Salvation Army grateful for vital Norfolk funding
Salvation Army leaders across the county who have received funding from the Norfolk Community Foundation to help feed vulnerable people say it has made a huge difference.
The Foundation’s Household Support Fund entitles organisations such as the Salvation Army to £50 of direct aid per household they serve, deliverable in either direct aid (such as food parcels or hot meals) or as Edenred vouchers.
Through participation with families directly, other agencies and schools supporting people across Norfolk, the voucher scheme has helped the church and charity develop relationships and build connections for a more joined up community. Twelve Salvation Army branches in Norfolk were supported by the Norfolk Community Foundation in this way.
The Salvation Army also worked with other agencies who referred families to its Toys and Tins appeal at Christmas. The agencies distributed the vouchers to the families they work with. One agency, supporting young people moving into independent living, used the vouchers to teach budgeting skills through the process of buying staple foods, whilst another worked with a small group to shop and prepare meals together.
Not only did the vouchers assist struggling households with buying essentials, but they also led to The Salvation Amy connecting with people who would not normally use its services. The Salvation Army offers a range of assistance from employment and debt advice to participation in a range of well-being and social activities.
Carol McKean is community manager in Sheringham. She said vouchers were distributed to 150 households. She added: “When we were told we had access to funding, we immediately identified lots of families experiencing hardship. People are paying more national insurance; fuel costs have gone up and food costs are spiralling. People are worried and panicking. These vouchers made a huge difference to those households who are getting support and eased the strain for a short period of time. The families were hugely grateful.”
Carol said The Salvation Army in Sheringham worked closely with schools, other churches and local children’s services to identify vulnerable people and families. She explained: “We all worked together to meet the needs of families who needed help the most. But any of us may need support as we go forward.”
Captain Diane Dickson leads The Salvation Army in Thetford and said she was delighted with the funding. She said: “We had people who came to us because they heard we had vouchers. We gave them out to people we knew were struggling. One man phoned his mum to say it couldn’t have come at a better time. The vouchers have been real lifesavers and helped people keep their heads above water.
She continued: “You can see the relief in people’s faces. They don’t want to be asking for these things and want to be independent. In some cases, the vouchers have meant that people have been able to feed themselves and not just their kids. I think the vouchers helped some of the people we gave them to realise they could come to us, so it was also about building relationships. I’d like to thank The Norfolk Community Foundation for the way they have trusted us to be the link here. It’s been a privilege to give out the vouchers.”
Norfolk Community Foundation is an independent, registered charity that bridges the gap between those in need and those who can help. As part of a national movement of Community Foundations, Norfolk Community Foundation is working together with local philanthropists to make a difference to lives in Norfolk. www.norfolkfoundation.com
The picture above is courtesy of The Salvation Army.