Please see below for a snapshot of our latest news stories:
Chief Executive David McAuley responds to latest government data on households in poverty Read more
Trussell Trust responds to the Communities, Equality, & Local Government Committee Enquiry into Poverty in Wales Read more
Chris Mould reacts to High Court ruling on Personal Independence Payments Read more
'Cutting an emergency service in half will only make life worse for people in crisis' Read more
Blog about All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in Britain Read more
Chris Mould gives evidence to Independence of Voluntary Sector Panel Read more
Food for thought - a moving poem by a foodbank client Read more
Huge twitter campaign leads to surge in donations: Read more
Larmer Tree Festival Charity Partner announced Read more
Record Breaking Number of Christmas Boxes Delivered In Bulgaria Read more
Mirror Newspaper & Unite Christmas Appeal Raises Over £100,000 Read more
||Trussell Trust named Britain's Most Admired Charity 2013! Read more
||Biggest ever increase in numbers turning to foodbanks. Read more
||Victory in the dragon's den. Read more
||Trussell Trust named Charity Times Charity of Year Winner! Read more
Cutting an emergency service in half will only make life worse for people in crisis
Trussell Trust Chairman Chris Mould has warned that ‘cutting an emergency service in half will only make life worse for people in crisis’ after think tank Demos made an extraordinary call to replace half of the UK’s foodbanks with community supermarkets by 2020.
The report, which seeks to find solutions to UK food poverty, displays a misunderstanding of how foodbanks operate and also seriously misrepresents Trussell Trust figures and what they show.
The Trussell Trust agrees that we need to find ways to stop so many people facing food poverty, and welcomes Demos’ interest in this area, but replacing foodbanks with community supermarkets is not the solution – it is illogical and a surprising suggestion from a leading think tank.
The Trussell Trust supports Demos’ call for greater research into food poverty, solutions to chronic food insecurity and innovative thinking around reducing food waste. We’re disappointed that in writing their report Demos did not speak to us to find out how our foodbanks operate, what our figures show or what we perceive the key drivers of foodbank use to be. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss Demos’ report with them.
Read full Trussell Trust response to the 'British Aisles' report
Blog about All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in Britain
The APPG on food poverty and hunger’s seminal report goes beyond anything that’s been done before on the problem of hunger in Britain. This powerful cross-party document validates what the voluntary sector has been saying for a long time about the distressing reality of hunger in the UK, and it turns the spotlight on the specific problems that need addressing.
This important report could be a landmark document, but this depends on how we all respond. The report contains a host of well thought through recommendations. If acted on by all the key players, they would make a massive dent in the problem of hunger that haunts our society and blights the lives of many, many of our poorest citizens.
This document could turn the tide on a challenging problem which the Trussell Trust has been drawing attention to for over seven years, since first embarking on our Hidden Hunger awareness campaign.
But it does all depend.
First, a wide group of stakeholders have to decide “do we accept the narrative?” And the narrative is a challenging one. The Inquiry confirms that Hunger in Britain really is a problem: people calling for action on hunger have not been scaremongering.
The Inquiry makes it clear that they think it is no good picking and choosing what to tackle. The Trussell Trust would agree: that’s precisely how to hollow out the potential and impact of the Inquiry and leave most of the causes of the problem untouched.
Next, the greatest difference will be made when the people responsible enthusiastically adopt the seventy recommendations that follow the first seven about Feeding Britain. Without wholehearted action, the goals set for the Feeding Britain network will be rendered impossible to achieve.
The overall volume of people needing help has to be reduced. That requires the broad-based action the Inquiry calls for. The report sums this point up perfectly: “We believe the establishment of Feeding Britain, alongside a higher National Minimum Wage and a fairer and more reliable benefits system, can help to rebuild our national minimum to ensure we live in a ‘Zero Hunger Britain’.”
We need to see all three issues addressed simultaneously and we fear an overemphasis on the new network ‘Feeding Britain’ could lead to other stakeholders missing the point that their contribution is just as essential to solving the problem of hunger in the UK.
We welcome the fact that this report has an APPG behind it which will be able to regularly review progress in the implementation of the recommendations over the years and the governments to come, creating an added element of accountability.
In our experience, the sustained and positive response of local communities to the foodbank movement’s call to action has been remarkable and is immensely heartening. Quoting the Inquiry again: ‘It is at this local level that we have experienced the most crucial aspect of a vibrant voluntary movement; the free giving of care and affection to fellow citizens who finds themselves in the most difficult and demanding circumstances. If there were a medal for exercising human compassion we would seek that it be awarded collectively to the volunteers of the food bank movement.’
