A regular update from a brilliant local charity, providing financial, practical and general support
Over the last year BASIC have increased the work with food insecurity issues in Felixstowe and the surrounding villages.
We now have three pop-up shops per week at St. Edmunds Church, Langer Road, St. Philip’s Church hall, Wadgate Road and at Trimley Free Church.
Customers purchase a bag and then help themselves to the items on offer. These range from all kinds of fresh and perishable foods to toiletries and other items such as clothes, shoes and household utensils we supply from our shop stock.
The food is collected from our charity partners who include Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Waitrose, Tesco, Lidl, The Co-op and others. We also have an account with Fare Share and purchase a substantial amount of food each week.
Overall, we collect and distribute over half a metric tonne of food per week supplying at least 100 local residents in need.
We are opening a fourth Felixstowe-area pop-up shop at St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Old Felixstowe on Thursday January 10th 2019. We feel this will be possibly the final piece in the jigsaw for this area and we will then look further afield to promote the idea. A pop-up is planned for the Deaf Centre in Ipswich for early 2019 to compliment the one already at St. Francis Church, Ipswich. Another has been successfully operational in Leytonstone.
The alarming news about problems with Universal Credit has been confirmed with us as we have received a lot more referrals for assistance since it was rolled out in some local areas. In fact, at the time of writing, we have donated almost £1000 in the past three weeks alone, to local residents who are in dire need due to the gap in between usual payments ceasing and the new ones commencing. It appears that this ‘gap’ is the main problem.
In addition, we have assisted local people who have been evicted from their homes, which was almost unheard of in previous years.
We have been working with Suffolk Council and The Felixstowe Academy to tackle this problem. Girls at the school have been enthusiastic in promoting awareness, providing peer assistance and providing clear guidance within the Academy itself.
It is planned for the school to develop the idea and pass it on to other schools in Suffolk.
At the end of last year we developed our ‘Christmas with BASIC’ project further and wrote to all local care/residential homes for information about residents who might be lonely during the festive period.
We were able to provide shoe boxes of gifts to these residents, along with our usual sacks of seasonal items to up to 100 local families/individuals as identified by groups such as local Social Services, Citizen’s Advice, Housing Associations etc.
Ipswich Night Shelter etc
We were pleased to once again support the Ipswich Night shelter with essential items from our shop stock such as sleeping bags, boots and shoes. We have also provided support to many other local charities such as Stennetts Community Café.
We continue to provide free school breakfasts for the children at both Langer Academy and Causton Junior School in Felixstowe. This has been an ongoing project which started several years ago.
Over the year we have assisted an enormous amount of people in need with free items from stock in emergencies. These include free provision of wheelchairs, bedding and clothes assistance for domestic fire victims and we continue to run our food banks at each of our shops.
Finally a big thank you to all the customers who support us and, even more importantly, to the wonderful volunteers who make our mission possible.