Christmas is a time for giving and an opportunity to think of those less fortunate than ourselves.
Charities like The Welcome Centre really feel the benefit of this festive generosity each year. But with referrals to our food bank increasing year on year, how do we help those in need cope from January to November? When the public’s focus on giving and gifts has moved on, and Christmas is long forgotten.
The Welcome Centre has been supporting people from the Huddersfield area for more than 20 years and work with families and individuals all year round. We make sure that people don’t go hungry in our community. When someone is referred from one of the 100+ agencies we work with, they will receive a food pack containing seven days’ worth of fresh, dried and tinned food. They’ll also receive additional items if needed, such as toiletries, pans, pet food, nappies and more. Our Advice, Guidance and Support service provides clients who need it, additional 1-2-1 support on budgeting, signposting to other services or applying for grants.
During December 2019, The Welcome Centre gave out 787 food packs, with more than 25% going to families with children under 16 years old. In addition to this, we provided 271 Christmas lunch packs through the funds raised from our 50p pot appeal.
However, The Welcome Centre is a lifeline for those people struggling to put food on the table all year round, not just at Christmas. In the last 12 months, referrals to our food bank have increased by 18% and the number of children we support has increased by nearly 9%.
This means if we are to continue to support people in crisis, the generosity and giving can’t stop at Christmas.
During December, we see a huge influx of donations. These donations of Christmas treats, food and money make a real difference. But come January, the food and cash donations dramatically decrease. Despite the overwhelming generosity we receive during the festive period, by March many of our stock items will be depleted.
We give out approximately 1200 tins of meat/vegetarian meals, more than 500 toilet rolls and 600 jars of paste per month so stock levels drop quickly when there are no incoming donations.
We need your support all year round, not just at Christmas.
The best way to support The Welcome Centre is with a regular monthly donation.This helps us to pay the rent, utility bills and plan for the months ahead by purchasing the stock we need. It’s easy to set up online via our website or directly through your bank. We already have a number of donors who donate from as little as £2 per month, with every bit making a difference.
Another way to help is by donating the items we are short of. If we have already have a mountain of pasta, other items would help us much more. So, if each time you donate food, you take a quick look at our shortages, then your donations will make a real difference.
Want to get your business involved?
If you're looking for a charity to support in 2020, look no further. The Welcome Centre will work with you and help you achieve your Corporate Social Responsibility goals. We can offer small groups of volunteering for your employees, and will promote your business and it's support of The Welcome Centre across all our social channels and website. See here for more information on how to support us.
It’s a simple message
The Welcome Centre isn’t just for Christmas. We support people in crisis and living in poverty all year round.