|Fridge & freezer |
at food bank
The Renewal Programme runs housing, youth and training projects in Newham, which has the highest proportion of low-paid workers in London. The programme supports those who are facing multiple challenges - they might be a carer, migrant or refugee without access to public funds, suffering with homelessness, experiencing poverty, or unable to communicate in English.
Recent work has included the Refugee and Migrant project, which provided individual advice to clients. This included immigration status support for those with no recourse to public funds or other means of income, destitution and housing.
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, Newham Community Renewal Programme joined forces with other charities to create community hubs where residents could donate urgently needed items.
Isla’s grant has allowed the Renewal Programme to very quickly scale up their services to meet the needs of their struggling community when the Covid-19 pandemic first hit. They were able to:
- Purchase a fridge and freezer which allowed them to receive and store food donations from various sources including Fareshare, Newham Food Alliance, Community Food Enterprise, Tesco, Asda, Beaconsfield Churches and 300 weekly cooked meals provided by a local Sikh temple.
- Increase both staff and volunteer capacity as they doubled their foodbank opening hours and developed a volunteer led telephone helpline called “Chat Newham” for local people to access. Many of the people accessing their services had no other means of support because they were not eligible for public funds and had been surviving on cash in hand and very low paid jobs in the hospitality sector.
- Support 253 new clients through their foodbank service.
- Provide 149 triage advice sessions.
- Purchase vital personal protective equipment to help keep their staff and volunteers safe as they delivered essential front line support services to their community.
“The Isla Foundation were pro-active in reaching out to us asking what help we needed to better support our community, and the funds from them were the first specific covid related resources we received. In this sense the funds acted a bit like a first responder would in an emergency, ie available quickly and focussing on the immediate requirements to help support and sustain life. We are very grateful to the Isla Foundation for this grant!”