It’s #ChallengePoverty Week Day 1, and we are hearing and realing alot about growing inflation and weighty bills are pulling people under. This week we will be publishing a series of blogs by contributors from across Aberdeenshire with the aim to highlight the fantastic range of services available to people in need during these hard times.
Today we hear from NCT aberdeen City & Shire, and Aberdeenshire Foodbanks about their range of services and how they can be accessed:
The Aberdeen City and Shire branch of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) have a long history of holding their popular Nearly New Sales. These have always been a great to place to pick up the essentials for babies, toddlers and beyond, however since returning after the pandemic the group have noticed a huge increase in demand.
NCT sell items on behalf of local parents, sellers decide on the price they want to charge for the goods and they receive 75% of the price back with 25% staying with NCT to cover the cost of the sale. Not only does this mean that buyers get a bargain, it also puts money back into parent’s pockets, allowing them to buy the next stage of toys, clothes and equipment required. As well as being good for the bank balance, it is also great for the environment, saving many items from heading into landfill each year.
Since the return on the sales in June 2022 the increase in demand has been huge, with the cost of living making it even more important for parents and parents to be to be watching the pennies. Pre-Pandemic there was usually around 200 attending the sales which were running 4 times a year. In June approx. 300 people attended and at the last sale in September there were 500 people through the door in 90mins. The sales are 100% volunteer run and we would love to see you along at the next one on Sat 12th November (great timing to look for all the Christmas gifts to tuck away) find out more information by following us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NCTaberdeensale or emailing NNS.AberdeenCityandShire@nct.org.uk
What does Aberdeenshire North Foodbank do to support and challenge poverty in Aberdeenshire?
What support do we offer?
One part of our work is to provide emergency food parcels, as a last resort, to those in food crisis.
We work with referral partners in the community who can refer individuals and families in North Aberdeenshire to one of our 5 foodbank centres in Huntly, Inverurie, Ellon, Peterhead and Fraserburgh. The reason we work a referral system is because we believe we should be a last resort service and that people should be getting holistic, wraparound support with their crisis. For those who are referred to us, they will receive at least 3 days’ worth of ambient food as well as pet food, toiletries etc. if we can provide those.
We would really encourage, where possible, for people to collect their parcel or have it collected on their behalf – they will be able to have more choice with their parcel and also choose additional items from the ‘help yourself’ shelves. For those that cannot collect/ have collected their parcel, we do offer a delivery service to rural areas.
If you aren’t already a referral partner but think you are working closely with people to be able to offer wraparound support, please contact us on email@example.com. An alternative can be signposting people to the Council Money Advice Team, local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Gordon Rural Action in Huntly, who can then consider if a referral for support with food would be helpful.
We are always in need of food donations and volunteer time – if you are interested in helping with either, please see our website at Aberdeenshire North Foodbank | Helping Local People in Crisis.
How do we challenge poverty?
As well as working to help those in crisis, we are launching our #EndHungerinAberdeenshire campaign to push for long-term changes to ensure everyone has enough money for the things we all need. The work our volunteers do is inspiring, but we believe in a more just and dignified society where food banks are no longer needed.
We will work with our service users and wider communities to identify issues keeping people in poverty, elevate their stories and build our knowledge to campaign for change. We want to put our service users at the heart of our operations, to end hunger today and forever for the people of Aberdeenshire.
There will be lots of ways to engage with our campaign work – we are hoping to build an army of supporters to help us in this fight. Our community engagement work will focus on educating the public about the reasons behind food bank usage and encouraging people to contact their elected officials about local and national policies. We will recruit communications volunteers to present to community groups, schools, churches and businesses about our mission.
We have a clear decision to make; either we accept food banks as the ‘new normal’ or we work to create a more dignified compassionate, and fair society where everyone has enough money for the essentials. For more information on our campaign work, please contact Shona Singer on firstname.lastname@example.org