The Inquiry also notes that churches, many of whom run foodbanks, have played a central role in the practical, local action right across the country: ‘In a country where the church is seen as being in long-term decline, it is the churches through their membership who have brought forward this most extraordinary voluntary welfare development.’
How do we at the Trussell Trust feel?
The Trussell Trust called for an inquiry in 2013. We are delighted that the All Party Group for Poverty and Hunger, with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, picked up the baton when others would not. ‘Feeding Britain’ is a landmark document and stands out from everything that has gone before in its insistence that the causes of hunger in the UK are considered from every relevant angle and that the inter-connectedness of the issues, the principal actors and the range of necessary remedies are now fully acknowledged.
We commend the proposal that a new national network called ‘Feeding Britain’ should be created. It will be necessary. We fully agree with the APPG’s conclusion that the network should be led from the voluntary sector, but of course the capacity of the voluntary sector to deliver such a challenging vision has its limits.
We believe there is a need for the Inquiry to emphasise the importance of the public sector co-operating in the regional ‘Feeding Britain’ networks. The public sector has to co-operate with equal commitment, or the aspiration in Feeding Britain will not work. Public services are integral to resolving the underlying issues that foodbank clients face. The public sector cannot stand on the sidelines to see how the rest of us do and critique us when we find it difficult to achieve the goals.
We are glad to see the resourcing implications of Feeding Britain acknowledged and think tapping in to EU Structural Funds has practical merit.
We wholeheartedly support, and are already implementing, the call for a ‘foodbank plus’ model; over 90 percent of Trussell Trust foodbanks currently provide additional services alongside food. The Trussell Trust has a ‘More than Food’ approach to foodbanks, and we are currently piloting having financial advisers in our foodbanks across the UK, with the very generous support of Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert. We expect this model to be fully launched in the UK in the second half of 2015.
The Trussell Trust is keen to engage fully with ‘Feeding Britain’. With over 400 Trussell Trust foodbanks operating 1,200 foodbank centres distributed across the UK, we have both the presence and the experience to make a significant contribution and that’s what we stand ready to do.
Chairman, The Trussell Trust
Download the Trussell Trust press release on 'Feeding Britain' Report
Download the 'Feeding Britain' Report by APPG
Trussell Trust Chairman gives hard-hitting evidence to 'Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector'
On Tuesday 10th June, Trussell Trust Chairman Chris Mould gave evidence to the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector, together with a number of other invited organisations.
His hard-hitting comments have since been covered in a number of media publications and have been widely shared on Twitter.
The Panel is chaired by Sir Roger Singleton. Other members present included Sir Bert Massie, former Chairman of the Disability Rights Commission and Andrew Hind, former Chief Executive of the Charity Commission.
The Panel’s website reads: “The impact of independence can be huge. However, it may come under threat only gradually, almost imperceptibly, with its loss only being noticed once it’s too late. That’s why the Panel has been set up to ensure that independence is seen as a top priority by the voluntary sector and those with whom it works, to monitor changes and make recommendations affecting all those involved.”
Chris Mould was invited to speak by the Panel after they observed The Trussell Trust’s experiences over the last year. Chris had a 30 minute slot and this article in Civil Society provides an accurate reflection of the discussion.
Food for thought - a poem by a foodbank client
I know what it's like to use the same teabag twice
To cut the mould from the bread, to rescue a slice
I didn’t ever think I would be in such a mess
While working full-time for a living, while suffering from illness and stress
I choose to work to pay my own way
But have no spare money at the end of the day
The cupboards and fridge are empty what else can I do?
Throwing my three elderly pets on the street?- It just wouldn’t do.
I don't have a partner for support, the children have grown and left home
No luxuries do I have that I can call my own
I do not have a plasma screen TV
No tumble drier here for me
No plush leather sofa or latest mobile phone, no holiday do I take or house do I own
So swallow my pride I know I must do
So I visited the foodbank who welcomed me within
As I wiped the tears from my face rolling down my chin,
Foodbank volunteers greeted me with a smile, sat me down with a cup of tea
I began to chat and told of my dismay
At finding myself at the foodbank today
Not a penny in my purse that I could offer to pay
“What more could I say?”
“It’s alright”, the lady said as I was handed a tissue
Don’t look at being here as such an issue
So privileged and grateful I felt as I was provided with food- as if heaven sent
To have food on the table this cold winter’s day
Is very much appreciated I’m humbled to say
Foodbank, I thank you for helping me today
Trussell Trust overwhelmed by public kindness after donations soar following Mail on Sunday criticism
Today we'd like to say a huge public ‘thank you’ to everyone who has donated following the Mail on Sunday’s Easter Day article criticising our work.
