We did it
On 12th April 2022 we successfully raised £2,740 ( + est. £5.00 Gift Aid ) with 36 supporters in 42 days

The funding will cover the cost of providing training to families we support to enable them to produce cheap, healthy, nutritious meals.

by The Stoke Gingerbread Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

If we are successful and exceed our initial fundraising target, then we would use the money to bring in outside cooking expertise to The Gingerbread Centre to run a workshop or workshops about “meals on a budget” including showing in more detail not only the versatility of slow cookers as a way of producing cheap, healthy and nutritious meals for families forced to live on a tight budget but also other ways that quality meals can be produced cheaply. It would also provide an opportunity to answer questions in more detail and enable us to give families more information to take away. Additional funding would also enable us to extend our provision of emergency food parcels for our residents.


National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund

We’re taking part in the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund. Donations to our project will be matched by the fund up to the value of £250 to help us overcome the effects of the pandemic.


Please note only one donation per supporter will be matched by the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund.

The Gingerbread Centre – what do we do?

A picture containing person, person, wall, indoor  Description automatically generatedHi, my name is Chris and I am part of the team at The Stoke Gingerbread Centre. We help families in the city and surrounding area who have been made homeless or are under threat of losing their home. Many people have preconceived ideas about homelessness and often just associate it with rough sleepers, but it is a much bigger and more complex issue triggered by many circumstances.

Our priority when a family is referred to us is to provide temporary accommodation in one of our flats or houses to keep them together. This is provided for as long as necessary. Very often when they lose their home the family can be split up with children going into temporary foster care and the parents into bed and breakfast A picture containing text, outdoor, tree, road  Description automatically generatedaccommodation. This can make a bad situation worse, especially for the children. Our main accommodation site is Rothesay Court in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent (pictured). Our second building, Catherine Court in Hanley, concentrates on supporting teenage parents and their families. Both facilities are staffed 24 hours a day.

Family Support – how does it work?

A picture containing text, person, indoor  Description automatically generatedOnce we have a family settled into their new accommodation, our Family Support Team works with them to establish what led to them being made homeless and then formulates a bespoke support package to address the issues and get them back on track and ultimately back into a home of their own, regardless of how long it takes. In some instance we have supported families for up to two years. This support can address lifestyle issues, benefits, budgeting and much, much more.

We are currently receiving more referrals than we can handle and many people are losing their homes because of domestic violence and mental health issues, which are often the final stage of a sequence of events. Homelessness is a very complex matter and the process can start with something quite minor, such as failing to manage the household finances and food shopping leading to food poverty and immense stress within the family, which finally escalates to total breakdown and loss of the family home. The current cost of living crisis is making an already tough situation much worse for some families.

1645781680_1645781679001.jpegWe already provide some emergency food parcels to our residents. However, some of our families are so short of life skills, they can’t even cook a basic meal. We want to extend this aspect of our support by focussing on helping families make best use of their food, producing “meals on a budget”, ensuring that they have one good meal a day and in particular, that the children don’t go hungry.

Why do we need your support – our project?

Our resources are limited. The Family Support Team work with families to help them achieve financial stability, budgeting and financial management skills. Financial wellbeing means living within your means, ensuring food essentials are covered. Families can face food poverty because they can’t budget and because they lack the required skills to make best use of their food, to produce cheap meals and avoid waste. Expensive takeaways may be bought causing additional financial pressures. By helping families achieve “meals on a budget” as part of a broader programme about budgeting, we will hopefully contribute to a better lifestyle, financial wellbeing and stability for them. 

Vision

The Gingerbread Centre cannot eradicate homelessness in Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding area. However, our vision is that every family referred to the Centre eventually goes back into a home of their own with the necessary skills to hopefully ensure that they never become homeless again and that skill set would include managing the family budget to avoid food poverty.

How we will use the money

1645781680_1645781679029.jpegThis project will enable us to expand the support that we already give to our families. We can’t teach them the full range of cooking skills but we can help with a practical approach including some weekly sessions in our community space focussing on how a slow cooker can be used to produce healthy, nutritional meals at very little cost.

Each flat and house already has a slow cooker, ideal for producing cheap, nutritious meals. We want to run practical sessions giving information and developing skills about “meals on a budget” using the slow cookers, so that our residents, with limited finances and experience can ensu1645781680_1645781679060.jpeg1645781680_1645781679095.jpegre that their family is well fed. The money raised will fund staff time and resources to run these sessions and we will also be able to produce a series of laminated, wipe clean recipe cards to be distributed to our families.

If funds allow, we will also buy other small pieces of kitchen equipment and basic items for them to use.

And finally….

Please remember, homelessness doesn't discriminate. It can happen to anyone. It just takes one thing to trigger a set of circumstances, like dominoes falling over, to mean within a very short time, a family can lose their home, the garden they love and even the family pet. Please watch our video to see the impact we have had on families who have been helped and supported by The Stoke Gingerbread Centre. One parent commented:

“I had nothing when I came here, but when I left, I had everything.” 

Please support us. Thank you very much.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

Our Supporter Recognition Award

Each supporter claiming their reward will receive a bespoke, printed "Thank You Card" along with a Gingerbread branded Bing Stylus Pen


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