February Spotlight On Community Programmes
Players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised more than £1 Billion for thousands of charities and local good causes. Each month we will focus on the great work local charities and good causes are achieving throughout our communities.
This month we are shining a light on a selection of charities working in the field of poverty prevention. Funding raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery is helping some people to manage their resources better to find a way out of poverty, and helping others make different life choices to avoid facing poverty in the future.
Govan Youth Information Project
"Not all heroes wear capes" Govan Youth Information Project
"In the toughest of times it is such a comfort to know you have such special people right on your doorstep."
Govan Youth Information Project, according to parents, is helping turn around the lives of thousands of young people.
Based in one of Scotland's most deprived communities, the project works with young people on life skills and to prepare them for adulthood. Part of the outreach involves meeting young people on the streets around Govan to pinpoint exactly what services they might benefit from. In one year, funding from players of People's Postcode Lottery was used to support an additional 468 shifts for patrolling teams.
Kevin Burke, Project Manager, said, "We offer a safe place where young people can relax, have fun, socialise, and even take advantage of a reduced-priced tuck shop.
"We help them develop a balanced view of the world, knowing that it is one in which they have choices and where they feel they can make a difference."
A parent added, "The guys from the project devote so much time to the kids and they always do it with a smile. Not all heroes wear capes, and our community needs people like these."
Govan Youth Information Project (opens in new tab) received £20,000 raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery awarded by People's Postcode Trust (opens in new tab).
Made In Hackney
Player funding allows lifeline service to cook over 45,000 emergency meals in Hackney.
"I was in a desperate situation, going to food banks but somehow still struggling to survive. To eat a hot meal has helped me not just financially but also mentally." The charity Made In Hackney has given one woman back her strength and her confidence.
Made In Hackney is tackling local health inequalities, food access and climate change by providing emergency plant-based meals for households struggling to access enough food.
The London-based charity cooks six nutritious meals a week for 150 people, including 40 children, and has helped more than 300 members of the community in emergency need of food over the past year.
Frances Humber, Development Manager at Made In Hackney said, "Despite the challenges of having fewer volunteers and higher food prices, we have been able to cook and deliver 45,476 nutritious meals, offering food support at a critical time. Maintaining our door-to-door service is vital for many of our recipients who have physical disabilities."
As well as providing regular meals, the charity offers cookery classes in person and online, so people can learn how easy it is to learn to grow, cook and eat affordable, nutritious meals.
Now you're talking. The charity instilling confidence to tackle financial worries.
Being healthy beats being wealthy but when money woes begin to impact on your wellbeing, it can have damaging consequences.
Bristol charity Talking Money recognises that money is often just the symptom of a problem. That's why their team offers money advice, support, information and so much more, working closely with people for as long as needed, to get them to a place of financial security.
Chief Executive Anna Brown said, "People's Postcode Lottery offers flexible funding which means we can direct it to effectively help people most in need. Supporting people to achieve financial security is not a quick process and we take time to work closely with our clients to empower them and build their confidence."
Talking Money's areas of expertise include support covering debt, benefits, income maximisation, energy, and fuel poverty. The team of advisors helps people experiencing poverty and hardship to manage their finances, negotiate affordable debt repayment plans, and access the benefits and support they are entitled to.
A recent client said, "The lady who I spoke with was amazing and explained everything thoroughly and made sure that I understood what she was telling me. She really cared about my situation. The advice she has given me has the potential to change my life for the better and for that, I am grateful."
Give. Help. Share.
GIVE children nutritious food, HELP families in crisis, and SHARE food knowledge for a healthier future.
Three simple words and actions that can change the world - Give. Help. Share. It's not difficult to understand why one charity called itself exactly that and follows its core principles to the letter.
Give. Help. Share. provides healthy food to relieve the financial pressure of food insecurity and hunger among low-income families.
Working with primary schools in deprived pockets of Greater London and Hertfordshire, the charity team is helping to tackle health issues and they have helped more than 9,500 people so far.
Young people are guided on the importance of nutrition, eating a balanced diet, and reducing the rate of obesity-related diseases. The charity also delivered 30,000 food bags and hosted 200 workshops.
Jacqueline Harris, CEO of Give. Help. Share. said, "Formed during the COVID lockdown, we provide nutritious meals while coaching families to make healthy food choices. Funding from People's Postcode Lottery helped us enhance our offering to fulfil our aim of poverty relief, while expanding our reach."
The charity takes pride in regular feedback from parents who say the service is making a huge difference to family life.
One mum said, "I've gone from just managing, to not being able to make ends meet and trying to survive off universal credit. Collecting these weekly food packages really gives us some hope for the future."
Ibijoke Children Foundation UK
Liverpool-based charity Ibijoke Children Foundation UK supports people throughout the city facing severe hardship.
A rapidly increasing range of issues including unemployment, dependency on benefits and the challenges faced by asylum-seeking communities is leading to an all-time high in the demand for the charity’s services.
The Foundation saw an 83% increase in demand between 2020 and 2021 and in the past few months, the cost-of-living crisis has seen a further increase of 30% in people receiving support.
Ibijoke provides 196 food donations each week to individuals and families at risk or suffering from low income and poverty. This includes an increasing number of people who are from BAME communities and asylum seekers where support is particularly limited.
Joke Aduroja, founder of the Foundation said, "Our aim is to help relieve poverty among local children and families. We offer practical donations including food parcels, clothing, and shoes to those in need. Funding by players of People's Postcode Lottery has helped us continue to meet the needs of our community."
To the delight of Joke and the team of volunteers, service users come back to tell them how their support has impacted them and their families in a positive way.
Bryncynon Community Revival Strategy
Longing and belonging are key to Welsh friendship charity.
Mother Teresa once said, "The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved," and her heartfelt words resonate strongly with Welsh charity Bryncynon Community Revival Strategy.
Through their befriending programme, the Listening Project, volunteers reach out to vulnerable people facing loneliness and isolation. One of the key drivers in bringing people together has been a shared love of music.
Talking regularly by phone and in person, the project runs a weekly Food Pantry, offering a space for anyone to come along for some company, a hot drink, and a blether.
Other aspects towards building self-esteem and wellbeing are also offered, including exercise, massages, games, and social gatherings. Based in the lower Cynon Valley, Listening Project provides accessible transport to get people to and from the Food Pantry and also hosts workshops giving practical advice on financial matters.
Nina Finnigan, Co-ordinator for the Listening Project said, "Our success is evident when you see the difference the Food Pantry is bringing to people in our community where we enable socialising and making friends. Together we are creating hiraeth, a feeling of longing and a sense of belonging."
Bryncynon Community Revival Strategy (opens in new tab) received £23,000 raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery awarded by Postcode Community Trust(opens in new tab).