We were overwhelmed when our Easter fundraising appeal ‘Help Crack UK Hunger’ received an unexpected boost following the article. Donations started to pour in after undercover reporters targeted our volunteer-run foodbanks, with one Mail on Sunday reporter duping a Citizens Advice Bureau volunteer into giving him a voucher for a foodbank.
Thousands of people took to social media to express their support for The Trussell Trust and its foodbanks. Well-known names like the author Mark Haddon, musician Billy Bragg, financial journalist Paul Lewis and comedian Jon Ronson donated to the Trussell Trust Easter appeal to show their support and encouraged others to do the same. Almost 5,000 people have donated to the Help Crack UK Hunger Justgiving page since the article, and donations to the appeal page rose from £2,000 before Sunday to over £60,000 to date.
Today The Trussell Trust says that since Sunday, donations to Help Crack UK Hunger, combined with donations to Trussell Trust’s general funds, have reached an incredible £97,673.57p. A large proportion of this amount can be attributed to reactions to the Mail on Sunday article and additional coverage.
Trussell Trust Chief Executive David McAuley says:
‘We have been moved, humbled and overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of the British public following the Mail on Sunday’s article. It's been amazing to see thousands of people react in such a positive way, wanting to help people in crisis. I would like to thank everyone who got behind this campaign, not just for their donations, but also for the positive words of encouragement. It means a lot, and will make a big difference to lots of people who are struggling in the UK."
The Trussell Trust team has been blown away by the generosity and support of so many people. All the funds raised will help The Trussell Trust to do more to help stop people going hungry in the UK.
Larmer Tree Festival
We’re excited to tell you that Larmer Tree Festival has announced The Trussell Trust as their Official Charity Partner for 2014!
Larmer Tree is a popular music festival held in Wiltshire, with an brilliant line-up for July 2014 including Frank Turner and (the one and only!) Tom Jones. The event has been voted ‘Best Family Festival’ by festival-goers… and ‘Best Toilets’ too, if you’re interested!
Our team is already working away on plans for family-friendly fun. Being Larmer Tree's Charity Partner will be a great way to keep raising awareness of UK food poverty, share with people about what we do and fundraise – with lots of brilliant activities, and hopefully sunshine, along the way. We’ll let you know more about what The Trussell Trust will be up to closer to the festival!
To officially announce the Charity Partnership with Larmer Tree, some of the Trussell Trust team went along to the Launch Party in Bournemouth last week. We had a brilliant time getting into the festival spirit with the Larmer Tree team and telling people about the work of the Trust.
Katy, from Larmer Tree, said “We're really pleased to be supporting the Trussell Trust this year, and can't wait to tell you more about all the fun stuff they've got planned for the festival! The Trussell Trust share our community spirit which is why we’re really looking forward to this new relationship.”
Let us know on social media if we’re going to see you at Larmer Tree 2014! We’ve put some pictures of the Launch Party on our Facebook page too.
You can find out more about the partnership and Larmer Tree on their website: http://larmertreefestival.co.uk/about/our-partners/
Record Breaking Number of Christmas Boxes Delivered In Bulgaria
The Trussell Trust shoe box appeal is now in its 13th year and helps some of the poorest families and communities in Bulgaria, from orphanages and women’s refuges to the housebound elderly and rural schools. The boxes bring light, laughter and essential supplies to those who need help the most living in exceptionally tough conditions.
Claire Leeper the Trussell Trust’s Finance Manager helped give out the boxes in Bulgaria and says:
‘It was so touching and humbling to meet people who were so incredibly grateful for these small gifts. One elderly man who’d had a stroke could barely stand up. He said he felt useless now that he’s old and he cried when he received his box, repeatedly saying, ‘thank you so much for not forgetting us.’ Another bed-ridden elderly lady held my hand and sang me a song as a thank you.'
'It is shocking how many children live in orphanages in Bulgaria, and it is amazing to be able to bring a little hope and love to children who have been abandoned. It's also so important that we build relationships with orphanages and communities so that our in-country team can help people break out of poverty longer term. ’
This year thanks to the help of local communities an astonishing 7,231 boxes were filled (up 10% on last year). The donations came mainly from Wiltshire but also from Dorset and Hampshire.
The shoeboxes are filled with age and gender specific gifts suitable for babies, children of all ages right through to grown men and women.
