We're raising funds so our Advice, Guidance and Support team can help more people get back on their feet and find financial independence
by The Welcome Centre in Huddersfield, England, United Kingdom
Last year, 3,571 households accessed our foodbank, and we provided support through our Advice, Guidance and Support service to 1,898 of them. But with additional funds, we hope to give a little extra support to every household that accesses our service.
The Welcome Centre is the largest independent food bank in the UK and we have been supporting our community for more than 25 years. Our main aim is to provide essential items like food and toiletries to individuals and families in financial crisis.
However, our community faces more persistent challenges, with many people trapped in long-term poverty and unsure how to break free. This is where our Advice, Guidance, and Support (AGS) team steps in, making a real impact by changing lives and helping people regain their financial independence.
Here's Jane's story
How does our Advice, Guidance and Support service help?
Over the past year, we've seen a 20% increase in demand for our services, with more than one-third of those referred to us being children under the age of 16. The rising cost of living has only to the struggles of individuals and families, forcing some to resort to credit cards or borrowing to cover their everyday expenses. This leads to mounting debts and financial distress
We understand that not everyone knows how to budget, and for some, their income simply doesn't stretch far enough due to higher rents, increased food prices, and general living costs. Our Advice team plays a vital role in helping food bank clients regain control over their finances. They offer guidance on necessary budget changes, provide support through the challenges, signpost to other services and even assist with complex forms and phone calls for those who find it daunting.
In the friendliest way possible, we hope that our clients won't need our services again. Our ultimate goal is to give them the best chance possible to stand on their own two feet and effectively manage their finances.
How will we use these funds?
We're raising funds for several important things for our AGS service.
1. We'll use the funds for the salaries of 1.2 full-time members of our AGS team, ensuring they can continue to provide in-person and phone support to clients in financial distress.
2. We'll purchase essential food items for our crisis packs, reducing hunger and allowing clients the chance to take stock of their situation.
3. We'll invest in training for our team. This includes specialised training to navigate the welfare system on behalf of our clients and broader training to support clients emotionally and practically. Many of our clients come to us with mental health challenges, they may be struggling with substance misuse or fleeing domestic violence, and our team is there to listen and help. So it's essential that our team members have the knowledge and skills to protect their clients as well as themselves.
From us all and especially our Advice, Guidance and Support team below. Thank you.