Community activist, food bank founder-green energy co-op Author * Food Bank Britain *-DEPTFORD radicle history & Liberty , play-book true story Kath Duncan battle 2 establish UK civil. Bio The Last Queen of Scotland Out 2018 .Am guest speaker, social enterprise -poverty-food waste issues . Broadcaster & write The London Economic . My aim giving updates, comments, insight what establishment up 2 across Globe & briefing you on Campaigners MSM chose 2 ignore .
In every crisis comes a silver lining, the fear, the bigotry, the ignorance around the Aids crisis in the 80s did lead to medical breakthroughs during which approx Aids killed 30 million people worldwide, the public Inquiry into the NHS blood Transfusion scandal is still happening in 2020 but took 30 years of activism by NHS hero , the first Aids nurse and my friend Carol Anne Grayson and others , whilst the support network that gave emotional and support to its victims through a network called buddies to those at a time when people needed it most, are back as We Care Foodbank through its Corona Community Support Network have re-established a network of local community volunteers who like some modern dating service match volunteers to people and families in isolation and crisis , a buddy for a single parent in a tower block with small children and no access to a garden, today has a buddy who reads stories down a phone line, gets shopping, toiletries, keeps them supported, a new friend close and supportive, the elderly at high risk left alone and isolated with families living so far away today have a buddy a friend at the end of the phone who pops round everyweek to deliver food and toliteries and to top up key meters , its the company they value , often more than the food they tell me, our food is delivered not by a different stranger every week , but by a friendly neighbour matched who will long after this crisis has come and gone be an important friend and family member thanks to this Buddy scheme we hope will be copied globally , our volunters value being valued , they see the lives they save and the difference they make to people on the edge yes every day we struggle to raise the cash to buy the food to feed the huge numbers that simple are not getting the cash from the money tree or simple find what help they are being told is out their does not match their reality , so if you can please donate. https://www.gofundme.com/f/corona-virus-community-support-network?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1 We are presently filming and recording much of what is going on in our community the extraordinary people, the amazing projects running on fresh air and the difference we are making we hope a mainstream broadcaster will screen our communities story
Today We Care Food Bank and The Corona Community Support Network, faces new issues to address the staggering number of people losing jobs and business coming our way for help whilst many of those who have volunteered are going back to work another source of worry and concern, whilst the cafes and restaurants running the food hot meals served to people in need will come under their own pressure when these businesses need to open. The good news this week, We Care have matched a food programme with a local school who had fifty families they had concerns about their well being, each family had a child getting free school meals so clearly the whole family was going hungry our project has insured going forward ALL these families will have ready healthy meals delivered to the School every week of the year including the Holidays, its the first project we are aware in the UK, starting in Deptford Lewisham, should this not be like our Buddy system rolled out to every school so after this crisis food hunger and loneliness is no longer an issue?
Last week, we at We Care Food Bank thought we would be looking forward to not running a food bank 7 days a week, the worst the Government would have us believe is over, and yet those of us on the frontline of feeding people hungry and alone and without cash this crisis have seen a rapid increase in people seek help this week, one local school contacted us this week because they have become aware of 40 families that are going hungry because if a child is getting free school meals, the family of which that child is a member is also going hungry, whilst the going back to work rush has seen all Corona Community Support Networks like ours see Volunteers go back to work whilst busy roads make getting crucial food parcel deliveries ever harder to deliver. Thankfully we still have our We Care team made up of awesome people from a variety of backgrounds, including homeless people, architects, film-set designers, actors, political researchers, chefs, refugees, a brewery owner and criminal lawyer, a Windrush hero - but how long will many of them be able to stay as work calls again? Storage is an increasing problem with cafe and restaurants closed and food bank donation points rare, We Care like others are dependent on the food from warehouses and stores to help pad out our food parcels, 80% of what we give out we buy as we get NO state or council funding this week our biggest delivery included Itsu Seawood and MacDonald's dipping sauce when what we all really needed was Cooking oil, rice, eggs, toothpaste, toiletries and yes loo paper, ready steady cook was never like this. so if you can please donate. https://www.gofundme.com/f/corona-virus-community-support-network?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1