As well as the generous donations of filled shoeboxes, a special thanks must also go to the staff and volunteers at The Trussell Trust in Salisbury who helped with the enormous task of co-ordinating, checking and sorting the boxes to get them ready for their journey to Bulgaria. The distribution of the shoe boxes took 2 weeks and if you would like to read more about their journey please see our blog http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog/trusselltrust/12/tpod.html
Mirror Newspaper & Unite Christmas Appeal Raises Over £100,000
December 2013 saw The Mirror launch its ‘Give Our Kids A Christmas Appeal’ with Unite the Union which raised money for foodbanks specifically to help provide Christmas food for those struggling over the festive season. With your help foodbanks will have given emergency food to up to 60,000 over the Christmas period and this appeal, together with The People's Toys Appeal, has transformed Christmas for thousands of families. The response to these appeals was overwhelming and we'd like to say a big thank you to readers of The Mirror and The People, as well as Unite members, for their incredible kindness.
I’m sure you’ll be as moved as we were by some of the comments that came with the donations:
“I am sorry I could not donate more” said someone who gave us £3. “I am barely making it as a single parent with a child of special needs as it is. The point is: I am making it, and wish to do what I can so others may make it too”.
And here’s what support from Trussell Trust this Christmas meant: "Without the foodbank I'd have been worrying right up to Christmas about how to provide for my family, and then feeling guilty about not having managed to afterwards. Now, we can have a proper Christmas. It's so important to know that people care.”
What we do with your help and support means a great deal to many people……..thank you.
Urgent winter shop stock appeal!
We are urgently asking people to donate winter clothing to our Salisbury, Dorset, and Farnborough charity shops. As the cold weather sets in, our shops have seen an unprecedented demand for winter and woman’s clothing. As well as offering affordable goods to local communities, Salisbury’s Trussell Trust charity shops are vital to raise money for its local foodbanks. We are urging local people to help local people during the winter season.
Trussell Trust named Britain's Most Admired Charity 2013!
The Trussell Trust has been named Britain’s ‘Most Admired Charity’ at an award ceremony run by Third Sector. CEO’s of UK charities and not-for-profit organisations were asked to select a charity which had won their admiration through its achievements. These achievements could include accomplishing its objectives, providing outstanding service to beneficiaries or carving out a distinctive position and voice for itself.
Trussell Trust Executive Chairman Chris Mould said: ‘To be voted ‘Britain’s Most Admired Charity’ by our charity peers is an incredible honour. We are absolutely delighted. The award is testament to the efforts of hundreds of churches and communities across the UK who have joined us to take action against the real and growing problem of UK hunger by starting or donating to foodbanks. We’d like to thank all the charity executives who voted for us and say a big thank you and well done to our highly dedicated staff and volunteers and to all our amazing supporters who make what we do possible.’
Click here for the press release
26,000 trolley loads of food donated at Tesco!
We were blown away by the generosity of the general public who helped donate an amazing 3.5 million meals at our recent national Tesco collection on the 5th and 6th of July. This total, which includes Tesco’s 30% top up, is equivalent to an incredible 26,000 trolleys worth of food! Donations will be split between Trussell Trust foodbanks and food redistribution charity Fareshare.
Chris Mould, Chairman of the Trussell Trust said: "In the last three months alone Trussell Trust foodbanks have given three days’ emergency food to over 150,000 people in crisis and we know that the summer holidays can tip many low-income families over the edge. The extraordinary generosity of tens of thousands of members of the public across the UK at Tesco last weekend will help foodbanks to stop thousands of families from facing hunger this summer. We’re immensely grateful to Tesco for their invaluable support, the 30 per cent top up is a wonderful gift to our foodbanks which will make the public’s donations go much further.”
Biggest ever increase in people turning to foodbanks for help
Trussell Trust foodbanks have seen the biggest rise in numbers given emergency food since we opened our first foodbank in 2000. Almost 350,000 people have received at least three days emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks during the last 12 months, nearly 100,000 more than anticipated and close to triple the number helped in 2011-12. Read more
Victory in the Dragon's Den
How can soap bring hope to Bulgaria's orphanage leavers? Tsetsi's explanation to a panel of Dragon's Den style judges this week left them so impressed that he walked away with a cheque for 10,000 Bulgarian Leva - almost £5,000 - to invest in 'HOPe Soaps' .
After being abandoned to an orphanage before he can remember, Tsetsi joined The House of Opportunity when he left state care aged 18 in 2008. What would he have done if he hadn't joined this two year residential training programme for state care leavers run by Trussell Trust partners FSCI? He says crime or prostitution and begging for food: that's what his less fortunate friends have turned to.
Tsetsi's always said that 'when I'm on my feet I want to help others like the House of Opportunity helped me'. So, outside of his studies and his job, Tsetsi now manages 'HOPe Soap', FSCI's new project that helps orphanage leavers to break out of poverty by producing handmade soaps to sell. Tsetsi has broken the mould by going to university, managing an enterprise and now he's wowed a panel of judges too. He says he knows he's now a role model to the young people he's working with and he's determined to prove to them that they too can have a future. HOPe Soaps is a great success in Bulgaria and FSCI are exploring new enterprise ideas to help more Bulgarian state care leavers like Tsetsi to turn their lives around.
