Trudie Dove – Women’s Officer for NCCLP and Bodmin Branch.
Following last month’s visit to the food bank our local branch have been exploring ways in which we can help particularly in light of the roll out of Universal Credits.
Whilst we were visiting we identified at least two customers who would really have benefited with someone to chat to. Whilst the food bank are very capable of doing their job it was evident that preparing their food boxes was time consuming enough and they had to move on to the next customer.
We have long realised that in our branch we have several members who are capable of giving basic benefit advice and in fact do so daily within their occupations. We tried to set up a CAFÉ on a Saturday where we would offer that advice and demonstrate to people that we really want to help to improve their lives but it seemed difficult to get off the ground.
We spoke to Jackie White (our host for the day) and asked her if she thought we could help by giving some basic advice at the food banks on either a Monday or a Wednesday. We could sit in at the foodbanks for all or part of those two hours making a huge difference to people’s lives by either sign posting or just offering a shoulder or a listening ear.
Jackie seemed to think that this would be a really useful service as it is difficult for them to provide this service as well as sorting out the food supplies when they are really busy.
So this is where I’m asking for your help and or expertise. If anyone is interested in joining a bank of volunteers on either a Monday or a Wednesday for some or all of the two hours please forward your names. Imagine if this could happen in food banks all over the country. I truly believe this would be a lifesaving service.
TEX – https://texwithbenefits.com/.
Additionally I have been working with TEX. TEX are a local charity who come under the banner of cultivating Cornwall. They help to create sustainable communities by recycling reusing and repurposing used textiles thus creating local employment. The things they make are truly wonderful and you can almost guarantee you won’t be caught in the same outfit as someone else at a party.
They have been making, what they are calling dignity bags, to fill with personal items that they are going to give to victim support for people in emergency situations i.e. fleeing violence. I asked if TEX would be willing to make us some bags to fill with personal items for the foodbank.
Now TEX are a really wonderful community project who are committed to getting as many people involved as they can and as such they can do better than that. If we can guarantee a class of about 10 students they will provide the materials and teach us to make our own dignity bags and even help us to collect donations to fill those bags with personal items. So again if this is something you would fancy joining us in please forward your names.
You can contact Trudie via the box below.