Providing food and hope for Calderdale communities

 

Our weekly hot food takeaway service provides a nutritional meal for people living in our communities who need it.  The lunch is a lifeline for people and families to receive much needed supplies and nutrition, which utilises the charity Fareshare for its ingredients therefore also reducing food waste in the process.  The project is delivered from our Outback kitchen & garden in the heart of Park Ward.

As part of our approach we are dedicated to supporting our community to become self-sustaining and to underpin this we have positioned our Hopeful Families team on hand to talk with people about their circumstances and reasons for visiting the project, discussing the further support we have available that can help with any issues they may be facing, which can be for a multitude of reasons.

Sarah* is a young woman who visits the project for a meal and was approached by one of our Hopeful Families Mentors.  She says:

‘I felt really shy about having to come to the food takeaway service but I was struggling financially & with being able to budget.  I’m going to college to gain a qualification in the hope that I can move into work eventually and when Covid hit most of my classes moved online.  I don’t have access to internet or a laptop but I was determined to not have to give up my course due to lack of funds. The College said that I could attend Covid secure sessions on their site so I decided to walk to college every week which is around 3 miles.  The hot food really helps me because at home I don’t have any heating and struggle to cook for myself, and the food is really lovely!

Michelle started talking to me and was really lovely, helping me to feel more comfortable & confident.  She said that Hopeful Families could help with some of my immediate barriers and that they can help support me along my learning journey and look for work when I’m ready.   Michelle helped me to build an action plan and she immediately got started on helping me.

I already feel better.  Through Hopeful Families I have had support for my debt & budgeting at the Noah’s Ark charity, been offered support to access the internet at home & provided a laptop so I can complete my studies, help to top up my meter for my heating & regular intervention for my confidence & mental health.

I can’t believe the positive difference it has made to me already – if I hadn’t have met with Michelle I wouldn’t have known about all this support and probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to take it up.  I would have continued to be a face in the crowd.  I feel like I can move forward now towards my goals and have hope for my future’

Lisa Connelly, Hopeful Families Coordinator says: ‘it is really important to us that while we are meeting the needs of our community we are also supporting households to address the underlying issues that create that need.  By linking people with a Hopeful Families Mentor, they are supported in a variety of ways to be able to work towards their life goals and into a self-sustaining way of life.  We are proud to work with likeminded specialist partners such as Noah’s Ark to deliver our service and provide a truly holistic approach.  And we’re also really friendly!’.

If you would like to know more about our Hopeful Families provision, please contact Lisa via email: lisa.connelly@regen.org.uk

 

*name changed to protect identity

Hopeful Families is part funded by National Lottery Community Fund & European Social Fund