Rhubarb Farm will use the extra money to cover the salary of our Food Support Worker. The Farm needs to be able to retain our Food Support Worker, who is organising the food deliveries to vulnerable people in financial hardship, emotional distress and social isolation. We cannot furlough, because the work is badly needed, but because of loss of income from other sources, we are finding it struggle to retain our staff. We currently deliver food to 54 households, with 128 people, including 28 children. Everyone of these households is reliant on the food they receive from the Farm. And we are planning to run a cooked meals and delivery service, so desperately need to keep paying our Food Support Worker, to manage the programme of support to all these vulnerable people.
Rhubarb Farm is an empowering rural social enterprise on the Notts/Derbs border helping to change the lives of vulnerable people for the better. We grow fruit and vegetables but we also grow people. In normal times over 80 people a week come to volunteer at the Farm in order to improve their lives, build confidence and move forward.
During COVID-19 we have adapted to support 55 households a week with food deliveries, many referred by GPs and social workers, as well as supporting over 80 of our volunteers with weekly phone calls to help their resilience during lockdown.
Because we have lost a lot of income as a result of COVID-19, which funded salaries, we need funding to maintain our Food Support Worker post. This is a key role organising our food supplies, packing and deliveries. For the people we deliver to, the food bags are vital, because they are either isolated in rural villages without transport, have mental health problems, or are in poverty because of loss of income or living on benefits.
These are comments from some recipients:
Family of 4, 2 adults, 2 children, one child with health issues. (Shirebrook):
"These bags have been an absolute lifeline for us. We are both self-employed so now have very limited income. We really do not know what we would have done without Rhubarb Farm. The food provided in our family bag keeps us going."
Single older isolated man. (Shirebrook)
"You have become my new family, I look forward to seeing you all week. I do not know what I would have done without you this last few weeks, I cannot thank you enough for bringing these bags and checking that I am OK."
Single young woman with mental ill health. (Chesterfield)
"I do not see anybody apart from you, I look forward all week to seeing the car turn into my street."