We did it
On 13th December 2022 we successfully raised £67,382 ( + est. £6181.00 Gift Aid ) with 324 supporters in 70 days

We're raising funds so our Advice and Support team can provide our clients struggling with the cost of living with 1-2-1 budgeting support.

by The Welcome Centre in Huddersfield, England, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

As the winter hits and we all turn on our lights and heating, wanting to keep our homes warm, many people across the UK are going to be struggling to pay the bills. There has always been a challenge in winter for families in poverty to decide between eating or heating, but with energy bills soaring the chance is they won't be able to pay their energy bills at all. 

So we want to make sure we're there to support as many people who come through our doors as possible. Giving them the support they need to budget better, access financial support that may be available to them, and offer them a listening ear alongside our food packs. 

Your donations will help us do that. As our food bank costs soar, we want to make sure our doors are open with a warm and welcoming team ready to help support those in financial crisis.  

The Welcome Centre is one of the largest independent food banks in the UK and has been providing essential support to individuals and families since the 1990s. And due to the cost of living crisis, we are needed more than ever. We're supporting over 1,400 people every single month, and more than 400 of them are children under 16 years old. 

What we do 

We're a food bank at heart, that has supported thousands of people for more than 25 years. We provide basic essentials such as food, toiletries, bedding, pet food and household items, but we're more than that. 


We're more than just a food bank

Over the last five years, we've noticed that demand is rising quicker than ever before and people are struggling to get themselves out of the financial situation they are in.  With the cost of living crisis adding to this, budgets can no longer meet the increased costs and families and individuals are having to choose whether to heat, eat or pay the bills. 

To give everyone that we see a fighting chance of not needing us again and to make sure they are as well equipped as possible to cope with their situation, we now provide wrap-around support to make sure we're not just a sticking plaster, sending people on their way with food packs in hand. 

Our Advice, Guidance and Support team (AGS) are here to help. Kerry, Charlie and Duncan provide a package of 1-2-1 support five days a week. They help individuals and families in financial crisis access a variety of grants for additional items such as white goods, furniture and clothes and give clients the tools and support they need to not only resolve their financial issues but to feel more independent and financially aware than before. 


How will we use these funds?

Our AGS service has been in full operation for just over a year now and we are busier than ever. We plan to use the funds to continue, expand and improve our AGS service through our budgeting support which is provided as a 1-2-1, drop-in or over the phone depending on the client's needs. We will also use the funds to give clients access to grants to enable them to clear off their utility bill arrears, heat their homes and provide nutritious food packs to give them a breathing space to deal with their problems and get them back on an even keel. 


David's story

David is a working family man with 2 young children and has previously supported The Welcome Centre with small donations. Due to the cost of living crisis, he now finds himself in need of food packs to help support his family even though both he and his wife work. He came to collect his food pack with a huge rucksack as he felt too embarrassed to accept a delivery as he doesn't want his neighbours to know that he needs support with food. His family can help sporadically but David is sad that, in this day and age, he should be able to support his family as a working man without the support of a food bank.

Patrick's story

Patrick had mobility issues and had racked up lots of debts over the years, which meant once he had made his monthly repayments he couldn’t afford food.

Huddersfield Mission referred Patrick to The Welcome Centre as he needed a food pack. When he arrived to collect his food, our Advice Guidance and Support team suggested he come along to our “Managing your Money” drop-in.

Each month I have so much deducted from my monthly benefits because of old debts that I can’t keep my head above water. I had arrears on an old tenancy as well as council tax arrears, so I have to repay this each month.

Some time ago, Patrick had received an overpayment of benefit, which was not his fault, but meant he was also paying that back each month.

After his initial chat with our AGS team at the ‘drop-in,’ Patrick agreed he needed to look at all of his finances and that he needed a plan of action.

The AGS team helped Patrick to complete a financial statement and benefits check. He received all that he was entitled to, but the debt he had was so big that he would never be able to manage his money and afford food. 

The AGS team discussed all his options and Patrick decided that a Debt Relief Order (DRO) was his best option. He was eligible as he had no assets, no surplus monies at the end of each month and had had no changes to his circumstances within 12 months.

Getting a DRO meant I could start afresh, free from debt.

Patrick completed the financial statement and The Welcome Centre sent This and a summary of his circumstances to Kirklees Citizens Advice debt team so that they could proceed with the insolvency.

The Welcome Centre applied to Acts435 for a grant to cover the £90 fee. Once submitted and approved, Patrick’s debts of £8,589 and his outstanding Universal Credit debts were paid off..

I can manage my money and budget again. I am so grateful for a fresh start. 


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