazing but cannot disclose until the day.
Supermarkets; Thanks to amazing work by Emma, We are shortly to get the chance to collect food from Sainsburys more often, whilst the new Waitrose at Deptford/Greenwich has given us the food waste contract helping us use food for people, not for landfill. The work our Small team do is amazing and i am constantly amazed at peoples energy and the way in which project manager Nicola mobilise and gives such positive energy and warmth to the endless people coming through our doors, and the timeless energy Stewart puts into make the project work, without not thanking all the truly amazing group of people that come out day after day supporting my next big idea. I hope that the one think i am always clear with my work with the food bank and the amazing team at People Before Profit, is that We make things happen.
We Care have a bank account with the Lewisham Co Op; We Care food Bank; Sort code 08 92 99 Account number 65659328.
All the Best.