This crisis has also exposed how tough and what high-risk life is for the elderly, our mums, dads, grandparents, no lunch clubs, bingo or the family round for tea on sunday, poverty has been a growing issue that I have long campaigned to raise awareness, huge numbers do not have a smartphone or the internet, in the age we live those we love, live further away with distancing even visiting a neighbour is not an option when corona haunts your every thought, whilst for years I have been writing about the elderly having the family round for tea on sunday and then queuing at the local food bank on monday, for you see the elderly have worked every day of their lives, they have paid their taxes and many fought OUR Wars, they live in a world that is aspirational nothing worse than having lived a full life and yet finding yourself unable to put food on the table or ask a family member for help, This week this issue was picked up at last by the main stream press and this link takes you to the TV News Interview i did this week, although sadly what i have to say is never given the screen time it deserves and i would ask that when you visit family and friends you take a look at the cupboards and fridge , do they need your help? Pride and Shame words that do not come easily to this community. My RT Television News Interview on the crisis faced by the Elderly https://youtu.be/ECQztOMgKHY
As we enter week 9, how about turning Saturday 23 May, ( The bank Holiday weekend ) Into a front door table sale, sell what you bake, your old books and clothes and raise cash for the local grassroots organisation in YOUR community doing great work, most like us get NO state or Council funding so the pounds you raise will make a huge difference to people and pets in crisis needing Eggs, Fish, Loo roll.
This week we started, at last, filming these people and what is going on at grassroots level on an epic scale across Lewisham, if it's going on here it's happening globally and yet this frontline is going unreported how ordinary people and ordinary places without the state, council or church support have out of fresh air build a logistics network, a food and support network is a truly inspirational story worthy to be told, all our film team are local and have worked at the highest level in the film and TV sector but due to lock down and having been inspired by these events are making the film. We welcome interest from TV-Film commissioners, media to buy this film for broadcast as we move into week 2 of filming what we hope will be the first Documentary film that is so inspirational that will inspire and recognise those on this frontline going globally unrecognised. One day One Community one amazing story .
As I write this yet another food bank has opened in our area to meet the demand for increasing numbers of people who are being told in the present uncertain climate that there is no point putting them on 80% salary as the business they work for can not see a future and will in days cease trading, Waiting staff are suddenly discovering that tips and commissions and the bonus are nor seen as part of their wage even though it may account for 60% of their taxable income leaving many with incomes of less than 30% to pay rent, utility bills and food, whilst the daily Corona press conference is constantly about what the Government says it has been or is doing. Yet, week eight of lockdown PPE is still an issue, 100,000 of people told to isolate due to their high risk and vulnerability are still waiting for that famous food parcel pledged eight weeks ago, eight weeks without food, how would you cope?
If Everyone from the magic money tree was getting this Government money we hear so much about, why are We Care and the Corona Community Support Network having to crowdfund with a GoFundMe page to raise cash to feed the very people we are told are getting food parcels or can secure Government finance?
An army of people grows every day of wonderful volunteers who see for themselves that what we are told at the daily press briefings does not match the reality in our communities we are told Councils are doing a great job. Yet, the reality almost every council is pushing all those in need the way of the countless number of Corona Community Support Groups instead of organising and leading from the centre or even insuring the cash the Government gives them is passed on to the front line groups who are doing their job and ensuring starvation and suicide numbers do not overtake COVID victims.
This week we started adding. Houseplants to food parcels to help those cope in flats and temp housing without gardens with their mental health along with the books for kids and the bespoke food parcels we organize to address every household dietary and faith as well as addressing the reality many homes do not have internet, smartphones, fridge, freezer, microwave or cooker. While struggling to raise the cash to top up key meters for people to access support, buy nappies and expensive baby milk, our clients are the elderly, the disabled, LGBTQ, single-parent families, much-loved Dogs and Cats, the homeless in temp housing and refugees that long ago accepted #refugesswelcome was far from any reality, you see those we care for are NOT cool, we would love people to sing or march up and down their Gardens to raise cash so we can buy food for people going hungry instead of money for the NHS which is NOT a charity. We are putting together a documentary film crew to record what you do not see on your TV screens the reality of thousands of people once ordinary like the communities they live who through this crisis have bypassed Gov, churches, and Councils and out of fresh air crowdfunded to feed and support their neighbours in crisis to become extraordinary how do you run a food bank in a lockdown crisis?
