The Welcome Centre food bank is chosen as one of the top 100 Changemakers by The Big Issue.
The Welcome Centre was delighted to be selected as one of the Top 100 Changemakers by The Big Issue, published in their latest national edition.
Changemakers celebrates the thinkers, creators and agitators seeking to make things better in Britain and beyond.
It looks at those individuals and organisations who are investing in the future and finding ways to overcome the challenges they face.
During summer 2019, The Big Issue (national) contacted The Welcome Centre to discuss the challenges we faced and if Universal Credit had been the primary driver of increased food poverty for our food bank.
For the last 3 years, The Welcome Centre has faced increasing numbers of clients needing support, Universal Credit driving referrals higher than ever and a significant increase in families struggling with holiday hunger when the schools break up for the holidays.
During their last financial year, The Welcome Centre gave out 14,159 crisis packs to individuals and families in crisis.
We supported 4258 people with more than 25% of those being children under 16 living in poverty.
In autumn 2019, The Big Issue returned to hear how our small Huddersfield charity had teamed up with DataKind in London to use machine learning to predict which clients would become dependent on the food bank service.
Using this information, The Welcome Centre is able to offer additional support via their Advice, Guidance and Support worker to clients on a 1-2-1 basis, supporting them with their underlying issues.
Emma Greenough, Fundraising Manager at The Welcome Centre said:
We're incredibly proud to have been listed in the top 100 Changemakers by The Big Issue. Although we are a small independent charity, we make a big difference to thousands of people’s lives each year. At The Welcome Centre we rely on our community and volunteers for their continuous support. The last 12 months has been incredibly challenging for us. Referrals to our food bank increased by 18%. We provided the equivalent of 239,611 meals to local people in Huddersfield and the South Kirklees area and we don’t envisage that reducing as we enter a new decade. Being recognised as a Changemaker is a really proud moment for us, and we hope that it helps others recognise the importance of the work we do.
We are always in need of additional financial and fundraising support at The Welcome Centre so that we can keep up with the increased demand for our food bank. If you are interested in supporting The Welcome Centre or becoming a business partner, please contact Emma Greenough on [email protected] or 01484 515086.
The Welcome Centre is one of the largest food banks in the north of England. We provide guidance and support to help people address underlying issues which prevent them getting back on their feet. The Welcome Centre is an independent, local charity which relies on volunteers and donations.
You can donate to The Welcome Centre via their text service by texting Welcomecentre10 to 70085 – this donates £10 plus your standard network charge.
To find out more about The Big Issue visit their website www.bigissue.co.uk