Record breaking year for Christmas Shoeboxes!
Thank you for donating an incredible 6,657 Christmas Shoeboxes for Bulgaria's poorest men, women and children, almost 1,000 more than last year! The demand for Christmas Boxes from Bulgaria has grown hugely in the past year so this new record-breaking number of boxes comes at a time when the need is greater than ever. Huge thank you to all involved!
Check out The Trussell Trust team's Bulgaria Blog to see how your Christmas Boxes are transforming lives.
Find out more about Christmas Boxes
Trussell Trust named Charity Times Charity of Year Winner!
The Trussell Trust is delighted to have won a prestigious Charity Times 'Charity of the Year' award and we would like to say a huge thank you to all our supporters - it's you who make what we do possible.
The judges were impressed by the way that the foodbank network 'showed fantastic growth and huge success in a wide range of disparate communities'. The award is testament to the incredible efforts of foodbanks across the UK to address the problem of food poverty.
Lady's poem describes foodbank experience
A lady who turned to the foodbank after escaping from domestic violence and struggling to find subsequent employment was so moved by her experience of using the foodbank that she wrote a poem about it. Having worked all her life she was deeply embarrassed to have to ask the foodbank for help, but she says coming to the foodbank gave her hope and helped her to turn her life around. Click here to read her poem
Local MP kickstarts clothing donations appeal
The Trussell Trust has joined a nationwide 'Choose Charity Shops' campaign to encourage more people to give good quality donations to charity shops. MP John Glen kickstarted our local appeal for clothes, bags and shoes last Friday and we're urging as many people as possible to follow in his footsteps. Thanks to a very successful first couple of weeks at our new Salisbury shop we desperately need more good quality items, so why not have a clear out and bring a few things to The Trussell Trust?
100% increase in numbers fed by foodbanks
Trussell Trust figures released this week show that foodbanks fed 128,697 people nationwide in the last financial year, compared to 61,468 in 2010-11: an increase of 109%. Many of those helped were families struggling as a result of rising food and fuel prices combined with static incomes, high unemployment and changes to benefits. 45,898 children have been fed in the last 12 months.
Behind each of these statistics is a person in crisis who has been given a lifeline. People like Az, Nadine, Keira and baby Isabel who shared their story with ITV Daybreak
Our vision is a nation where no-one has to go hungry. Your support
makes this possible.Thank you!
New Salisbury shop opens to help meet increased need
Our brand new charity shop in Salisbury city centre has just opened its doors to a very excited public. The shop, which sells good quality clothes, bags, shoes and crockery, aims to generate funds to help The Trussell Trust reach more people in crisis. After much hard work from our Salisbury team, the new shop on Salisbury High Street is looking amazing (if we do say so ourselves), why not go and check it out? Find us at 50 High Street Salisbury, opposite the India Shop.
Also, we need more good quality clothing donations to keep the shop stocked and more volunteers too, could you help? Please bring any donations to 50 High Street Salisbury or Restore Bemerton, St. Michael's Community Centre, St. Michael's Rd, Salisbury SP2 9LE. Thank you!
David Cameron recognises foodbanks
Trussell Trust Executive Chairman Chris Mould was invited to David Cameron's Easter Celebration at 10 Downing Street recently in recognition of the important work that foodbanks are doing across the UK.
Chris says: 'The Prime Minister's acknowledgement of foodbanks is testament to the incredible work of all those across the UK who have stepped up and launched foodbanks in their towns to stop people going hungry. It's a big well done to everyone involved.'
1 in 5 mums regularly go hungry in the UK
Of 2000 mothers surveyed by Netmums recently, 1 in 5 regularly go without meals to feed their children, 16% are being treated for stress-related illnesses and one third are borrowing money from friends and family to stay afloat. Most mothers stated that their situation is worse than a year ago with less money coming in.
Foodbanks meet mums in desperate situations every week. This week foodbank mum Donna was almost in tears as she told me that she couldn't afford birthday presents to give to her twins who will be 13 on Sunday. She said that her sons had asked to have a friend come to stay to celebrate their birthday but she hasn't said yes because she's not sure they can afford the extra food. Donna used to work in a school for children with Aspergers and Autism but is currently off work due to depression - which has been exacerbated by the family's financial worries. Her partner was recently made redundant and they are currently living on £38 per week due to mistakes with their benefits. This is the reality behind the statistics. Donna says she will be 'eternally grateful' for their foodbox. Without it she says she would have gone without food and had to try to scrape together enough money to give the children something, even just bread and butter. The family are keen to get back into work, that's the hope that keeps them going.