We are still looking for Experienced Camera operators for the fly on the wall Documentary.that we hope will inspire and engage. as well as to hear from broadcasters interested in broadcasting DM us through www.kathduncanequaltyandcivilrightsnetwork.org
This crisis has bought out the best in people I am so proud that my community and the people of Lewisham are leading the way in supporting people and pets in crisis in such a creative way that we are now going to record all that is going on unreported at the grassroots level across our borough for a new documentary that we hope will not just tell OUR boroughs story, across one day, but also record and share the creativity and originality of what is going on across our borough and going mostly unreported, with our awesome characters that make up our neighbours and a terrible crisis has seen communities bypass Council and Government to create projects from the fresh air and go fund me page that literally safe lives
We do not do ordinary in Lewisham, I praised the Women leading the help last week, people like Sharon in this picture who found herself through fate running the Feed The Hill project at The Hill Station Cafe in New Cross and Sian who built an entire distribution network to get food delivered to refugee families in crisis within hours.
We Care will this week will ad house plants that are grown in Deptford to its next round of food parcels to help peoples mental well being expanding on the books for children, they are delivering along with food and toiletries only made possible thanks to the kind donations of strangers, even though We Care Food Bank has been around since 2014 and was the first food bank to open in Lewisham, food, its main donation does not count to secure charity registration and it desperately needs to raise £5000 to secure a Charity number and the access to grants that a charity number brings as well as Gift aid, if everyone reading this chipped in the cost of a mug of tea we would get We Care over the line, many coronavirus community projects across Southeast London get their food via We Care food account access, We Care also Top-up key meters and phones this alone for one family in crisis can cost £30, they do peoples shopping, walk dogs, cook meals, and work with those most in need who do not have Internet or Smartphones although no one in crisis is turned away , social services, churches, homeless and refugee council trust We Care with their most vunarable clients but sadly whilst they get the funding We Care deliver the Food, The Companionship through their buddy scheme inspired through the LGBTQ Aids crisis that matches local volunters with people in isolation during this crisis with emotional as well as food but needs support from their gofundme account . We Care Food Bank also partners #ChrissySentUs Homeless outreach project and www.kathduncanequaltyandcivilrightsnetwork.org that also has a webshop selling cutting edge ethical slogan driven TShirts that whilst making great gifts also help pay for this work
Anyone interested in the Documentary please contact Direct Mail ME
We are looking for a number of brilliant camera operators with all the kit for a new 40-minute film we are hoping to make based around One borough One community, One day, in this case, Lewisham South East London a fly on the wall film about the characters and extraordinary people and organisations that have turned them and their organisations from ordinary to extraordinary due to the Coronavirus crisis outbreak, we want the film to be inspiring engaging and really capture what is going on at grassroots and mainly being missed by mainstream media. If you have worked in mainstream media and ideally documentaries we would love to hear from you, must have or access to use C300, FS7, A7 smkil , 5D or GH5 payment would be based on equity rates and we could only pay once we sell the film. We have a number of top Directors and Producers presently in talks as since the lockdown lots of people in this sector without work.
If you think you could help us capture and tell some extraordinary stories and start filming ASAP, Please DM with experience and skill set as we are working with the mainstream director they will need experience
Could you help get this Film on Screen? Featured at Film Festivals? We would also be interested in hearing from Media groups interested in buying a film- the documentary that follows this extraordinary community over one day through this crisis
This Project is a combination of We Care food Bank, #ChrissySentUs homeless outreach project and the work with refugees and others on the edge through www.kathduncanequaltyandcivilrightsnetwork.org the project hopes to film EVERY group and Org at the grassroots level on one day across Lewisham Borough although clearly we will film more than just one day
Women are driving the grassroots frontline this crisis like never before, in fact, I would go so far as to state without the huge role Women are playing at grassroots feeding, organising, collecting and delivering to those in a real crisis, many people would be dying of starvation, the woman we at We Care work with who deserve recognition, such as Sharon who has done a truly amazing job establishing the Feed The Hill project we work with at The Hill Station Cafe in New Cross, Sian who out of thin air has created a South East London delivery network, that travels way beyond south-east London to create advice and support platform that like us is reaching that 5 % the Government says will not get any help, whilst I cannot talk about awesome local Woman without highlighting Joyce running the Pepys Estate Food Bank and 80 years young Barbara Raymond the Co-founder of We Care.
