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Local Welfare Provision: A Local Jigsaw?

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The Trussell Trust, which runs a network of over 420 foodbanks in the UK, contacted foodbanks and Local Authorities in England in order to map provision of Local Welfare Assistance Schemes (LWAS) and share best practice, alongside identifying areas for improving service provision and interventions to reduce people experiencing financial crisis. Information from over 77 (24%) of foodbanks in The Trussell Trust network and 74 (21%) local authorities in England is included in the report.

A Local Jigsaw: A Study into Local Welfare Assistance Schemes and Foodbanks can be downloaded here.

Key findings:

  • Need for LWAS is substantial. Tens of thousands of people accessed LWAS in the last financial year and this is likely to be a very conservative estimate, as this does not include applications. Availability and access appears to be an issue in many cases.
  • Foodbank engagement with emergency welfare service provision is significant. Local authorities and foodbanks are being innovative and flexible in their approach to supporting local people who end up in a financial crisis but more needs to be done with regards to long-term strategy and budgeting.
  • Like foodbanks, local authorities have been investing in ways to address the underlying causes of people’s financial crisis and into making LWAS more sustainable in future. With further research, monitoring and evaluation, more appropriate, effective and efficient services can be developed and delivered through sharing knowledge, guidance, advice and benchmarking.
  • The continued rise in referrals to Trussell Trust foodbanks for emergency food since 2015 would suggest that the decrease in spending on LWAS is not due to a decrease in need. The insecurity around future LWAS provision is an annual concern for foodbanks and the communities they serve. A longer-term and more secure, funding structure would bring substantial relief and would also encourage improved monitoring and evaluation across the board.

These findings highlight the innovation and adaptation that exists among local welfare scheme providers. They also demonstrate a lack of benchmarking, guidelines, and monitoring or evaluation which means that it can be difficult to assess the impact of the schemes in the local context or to compare them in the national context and leads to a lack of research and development or long-term strategy around LWAS provision.

A clearer strategy from the Department for Communities and Local Government for coordinated monitoring and evaluation of services, increased sharing of best practice and official ring-fencing of LWAS funding would all help ensure that people are helped in the most effective and efficient way possible at a local level.

David McAuley, Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust said,

“Our findings show there are many inspiring, innovative local projects run by public, private, and voluntary sector organisations designed to help local people in a crisis. However, delivery approaches vary and there is great need for the good work being done to be monitored and evaluated so that it can be shared and replicated.

“We welcome the positive approach to monitoring and evaluating policy implementation by the previous government, and hope to see it continue as this new government begins. We have scratched the surface and are calling for others to join us in exploring local welfare provision in more depth; to tackle hunger and poverty, charities, local government and central government all need to do more to identify good practice as well as gaps in the safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, and to consider whether funding for such schemes is adequate to address local need. When people fall into a crisis there must be sustainable structures in place to help support people back onto their feet.”

 

ENDS

 

Contact The Trussell Trust Press Office at 020 3137 3699 or press@trusselltrust.org

 

Notes

 

The Trussell Trust:

  • The Trussell Trust is an anti-poverty charity that runs a network of over 420 foodbanks across the UK.
  • Trussell Trust foodbanks provide three days’ nutritionally balanced food and support to people in crisis in the UK, and many foodbanks offer free additional services, like money advice and budget cookery courses as part of the charity’s ‘More Than Food’ approach, to build resilience and help prevent people needing referral to a foodbank again. Foodbank volunteers are also trained to signpost people to other agencies and services able to help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis.
  • Everyone who comes to a Trussell Trust foodbank is referred by a professional such as a social worker, health visitor or schools liaison officer. Over 30,000 frontline professionals refer people to Trussell Trust foodbanks, and 50 percent are statutory agencies.
  • Over 90 percent of food given out by Trussell Trust foodbanks is donated by the public. In 2016-17, 11,175 tonnes of food were given to people in crisis.
  • The Trussell Trust is a charity motivated by Christian principles. For more on The Trussell Trust visit www.trusselltrust.org
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Waitrose supports UK charity to fund household budgeting & cookery courses

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The Trussell Trust partners with local communities to help stop UK hunger by running a network of over 420 foodbanks and providing a range of additional ‘More Than Food’ services, which aim to tackle the underlying causes of poverty by offering immediate help at the point of crisis. These include money advice, cooking and budgeting courses and holiday clubs for struggling families.

