A grant we awarded to All Saints Church in Weston has helped them set up a community pantry and food club in Weston linked to a “Welcome Café”.
The Welcome Café and Food Hub assists local low-income families who are particularly struggling during the Covid-19 crisis. It all happens at Weston Hub, a community centre in the middle of Weston Village, with a large team of volunteers from local churches.
The Café is set up to provide a free cooked lunch every Monday for people in need. The Food Club operates as a shop and allows members to choose from a wide selection of food every Monday. Weekly costs are £3 a family, and £2 an individual. The food comes from FareShare and Bath Foodbank.
Sir Peter Heywood from Weston All Saints said: “We had to change our Café from sit-down to take-away during the November lockdown. Now that we are in lockdown again (February 2021) we are offering take-away lunches and the Food Club outside the building, so we are all safely in the open air.”
Families finding it hard to make ends meet
“The feedback from the project users is positive” explains Sir Peter, “recently one of our Food Club members said: “I like the Food Club because I don’t need to worry about paying my bills anymore, and it gives me space to think”.
“This is great news as we all know the financial pressures some families are under. Our beneficiaries are finding it very hard to make ends meet. For some, this is a long-term challenge. For others it has been exacerbated by the pandemic, with people losing employment.
“The project is acting as a lifeline for them. We are also building new friendships and an excellent sense of community, which is a great benefit. We now have 50 beneficiaries and the numbers continue to climb.”
Volunteers boost community effort
“The grant of £4,723 enabled us to set up the project in the first place, and we are most grateful. Many people have been able to volunteer to help, generously giving their time, and providing them with a way to contribute to their local community, and to make new friendships” Sir Peter explains.
“The grant from Quartet enabled us to set up the project and open our doors, which was excellent. Based on this, we have since received over £6,000 of additional funding. We are most grateful for all these gifts.”
Claire Wynne Hughes from Quartet Community Foundation said: “Throughout Covid-19 local charitable and voluntary organisations like All Saints Weston have shown that they are very willing and able to reach and support disadvantaged communities. However they’re facing increased demands with fewer resources, and need our support now more than ever.
“It’s particularly good news to see that the grant we awarded for £4,723 helped them secure an additional £6,087. It’s a really good example of how a relatively small amount of funding can set something up, in this case a food pantry and community cafe, which makes a real difference to local people in need.”