Tim suggested I write something to expand on what Trussell Trusts is and does. It was set up in 1997 to work in Bulgaria with the Roma people and still does so especially with 18-20 year old state care leavers but also runs a programme on behalf of the Bulgarian govt with slightly younger children. More on our Bulgaria pages at www.trusselltrust.org
In the UK we provide a charitable franchise to enable communities to establish foodbanks with an off the shelf product. We have established 340 since 2005 and last financial year (to March 31) we fed 300,000 people with 3m meals, all “homed” individuals and families in crisis, each with a 3 day supply (max x 3) referred by a local professional, all food donated by members of the public. TTT provides oversight, audit, advice and the opportunity to participate in nationwide benefits deals (Tesco collection days, Asda collection days, linke with Kelloggs, Mars etc)
Currently a shopping trolley is circumnavigating the UK to raise awareness on a 5 week journey. If you would like to support that visit the website and follow it on facebook.
We anticipate increased demand due to the changes to benefits as people will either fall through the net or have their benefits frozen whilst they are reviewed.
We are apolitical but we do comment when we believe policy to be ineffective or wrong.
To support foodbank we also run a significant recycling business and in Hampshire & Dorset we have 8 shops which sell good quality goods at prices people who are struggling can afford.
Volunteers are key to our success and many have life issues, illness, dependency, long term unemployment. We work to improve their lives and in return they enable us to function. We can always use volunteers who have skills across all the foodbanks so if you are interested why not contact your local foodbank – again visit the website and click on “find your nearest foodbank”.
My job is simple – to raise around £15000 a week through corporate sponsorship, private donations, grants (not from government) and events such as the Trolley Push. I have a team of 4. We have a policy that we pay every staff member the Living wage or above and to compensate for that the senior staff take a significant pay cut.
It would be great if the eclub could support us next year along with many other clubs but I shan’t exert pressure as that is not the reason I have joined you – I missed Rotary.
There is much more on the website where you can sign up for our bi-monthly enews letter if you wish.