Waitrose’s donation will cover the core costs of running ‘Eat Well Spend Less’ courses, The Trussell Trust’s free six-session course which teaches cookery skills and household budgeting tips to make tight budgets stretch further. The basics of inexpensive and nutritious cooking, as well as household budgeting and meal planning to help reduce food waste are all covered in each two and a half hour long session. The hands-on sessions see participants preparing food such as basic tomato sauce, burgers, homemade bread, and cereal bars. (more…)

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Foodbanks brace for their busiest month as Christmas approaches

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  • Anti-poverty charity The Trussell Trust calls on people to support their local foodbank to help families facing hunger this Christmas
  • Newly released figures reveal 45% increase in number of three day emergency food supplies provided by Trussell Trust foodbanks last December compared to the monthly average for 2015/16 financial year
  • Analysis of five years of foodbank data by the University of Hull confirms a striking seasonal spike at Christmas

The Trussell Trust is calling on the public to help families facing hunger this Christmas as foodbanks busiest month of the year begins. Newly released figures reveal that during December 2015, The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network provided 133,734 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis; 56,779 of these went to children. This is a 45% increase on the monthly average of three day emergency supplies provided in the 2015/16 financial year, which was 92,442. (more…)

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Kerrang! Radio calls all Food Fighters

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Throughout the month, Kerrang! Radio will be working with us and food redistribution charity Fareshare to make as much noise as they can about food waste and food poverty, and we’re delighted to work with them to raise awareness of how foodbanks help when people are hit by a crisis and how we can all help to stop UK hunger.

(more…)

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New York Bakery Co. staff prepare for bagel charity run

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UK bagel maker New York Bakery Co. is supporting The Trussell Trust with donations of bagels and proceeds from the inaugural edition of the New York Bakery Co. Race on 25th September 2016. The family event will see employees, South Yorkshire residents and running enthusiasts from across the country gather at the Rother Valley Country Park to support Trussell Trust foodbanks close to the company’s factories in Rotherham and Maidstone.

(more…)

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‘The Foodbank: Britain’s Hidden Hunger’ to be aired across the UK

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‘The Foodbank: Britain’s Hidden Hunger’ to be aired in England, Wales & Northern Ireland, after being shown in Scotland on 28 September 2015

On Wednesday 7 October at 11.05pm, BBC One will present the Friel Kean Films documentary ‘The Foodbank: Britain’s Hidden Hunger’ in England, where six months were spent following the stories of some of the people who receive help from Scotland’s busiest foodbank in Dundee, part of The Trussell Trust foodbank network. The documentary will air in Wales and Northern Ireland at 00.05pm the following night.

(more…)

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The Trussell Trust: give the Emergency Budget the food poverty test 

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David McAuley, Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust said:

“We have two simple tests for the budget being delivered today.  Firstly, what does it do to reduce the number of people in poverty and hunger?  Secondly, what does it do to ensure the Government is supporting the work of charities and social enterprise in taking people out of poverty.

(more…)

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Father’s Day appeal for toiletry donations

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Father’s Day can be a difficult time for men facing crisis, especially dads facing hunger who are unable to provide food for their families or afford basic toiletry products many of us take for granted.

In the UK, 1 in 5 parents skip meals to make sure their children have enough food, and for parents in crisis who are struggling to buy food, other basic products such as nappies, shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and aftershave can be unaffordable as well.

We’re launching a Father’s Day appeal asking people to make donations of chocolate treats and men’s toiletry products (such as aftershave and deodorant) to their local foodbanks to help dads facing crisis in the UK.

(more…)

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The Barons’ Charter project launches in support of The Trussell Trust

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We’re excited to see that Salisbury has been decorated with 25 life-sized decorated medieval barons, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and helping to raise funds for The Trussell Trust.

The Barons’ Charter has been organised by The Trussell Trust and Wild in Art, displaying the biggest mass participation public art event the city has ever seen.

The trail runs for 12 weeks this summer, from 12th June to 6th September before the sculptures are auctioned in October to raise money for The Trussell Trust. (more…)

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