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 .
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.