Darren, not his real name is an example of the kind of people in crisis we help, in February he moved to Southwark for a new job and to have access and support for his wife who is seriously ill at the same time as being diagnosed with Lung cancer, Without us to help this family with food and support we dread to think what would have become of them, in the week the Government said 700,000 had volunteered for the #NHS army only 30,000 people of the 1,5million people at extremely high risk told to isolate 5 weeks ago have had a visit, during the same period We Care alone with NO state Cash and dependent on the cash donations of strangers fed over 1000 people in pets in crisis.
We struggle every day to cope with the numbers of people seeking our help, needing a phone top-up, Gas, Electric and a basic meal, every penny people like you donate makes a massive difference and yes we do get some food donated such as over one ton of Pears last week, so many we could not distribute, however ever the creative, Sharon and her team turned the ton of leftover Pears into Feed The Hill Jam and the past few days every food parcel had a jar of jam again made possible by people collecting old jam jars so NOTHING goes to waste.
This Crisis has bought out the best in people whilst highlighting the hugely important role in our care services, public services and OUR NHS those wonderful migrants and refugees whose devotion to duty and our well being must NEVER again be underestimated. Thanks to Everyone working in this sector, Neighbours and Strangers together as a family it has never been cool to challenge Poverty to talk about the Poor, but that does not mean we in this sector have any less worth, We are saving lives we see No colour, No faith just people like us in a crisis that needs help
As I write One man has done an amazing job raising millions for the NHS which is NOT a Charity, whilst food banks across the country like ours are having to crowdfund and beg strangers for cash to keep going to buy a tin of beans, a loaf of bread a spare loo roll., as cash and food donations dry up. The need has never been so great with 1.5 million in isolation and end of week 4 in which most still waiting for Food Parcels that are still to be sorted, whilst 700,000 volunteers await their first job, logistics this crisis from Food to PPE has been clearly wanting. Last week even though we had passed the 1000 person fed mark our application to the Mayors Corona Community support fund was declined without any reason even though we ticked every criteria box and only needed to tick one, on Friday we were given a list of another 37 families to help and support across a further 5 boroughs to add to the 6 boroughs we presently cover, a never-ending list of clients from Social Services. Refugee Council. Churches. and this week added to the list Housing Associations referring tenants who are not only unable to pay the rent, they can no longer buy food, top-up key meters, most of those we help don't have the luxury of the Internet , Smartphones and yet we like everyone working this sector are snowed under with requests for help from increasing numbers of people who never in a million years felt they would need to depend or seek out the support of a food bank.
Food Banks get donated food but never enough and have to buy most of what we give away, we get almost nothing in cash donations, to get a charity number we need £5000 income, not a lot you would think but a figure we have never got close since we set up We Care food bank in 2014. If we had £5000 we could get a charity number, we could get Gift Aid so every penny people do donate we could get cashback from the Government after the lockdown the crisis will continue for millions without a job or a business but as always We Care will try to do our bit, Why is it so hard to raise pennies to feed the #Disabled, the #Homeless, #refugees the #poor or people through no fault of their own find themselves in poor health or without a job. This week we started delivering children's books with our food, at the same time as we run out of cash. We will probably have to stop topping up key meters and phones for isolated people to keep contact with the outside world we can only so so much on fresh air, we are doing the work of the State for Free , but fresh air only goes so far the cash needs to get to grassroots groups like our Corona Community Support Network that with www.kathduncanwequaltyandcivilrightsnetwork.org has insured most groups across South East London and smaller food projects across UK and Spain are using We Care food contracts and insurance to feed their clients so the numbers we keep alive across the Uk unmeasurable . we marched in #Lewisham to safe our Hospital, Will we march, chip in or Speak out to fund our Food Banks in 2020 even if it's not cool?
