Redbridge Foodbank is fundraising to renovate a disused space & create a warehouse. This project will enable the RFB to save 1000’s of pounds in storage fees every year and greatly accelerate RFB’s ultimate ambition of eradicating its own need to exist, by empowering local people onto a path of security and resilience.
If you can please consider donating to our campaign here https://localgiving.org/appeal/warehouse/
If you are a business or organisation and would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities please contact [email protected]
Why should I contribute to this appeal?
Anyone can fall victim to poverty.
Some children are born in poverty, they begin life’s journey constrained by the restrictions and lack of opportunity that other more fortunate souls do not have to contend with, Redbridge Foodbank is here to support them. Some of these children due to various environmental, educational and/or familial factors are unable to escape the tight grip of poverty by the time they become young adults, trying to build a life, carve out an existence that gives them purpose and meaning against a backdrop of wasted potential, Redbridge Foodbank is here to support them. Some clients do not come from disadvantaged backgrounds, they were not born into poverty, they were able to take advantage of their privilege and progress through life as society would deem “normally”, they were educated, employed and some would have described themselves as “comfortable”, but life can be cruel, mistakes, mismanagement, tragedy, sickness, abuse and just plain bad luck can conspire to strip these people of their financial freedom and leave them scrambling to hold together their “normal” lives, Redbridge Foodbank is here to support them. Some clients have reached the end of their working lives, having given their time and dedication, sometimes their health and physical strength to employment of all kinds, yet find the financial pressures placed on them to great to be met by their own or any state resources, endangering their self esteem and pride, two things all humans need to survive, let alone their need to eat, Redbridge Foodbank is here to support them. Then there are those who we sometimes do not even notice, those who live among us but on the edge of our society, those who we walk past every day and, though perhaps not deliberately, we fail to acknowledge their existence because they have no home, Redbridge Foodbank is here to support them.
Anyone can fall victim to poverty, and anyone is welcome at Redbridge Foodbank.
How will this appeal help?
A centralised warehouse will revolutionise the operation off Redbridge Foodbank, enabling time and resources to be refocussed on supporting clients onto a pathway of self reliance and stability. The positive benefits will be felt by all those engaged with the work of Redbridge Foodbank.
Clients – Clients of Redbridge Foodbank would directly benefit from the increased capacity and efficiency of RFB processes as it would enable better use of time, effort, financial resources and the widening of RFB service offer to clients. RFB created a programme in partnership with Citizens Advice where RFB clients had immediate access to professional advice on a range of issues causing our clients to need the food bank. A central warehouse under the control of RFB could be utilised to expand the service operated with Citizens Advice; a private space could be created inside the meeting room of the warehouse where remote sessions could take place for clients. Additionally the removal of all the stock from the current distribution site to the warehouse would free up space and enable the restoration of the Redbridge Foodbank Cafe, which was removed to cope with the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The RFB cafe was a place where clients could come and have tea/coffee and refreshments while they waited for their food parcel to be prepared, this time allowed for volunteers to listen and get to know clients, administering pastoral care, an aspect so crucial to the work of RFB. Some clients don’t just need physical support with a food parcel, but also emotional support and the ability to speak to a sympathetic volunteer, who also has the ability to signpost clients to other relevant local services in order to solve the issue leading to the use of the food bank. When the pandemic removed the operational viability of this service the space was used to house increasing stock caused by increasing demand, that demand has only increased further in the following years, meaning the Cafe has not been able to reopen. The addition of the warehouse will free this space meaning the resumption of the Cafe is operationally viable once again.
Volunteers – RFB cannot do the work it does without its volunteers, their dedication, time and enthusiasm for the project is humbling. A central warehouse will streamline the day to day work of the volunteers, eradicating unnecessary physical effort, as well as inefficient time usage and financial expense. A central warehouse will also allow for the expansion and improvement of its development opportunities it can offer to volunteers. Some volunteers are able to use their time at Redbridge Foodbank to gain vital skills and experience that can help them to progress professionally. These transferable skills can be used by the volunteers to further their experience, enhance their CV, or just enrich their lives with continued learning. A central warehouse would expand this development offering to volunteers creating opportunities for training and experience in building management/ warehousing & logistics.
Staff – Currently the staff spend copious amounts of time coordinating the volunteer drivers to make sure that stock can be collected from various locations around Redbridge, then delivered to the main distribution hub so that sorting and packing can take place, all of this must then be taken back to storage facilities, meaning the staff must again make sure there are enough drivers to cover this, often times there are not meaning the staff have to cover that task themselves – reducing the time they have to focus on the core responsibilities of their jobs. With a fully functioning centralised warehouse all of this additional effort would become redundant and free up copious amounts of time to further the mission of RFB. Another core requirement to the efficient running of the food bank is having accurate stock details, and the ability to know if the foodbank is running low on a particular item or has a surplus that will soon be running out of date. This stock control is incredibly hard to do when stock is kept in different locations, handled by so many different people and all of it is still done by paper. If the capital works on a central warehouse were funded, the foodbank could invest in an inventory management system, increasing the accuracy and efficacy of stock control immensely. Every year we are required to conduct an annual stock take to make sure there is minimal discrepancy between the amount of stock we have taken in and the stock we have given out, this is an arduous process currently, with a central warehouse and inventory system those details would be at the touch of a button.
The ultimate outcome of this project will be the enabling of RFB to accelerate its shared ambition of eradicating its own need to exist, landing fatal blows to the scourge of poverty.