A new information station which includes a number of services such as an emergency food provision was launched on 25th April in the S20 postcode of Sheffield to offer practical help to some of the most vulnerable local people.
The new provision has been made possible thanks to the work from Reverend Sue Stewart of St Mark’s Mosborough, Marion Oveson from Sheffield University as well as Ryan Wileman who runs The Salvation Army in Westfield. However, there are a number of organisations who are working in partnership to ensure the continued success of the service and these include Westfield Secondary School, Shortbrook Primary School, Westfield Big Local Partnership, and ASDA Drakehouse.
Reverend Sue Stewart and Marion Oveson have been working for a number of years to support some of the most vulnerable local people. They are delighted to be launching the new service which sees so many organisations from across the community coming together to offer practical assistance to the most vulnerable.
Ryan Wileman, from The Salvation Army in Westfield said: “We arrived in Westfield last summer and quickly became aware of the work being carried out by Reverend Sue and Marion. We were keen to join together and help create a provision which would help people in this area find a way out of food poverty.
“Everyone involved in this partnership believes in empowering people and, as a result, we will spend time with those who attend to understand what has caused their food poverty. We will provide support and sign post them to other professional organisations to further help tackle the root cause of their need.”
A representative from Sheffield Citizens Advice will be at the service every week to offer advice on any wider issues which may be impacting individuals and families.
In addition, Sheffield City Council’s Crystal Peaks Housing office is providing an officer to offer help to those with tenancy related queries.
Reverend Sue Stewart from St Mark’s, said: “Creating the S20 info station is truly a collaborative effort and we’re so grateful for all the support we’ve received. This service is something we’ve been working towards for a long time and it’s a great example of how a community is coming together to tackle food poverty and looking to a brighter future of self-sufficiency.”
Funding for the service has come from a number of organisations including The Big Local Partnership which was funded from a lottery grant three years ago, Sheffield Community Foundation, Sheffield City Council Mosborough Ward, a Christian grant making charity and another grant making charity.
Every week a minimum of six volunteers will be needed to run the service and organisers are asking for local people to offer their support.
Ryan continued: “We aim to offer training to those who’d like to volunteer which can be a great boost to a CV, therefore helping increase the employability to those who give up their time and get involved”
Local schools have offered their backing, agreeing to hold a food bank Friday once a month where pupils will bring donations for the service.
Ryan added: “We hope the support we offer will mean the community will only need this new provision for a short time. For all of us, success will mean that food poverty will soon no longer be a struggle faced by this community.
“We also hope that we may play a part in helping to prevent food poverty in the future as Sheffield University is investigating doing some research at our service. The support that’s been offered so far in terms of student volunteers has been wonderful.”
The emergency food provision will run on Mondays between 1pm and 3pm at the Tenants and Residents Association Building in Westfield Centre.