Turn2Us.org.uk is doing what many would argue the Government should be doing, they have produced an easy to follow online Question form that once you put all your details will tell which benefits you are entitled as the system is so complex this is a MUST first step to get support and will save you hours on the phone to Universal Credit only to find you do not qualify. , whilst for those most in need, they are giving one of the payments of £500 to anyone in crisis, whilst this again is welcome, most of the people we help through We Care Food Bank have No internet, No smartphone and often NO phone credit so it's really important if you can, YOU offer to help those in need to access this information and help.
Many of you aware we passed 1000 people fed last week we had hoped that all the emergency Government funding for Corona Groups would include groups like ours, however despite ticking all 6 tick boxes and only needing to tick one, we have had ALL our grant applications rejected, even though we presently get referrals from Social Services. Refugee Council. and local Churches as we have the most experience on logistics, and understanding complexities of people and pets in crisis leaving us no choice but to carry on begging people like you to give us Cash to do the work Government is paying others to do that aren't. Our GoFundMe page link here. So if you can please donate. https://www.gofundme.com/f/corona-virus-community-support-network?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1
Last week Oxfam published a report, ignored by UK media on the impact of the Global corona crisis on the Poorest I was interviewed on International News Stations due to my life long campaign to get ALL political parties to appoint a Minister for Poverty and in light of the Pensioner we have sort to help in Newcastle who despite being told to isolate 3 weeks ago, has had NO food and Zero support and says she will starve to death to highlight the Government and Medias failure to address the impact on this crisis on the poorest link to News Interview The wealth Gap https://youtu.be/DCHoz69j_eM
I just would not be able to help all those we do without the Kindness of Strangers and Neighbours working with me 24/7 to ensure people eat, get support and a buddy to get them through this crisis and others who take my advice to put a note through neighbours doors offering to share what they have, run errands and be a light in the darkness
As I write this we have passed the 1000 person helped mark, all carried out by the work of strangers and neighbours and funded by our GoFundMe page as we still get No Government or Council funding and yet we are on the frontline, housing and feeding the homeless in shelters and hostels with no cooking facilities, the disabled some of the 1.5 million at high risk the gov says must isolate but 3 weeks on have mostly been left without food or Medication delivery and we have to spend hours waiting and collecting prescriptions whilst people we help have no cash to top up gas and key meters, many can't get emergency help, they do not have internet access or smartphones the only way you can claim Universal credit.
This week we had to put out a Social Media plea to help an isolated seriously ill pensioner in Newcastle who without our help would have been the first to starve to death this crisis, it alarms me that the poor, disabled and low paid have no worth in this crisis even the socialist campaign crowd who boost their profile by claiming to represent the left do not report the crisis at the grassroots level it's shameful whilst some areas are awash with help, many areas have nothing.
We ask people to put a note through the door of YOUR neighbours with your name, address and phone number and offer to shop or share what you have. NEVER ask someone if they want a FREEBEE. YOU can do this whatever area of the Uk or World YOU live.
We have past week taken on referrals from 4 Local Councils and a number of refugee groups shared with Feed the Hill, food to go to schools who are best placed to get food to families with children at risk, we have donated food and toiletries to NHS frontline staff all grades at The Point in Lewisham, also many of us have family in Spain so we are Supporting a Corona Community support Network in Spain through www.kathduncanequaltyandcivilrightsnetwork.org with Pippa Jones We hope that Never again will people be so negative about Migrants and Refugees, it's important to note its NHS workers from these groups who were first to give their lives for ALL of us.
Christine Archibald was a young much loved young woman from Calgary in Canada who was on a break from her job that she loved supporting the homeless and the poor in crisis, on holiday in London with her partner when by chance she was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was one of the first tragic victims of the London Bridge terror attack, as news of this beautiful young woman tragic loss of life became global news, the Archibald family asked for no flowers, but asked everyone who cared to carry forward her work and memory by helping out at a homeless project or your local food bank and tell them all #ChrissySentYou.