First foodbank in Northern Ireland opens
On Monday 19th December Newtownards Foodbank, our first foodbank in Northern Ireland, opened its doors to the public just in time for Christmas. The Newtownards foodbank team were so determined to open before Christmas that they took just two months weeks to get the project off the ground!
Thanks to the team's epic efforts local people in Newtownards facing hunger over the festive period were able to receive emergency food. The Trussell Trust is delighted to have launched our first foodbank in Northern Ireland and we're hoping to see lots more follow in the region.
Alex's epic 315KM non-stop run for foodbanks
On Saturday 15th October extreme endurance runner Alexandra Panayotou
, 41, completed her most gruelling challenge to date: 315KM (195.7 miles) without resting or sleeping. After 50 hours running Alex was greeted by a crowd of 26,000 as she finished by lapping the pitch during half-time at Norwich City FC's premier league match against Swansea City. We want to say a huge thank you to Alex for raising funds and awareness for foodbanks, and what's more, this is just a warm up!
Alex's 315KM non-stop run is in preparation for her big event for foodbanks next year. In May 2012 Alex will complete 2012KM in just one month for foodbanks - the equivalent of one and a half marathons every day. The Greek athlete who is based in Barcelona was moved to do something big for foodbanks after her school-friend Daphine Aikens set up Hammersmith & Fulham Foodbank in London. Alex said 'I couldn't believe that people are going hungry in the UK, it's shocking. I knew that I too could do something to help. I couldn't be doing this for a better cause.'
Please sponsor Alex's epic feat by using JustTextGiving's free service: text FBUK11 and £2 to 70070 or click here to give
House of Opportunity graduate to run New Forest Marathon for abandoned children of Bulgaria
Budding athlete Dani didn't have the best start in life: he was abandoned to an orphanage aged four and abused as a child. Aged 18, like all those in state care in Bulgaria, Dani had to leave the orphanage. His life took a turn for the better when he joined our House of Opportunity programme and he is determined to give more orphanage leavers the chance he had, which is why he is running the New Forest Marathon on 25th September.
After graduating from our two year residential training programme in June Dani told us: 'The House of Opportunity helped me to develop. It taught me how to look for a job and what it means to have a job. I believe in myself now, I know what I can achieve and it helped me to become a better person altogether. That's why I want to do this marathon, I want to help more people like me.'
Many Bulgarian orphanage leavers are forced into crime or prostitution to survive, some become victims of human trafficking. Dani is passionate about giving vulnerable young people the chance to build successful independent lives through Houses of Opportunity. Dani hopes to raise £6K, enough to refurbish a building for a new House of Opportunity.
7 triathlons in 7 days in aid of Trussell Trust
Runner-up triathlon World Champion Richard Iles and a team of three friends ranging from novices to Great Britain competitors completed an epic feat of endurance from 8th-14th August by finishing seven of the UK’s toughest full triathlons in seven consecutive days. To raise funds for the Trust the team pushed themselves beyond the limits to cover a massive 778.15km each in total, finishing the challenge with an Iron Man distance triathlon.
Before the event, Richard Iles, 50, said: ‘I don’t actually know if I can do it - it’s a genuine challenge, but it’s exciting.’
Co-athlete Tim Harris, 28, Manager of Downton Leisure Centre had only done three triathlons before attempting 7 in 7, he said: ‘7-in-7 will incredibly physically demanding but I’m determined to make it. The Trussell Trust is a great charity and its foodbank project is seeing a massive increase in need nationwide, so we wanted to do something to help people going hungry on our own doorstep.’
The whole team made it and at the end of the Forestman race on the last day Tim said: 'The sense of achievement and pride that flowed through as I crossed the line ... was incredible and a feeling that I won't forget.'
Kev James, who has represented Great Britain and raced 13 Iron Mans also joined the team as did Steve Bailey, an amateur triathlete who battled injury to finish the challenge. An added twist to the tale was that Tim's running partner Nicky became the accidental Iron Woman when she ended up completing her first Iron Man triathlon after initially planning on doing part of it to encourage Tim - well done Nicky!
All at The Trussell Trust are in awe of this incredible achievement and would like to say a huge thank you!
The 7-in-7 team hope to raise £7,000, please help them to reach their target by sponsoring them at www.justgiving.com/racenewforest7in7
New House of Opportunity opens in Ruse, Bulgaria
Ferdane and Vasko, both 19, have just become the first residents of our new House of Opportunity for state care leavers in Ruse, Bulgaria. They were welcomed into our third House of Opportunity by houseparents Mariana and Maria. They are settling in well and have already secured jobs with local employers. Just one year ago, this story could have been very different...
