We want to see an end to food poverty and therefore the need for Foodbanks in West Cheshire and beyond. It is widely agreed that research, advocacy and campaigning can be mechanisms for change.
Whilst our purpose is to provide food for those in need, concurrently we have to be actively pursuing an end of need.
In support of this mission, some of our volunteers have utilised their experience in research and social policy work to create a West Cheshire Food Bank Research and Advisory team. Currently the team consists of (left to right) Emma Greenwood, Holly White, Danny Shipsides, Ashleigh Comber (Welcome Network), Emma Spence and Deb Domun (not pictured).
The team supports the Foodbank in making decisions with clear, relevant and timely data to hand, developing a shared understanding of key trends at West Cheshire Food Bank, connecting and campaigning at the local and national level, sharing messages internally and externally and shaping the transition to and development of Meeting Places in response to research evidence.
To give some examples of the team’s work so far, they have produced monthly statistics reports, reports for our partners Citizens Advice, contributed to the Trussell Trust’s report on the impact of Universal Credit, produced a blog for Feeding Britain, and are undertaking an evaluation of our meeting place Meet, Cook and Eat.
Below are links to some of this work if you would like to read more:
Trussell Trust’s Universal Credit Report on Universal Credit https://www.trusselltrust.org/2018/05/22/cant-live-thin-air-wait-universal-support/
Feeding Britain Blog https://www.feedingbritain.org/blog/the-stability-of-instability
If you volunteer in a distribution centre you may have come across Story Forms. Along with red vouchers, Story Forms are a very valuable tool that facilitates the team in being able to share the powerful voices of those in food poverty. The team would like to take this opportunity to say an extra thank you to those volunteers who fill in these forms, they appreciate how busy you can be and taking the time to complete them!
The team is also here to answer any Foodbank related questions that you may have. If you have any suggestions please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will answer them in the next newsletter. We will also keep you regularly updated on the team’s progress through this newsletter. We feel this is an exciting and important initiative and we hope you feel the same way.