We Care Food Bank was the first food bank to open in Deptford Lewisham Borough in 2014 and rapidly became the most high profile and the largest independent food bank in the Uk when it was forced to close when its rent was increased from £7,500 per year to £32,000 per year plus £18.000 business rates it diversified into advising others how to run foodbank outreach projects with guidance from the book and ebook #FoodBankBritain and started Homeless Outreach work across the Uk, The Death of Chrissy was a defining moment as the number of homeless across the Uk was seeing a massive rise and with so many new to the street, it was decided to Use Chrissy with her family and friends support to be the face of the new help and support under #SolidarityNotCharity being a food bank, people give you food, in order to register to get charity statues you must have a cash flow income, that clearly in our line of work is not forthcoming and why today we are a charity without a number , but we could establish a Christine Archibald Homeless project page on gofundme which at first we wanted to buy a fridge transport to get fresh food to all the grassroots homeless projects build on love and need to help others , but like us cash poor, when we failed to reach the cash we needed for a freezer van, we consulted and decided to supply homeless out reach projects with flasks to serve hot drinks and soup with this welcoming image of Chrissy on the flask with high visability jackets for the team leader to wear again with Chrissy smile or welcome, today across the Uk , Homeless Projects take Chrissy on to the streets , she is very much alive , her work continues , so it is no wonder that in the scary times we live, Chrissy is back again her image on posters and postcards giving, comfort, food, collecting medications for the sick, topping up key meters for the poor , being a voice to mobalise an army of community minded people that in crisis always step up to the mark , today we Advice people to contact their neighbours direct with a note so its personal and ad #ChrissySentMe , so much easier to engage with a neighbour than a stranger , as i write this Chrissy is giving Support across London and to the expats in Spain , Chrissy is mobalising a movement she could never have imagined in life , when people die, its far to easy to remember the famouse and the privilaged but for us #ChrissySentUs symbolises all those front line workers we take for granted and whom today our saving lives, Nurses, Cleaners, Doctors, Drivers. Porters. the people delivering food parcels, collecting medicine, walking dogs and topping up Key meters for people whose existence has almost always been about a struggle. Today we look after those missed by the system, the disabled, the frail, the poor and the increasing number of self-employed who can't wait until June to get a paycheck we get NO state or Council funding and yet our grassroots frontline work saves lives of those most in need, often too proud to seek help but forced to by the present reality, You can contact us via our sister charity www.kathduncanequaltyandcivilrightsnetwork.org If you can chip in the cost of a mug of Tea, please donate here;
The Government decision to offer support to the 5 million self-employed is truly welcome, however as anyone who is self-employed or the family of the breadwinner who is self-employed cash flow and lack of is a problem at the best of times and we are having to deal with a huge number of people who simply do not have the cash or food in their cupboards to sustain them until June. Many of you are aware of the problems with #UniversalCredit and the fact if you can get through, most people wait at least 5 weeks before any payment is made, whilst we had food and toiletries to deal with We Care Food Banks core regulars of Elderly and Disabled, this new group is causing real concern as we get NO state or Council aid and have to gofundme to buy the stuff we need, even with a discount, the numbers we are looking after, almost 300 households in just 10 days and rising fast.
The Government army of volunteers will be targeting the 1.5million people who have been sent letters from the NHS to isolate because of their sever risk, again this is welcome, but we have an approx population of 65 Million you do not have to be great at maths to realise huge numbers will be going hungry in our area 47% of our kids are seen in Government figures as living in poverty and the free school lunch box they are being given as the kid's main meal of the day, is wanting.
We are presently collecting and delivering medications to stop the elderly and frail from leaving home. We are delivering carefully selected food that fits dietary requirements and takes into account households ability to cook, many just have a kettle. We Topup British Gas and electric Keys with many shops closed we are having a real struggle to get keys topped up and yes its those most at risk and most in need that MUST stay home who need the top-ups, Almost ALL of these people have NO internet and NO smartphone
What we are doing is insuring anyone who is in crisis can get help by texting us 07871187162 tweeting @EcrnKath email firstname.lastname@example.org . We Care was the first charity to establish a Food Bank in Lewisham and my book, Food Bank Britain has been a model followed by food outreach projects globally so our team have the experience to get through this and reach the most in need who far to often is missed off the radar. We have trained and experienced councillors available free to support NHS staff all grades dealing with trama we can not begin to understand, our trusted team are able to collect for the housebound who have no internet to get home delivery of food or medication but need someone of trust to do the shopping and collect those crucial medications, if we were to allow one volunteer unchecked to take a single penny from someone who is depending on us for help or stole a single drug, all the good work we do would be undermined