In Bulgaria, a country with an estimated 8,000 children living in orphanages, there is no state responsibility for young people once they turn 18. On reaching adulthood, those abandoned to orphanages are asked to leave. Many have no home, no family, no money. Their options? Life on the streets or in a poverty stricken community, earning enough to survive through prostitution, odd jobs or crime. Or, worse still, becoming the victims of human traffickers.
Our Houses of Opportunity equip young orphanage leavers for independent life by providing life-skills training and facilitating access to employment. The two year programme also provides accommodation in a small, family-style home with houseparents dedicated to caring for and encouraging each resident. We've seen young lives transformed by Houses of Opportunity and our Bulgaria team is working hard to start more houses across Bulgaria, giving Bulgaria's abandoned children a brighter future.
100th UK foodbank and first international foodbank launched!
Foodbanks are opening at an unprecedented rate to meet the high demand for emergency food aid: in 2011 The Trussell Trust has launched a new foodbank every week, launching its 100th UK foodbank this week. We've also launched our first international foodbank in Sofia, Bulgaria.
61,500 people nationwide have received emergency food handouts from The Trussell Trust's UK foodbanks in the last 12 months, 50% more than last year. Most foodbank recipients are not homeless; they are low-income working families who hit crisis, people who have been made redundant or people experiencing benefits delays. We are excited that more and more churches and communities across the UK are seeing the need on their doorsteps and working with us to launch more foodbanks.
Could your local church launch a foodbank?
Actor Bill Nighy visits foodbank!
You're more likely to know him for his roles in Love Actually and Pirates of the Caribbean rather than combatting poverty, but actor Bill Nighy is a keen campaigner on social justice. As one of the voices of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, Bill wanted to find out more about UK poverty and Oxfam suggested that he visit a Trussell Trust foodbank!
On Wednesday we took Bill to Hammersmith and Fulham foodbank where he met foodbank clients, heard their stories and even packed a foodbox himself. At the end of his visit we asked Bill what he thought, he told us: 'It's very moving to come here in modern times to see a room incredibly well stocked with donated food for people who, through no fault of their own, have dropped through the cracks. The fact that the people here volunteer to help is both touching and exemplary. I salute all those involved.'
Watch Guardian online's film of Bill's visit
New Boscombe community charity shop opens!
We are delighted to have opened our latest community charity shop in Boscombe, Bournemouth on Monday 4th April. Why not pop in for a browse and say hello to Mary, Tabitha and the team? Or better still, could you join the team?! We are looking for people of all ages and abilities to volunteer in the Boscombe shop. Could you join our team? you'll have fun, meet new people, learn new skills and make a valuable contribution to your community? Please contact Lizzie Abnett for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01722 427 111.
Plus, do you have unwanted quality items? We need more stock to keep the shop filled with great products. We'd love any good quality clothes, furniture, bric a brac, books and household items that you no longer need. You can take donations to any one of our shops in Verwood, Ferndown, Winton or Salisbury; please ask a member of staff about Gift Aiding your donation - a great way to raise more money from your donations without any extra cost to you.
Find out more about our Community Charity Shops
Bulgarian authories inspired by House of Opportunity!
After being impressed by The Trussell Trust's House of Opportunity in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, the local municipality asked us to take over the running of its small group home for abandoned children aged 15-18. Our in-country partners FSCI are now being funded by the local authority to run a house that helps five young people per year to make the transition from orphanage life to independence.
Trussell Trust Director Chris Mould says: 'I am delighted that a progressive local authority has so rapidly recognised the effectiveness of the House of Opportunity model and has asked us to adapt it to help them with their responsibility for under 18's.'
To help The Trussell Trust continue to launch more Houses of Opportunity for those over 18 who are not entitled to real help from the state please click here, thank you!
Okehampton Foodbank sees tenfold increase in clients
Following the closure of three local companies, Okehampton foodbank has seen numbers needing emergency food soar from 20 to 200 per week. Unemployment in the Devon town has risen from 2% to nearly 12% leaving many former employees with no choice but to rely on food parcels from Okehampton foodbank until redundancy packages and benefit payments come through.
The plight of the people in Okehampton and surge in numbers turning to the foodbank has been widely reported by the national media. Whilst local people have rallied to provide extra food to meet the demand, the foodbank is still under pressure. Okehampton foodbank's Andrew Morgan told the Guardian, "We are still appealing for food, it is desperately needed: some staff made redundant hadn't been paid for weeks. There really are people with no money and they really can't afford to put food on the table."
