The Salvation Army has a long history of offering practical support to people who are vulnerable or in need.
We know that things are getting hard for people – especially with the cost of living rising - and we are finding that more families, people experiencing homelessness, students and older people are coming to us for support. It’s fair to say that there is such a need for our service that some of our Churches are struggling to meet the demand.
Angela, a Salvation Army Church Leader (Officer) says:
“Our focus is on giving people a hand up, not a handout. We can offer further support such as budgeting skills, help with finding a new job or providing a friendly ear to listen to concerns. We don’t judge or condemn. We just help. We have regular customers asking for food parcels – including people with addiction issues who were running out of money before the next benefit payment and had used up all their crisis loans.
“I have encountered some lovely people with unbelievable stories. Some have had their benefits suspended for 10 weeks because they missed a medical, some claims have taken weeks to be processed – one person came out of prison with £60 in their pocket and spent a lot of it buying food on the 12 hour ferry journey home, leaving less to spend on food and electricity. An older gentleman wore three pairs of trousers because he couldn't afford heat while he was waiting for payment.
“Many people are struggling – especially the vulnerable, but we ensure people get help with budget skills so that they don’t become too reliant on the service.”
The food distributed in each food parcel is paid for by donations given to The Salvation Army churches (Corps), including some from other local churches. Salvation Army churches also fundraise throughout the year. Parcels are made up of non-perishable items such as tinned food and items such as bread, cheese and butter are kept in the freezer until needed. Parcels may also include basic toiletries and toilet paper.
Providing the basics and supporting people on a path to dignity and not to dependence
Budgeting & debt advice
Practical advice, working alongside people in desperate financial need to help them stay out of debt