By David Coffin, Head of Participation at the Trussell Trust
Our vision is to end the need for food banks in the UK and we believe that participation is a vital and growing aspect of our work at the Trussell Trust. So, what do we mean when we say ‘participation’?
By Georgia Kenington, Public Affairs Assistant at the Trussell Trust
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Ending the Need for Food Banks is undertaking a landmark inquiry to explore the most effective and dignified solutions to tackle the growing need for food banks across the UK and needs to hear from people with experience, knowledge, or informed opinions on the issues that the inquiry is looking into.
Did you know, there are over 300 different types of volunteering roles available at the Trussell Trust and across our network? Sarah, who is deaf, volunteers at Southend Foodbank, and has taken on a number of specialist volunteering roles within the food bank.
By Jonny Currie, Northern Ireland Network Lead at the Trussell Trust
The upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly elections on 5 May are a crucial opportunity to ask prospective Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to commit to measures that will end the need for emergency food in Northern Ireland.
By Penny Russell, New Partnerships Manager at the Trussell Trust
The food banks in our network gave out over 2.5 million emergency food parcels to people facing hardship last year. Nearly a million of these were given to children.
Our new partnership with Deliveroo comes at the right time; as the cost of living continues to soar, the funds raised by the partnership will help the food banks in our network continue to provide the compassionate, practical support they do so well.
How does the partnership help us work towards a future without the need for food banks?
The benefits system, Universal Credit, was introduced in 2013 with the intention to help people on the lowest income in the UK. As food and energy prices soar, it is now vital that Universal Credit is increased with the cost of living, to prevent more people from being pushed towards food banks.
However in March, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, was widely criticised for failing to utilise Universal Credit in his response to the cost of living crisis in his Spring Statement.
So, what exactly is Universal Credit? What are the problems with it? And what changes are we calling for the Chancellor to make to ensure the system gives people enough to afford the essentials?
“At the food bank – they’re absolutely brilliant, [but] they shouldn’t have to exist… government and organisations are relying on them too much, they pass the buck to volunteers.” – Tim
What is ‘government debt’?
As the nation faces a cost-of-living crisis and recovers from the devastating effects of the pandemic, new research shows people who cannot afford the essentials are being pushed deeper into poverty by a rising tide of government debt.
This debt can take many forms, including paying back Advance Payments given to people on Universal Credit to cover the five-week wait for their first benefit payment, paying back council tax debt to local authorities, repaying benefit overpayments, and more. Sometimes some of these are referred to as deductions from benefits, but here we are primarily calling them debt.
Nearly half of people referred to food banks in the Trussell Trust network are in debt to the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions – the department responsible for social security).
People who have experience of being in debt to government have been working closely with the Trussell Trust and Humankind Research, to develop ideas for what a fairer repayment system might look like.
‘We Werk Together’ – Ant & Dec, The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney & Krystal Versace join forces to support the Trussell Trust!
There’s some new Queens in town!
Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway returned tonight to ITV and ended their first show with a spectacular ‘End Of The Show Show’ featuring the three winners of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
Ant & Dec transformed into their drag alter egos Lady Antoinette and Miss Donna Lee to team up with The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney and Krystal Versace for ‘We Werk Together’, a brand new song written especially for the show.
Now the track is available as a single to stream and download. Net proceeds from audio streams and downloads will be donated to the Trussell Trust.
‘We Werk Together’ is a storming and uplifting dance pop song brimming with positivity, written by Ian Masterson, the musical director of Strictly Come Dancing.
Watch the show-stopping performance featuring Ant & Dec in drag on Saturday Night Takeaway here:
We are hugely grateful to Ant and Dec and Drag Race UK who, as well as kindly donating the proceeds of their song in support of the Trussell Trust, are helping to shine a spotlight on the issues that are driving people to food banks.
Having previously volunteered at a food bank, Kiaran from Glasgow had no idea what was in store when she signed to volunteer at her local food bank in Autumn 2019, just a few months before the pandemic struck.
The food banks in the Trussell Trust Network work hard to ensure that their services are accessible to everyone in their community. Language should never be a barrier to receiving support when it is needed. Over the summer, a group of volunteers got together to improve the number of resources available to people for whom English isn’t their native language.(more…)