Adrian and Kay Vernon were both made redundant from Polestar foods, Okehampton, and suddenly left with no money. With a four-year-old daughter to feed, Adrian told the BBC that his foodbox was 'a lifesaver'.
Unemployment nationwide is at a 17-year high and foodbanks across the country are experiencing huge demand. This year the UK foodbank network estimates it has fed 60,000 people; an increase of nearly 20,000 people from the previous year.
90th UK foodbank launched!
Foodbanks are launching at record pace with 12 already launched in 2011 alone. We now have 91 foodbanks providing emergency food to people in crisis nationwide. More and more communities across the UK are working with us to start foodbanks but the need is still great. 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK and every day foodbanks meet people who are struggling to put food on the table. The need for foodbanks in the North East of Could you help launch more foodbanks?
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Pears Foundation gives £10,000 Christmas present to foodbank
The Trussell Trust's foodbank network received an amazing £10,000 Christmas bonus from Pears Foundation recently.
In November, Executive Pears Foundation Executive Chair, Trevor Pears, visited Salisbury foodbank to see first-hand how a foodbank works. Last week the foodbank network received a £10,000 Christmas bonus 'in recognition of the valuable work of foodbank and the increased demand for your services in the current financial climate.'
Trussell Trust Director, Chris Mould says: 'The demand for foodbanks is growing right across the UK, this incredibly generous gift could not have come at a better time. We are so grateful to Pears Foundation for their support, this is a very special Christmas surprise indeed!'
Executive Chair Trevor Pears finds out what goes in a foodbox
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Record-breaking year for Christmas Shoeboxes
This year we've received 5,295 Christmas Shoeboxes, smashing last year's record of 3,882. These Christmas Shoeboxes full of gifts will go to men, women and children living in poverty in Bulgaria. This year we are planning to visit more orphanages and Roma communities, so the extra boxes have arrived just in time. Your Christmas Shoeboxes filled with gifts ranging from toothbrushes to teddies left the UK today (Monday 6th December) and will be met by a Trussell Trust team in Bulgaria on December 9th. Bulgaria Operations Manager Rich Parsons says: 'We are blown away by the generosity of those who gave Christmas Boxes this year. All at the Trust would like to say a huge thank you - your boxes really will make a huge difference this Christmas.' To follow the team's progress check out their blog.
A Roma family are delighted with their Christmas Shoeboxes
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Head of Oxfam Global visits foodbank
On 17 November 2010 Dame Barbara Stocking, Chief Executive of Oxfam Global, visited Ebbw Vale foodbank in Wales to discuss the impact that the project is having on helping people to break out of poverty during the difficult economic climate.
Oxfam's UK Poverty Programme helps fund Ebbw Vale foodbank. Dame Stocking met staff and volunteers at the foodbank, finding out first-hand how a foodbank works. She said:
'It was great to have the chance to visit one of Oxfam's projects in Wales and to see how The Trussell Trust are helping people in the Ebbw Vale area through the foodbank. It was clear to me that as well as the immediate and practical support The Trussell Trust offers people with food parcels, the additional aspects of the projects such as the radio station and skills development are also vital to help people build confidence and the means to break out of poverty.'
Thanks to Oxfam's funding, Adrian Curtis, our Foodbank Regional Development Officer for Wales is able to spend more time setting up foodbanks right across Wales.
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Trust's new shop in Winton sees record sales
The Trussell Trust's Restore Winton team have just opened their new look shop to a queue of customers. After much hard work, the team have been blown away by the record sales generated by the refit and are excited that each penny raised will help The Trussell Trust to change more lives. The Trust would like to say a big thank you to the generous supporter who helped finance the refit and to the Restore Winton team for all their extra effort. Why not pop in and have a browse?
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House of Opportunity Gabrovo opens!
On Saturday 6th November, Velizara and Nasko, both 18, became the first residents of our new House of Opportunity in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. Having grown up in orphanages the future for Velizara and Nasko looked bleak. Many orphanage leavers are forced to turn to crime, prostitution and trafficking in order to survive. Now, thanks to your support, Velizara and Nasko have the chance to build better futures.
The opening was a red letter day for The Trussell Trust, marking the first step in our vision to see Houses of Opportunity set up right across Bulgaria. With 150 children abandoned in Bulgaria every month, each year hundreds leave state care at 18 with nothing. If we open 150 Houses of Opportunity in Bulgaria, every young person leaving an orphanage could have the opportunity to join our two year programme providing them with life-skills training, employment experience and a loving home environment.
Each new house will be run in partnership with local Bulgarian churches and communities. Pastor Rumen, Centre Manager of The House of Opportunity, Gabrovo, told us 'I feel privileged to be part of this small beginning that will transform the lives of so many.'
House mother Kiki with new resident Velizara
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