To alleviate food poverty, and help build a caring community in the Whitefoot and Downham area.
1) Food provision
2) Promoting healthy living
3) Positive partnerships
4) Building communities.
Who We Help
Wdcfplus sees 25 to 30 people a week come through their doors, and on average 75 people reached every week. Most are on a food and support programme lasting 6 weeks to 6 months, Typically 4 new 'visitors' also turn up to the project a week, having been referred to wdcfplus by its various community partners. They too are approved for a programme depending on need, which is reviewed once the period of their individual programmes expires.
Within the two and a half years wdcfplus has been in operation, 431 local households have accessed the project, whether for temporary or longer-term hardship relief.
In some cases wdcfplus has helped build confidence for some to enter employment and training (or even become volunteers for the project), or it has been a lifeline for others where their benefits have been frozen or stopped. Some visitors need ongoing support due to severe debt or being a low income earner. From May 2016 wdcfplus has seen 85% of our visitors attend the project because of low income, 65% because of lack of money and 58% because they are currently unemployed. (43% of those on benefits are claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which is for people who have an illness, health condition or disability that makes it difficult or impossible to work.) The main age groups are 46-55yrs at 29% and 36-45yrs at 24%. Overall, the highest ethnicity of visitors that come to wdcfplus is White British at 57%.
With the exception of one paid member of staff, a part-time administrator, wdcfplus is run entirely by volunteers. In fact, the project has mobilised over 50 volunteers from all sections of the community, be it varied academic and non-academic backgrounds, employed and unemployed status’, teenagers, retired citizens, or people with disabilities. Overall, wdcfplus’ volunteers relish the ability to care for and support their community.
Since its creation, wdcfplus has also linked up with over fifteen local partnerships that provide various services to our visitors and volunteers, ranging from debt advice to nutrition, social housing and parental support. Some of our partners, such as Parental Support Group (PSG) and Phoenix Community Housing, provide representatives that attend the project on a regular basis.
Phoenix Community Housing provides the project with professionals that offer advice on housing issues and benefits. They also refer people to training courses in order to enhance their chances of finding a job.
Parent Support Group (PSG) is a parent and child counselling service. Their key worker, Anne Williams, also offers the project support with their referral / approval programmes.
Recently, wdcfplus has seen representatives from other organisations give needed advice to their visitors (and volunteers), including:
(AFRIL) Action for Refugees in Lewisham
Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) helps people with legal matters and also gives people that cannot easily access their branch offices the chance to get the advice they need. Their representative, Eugenie Kone, also help people with benefit issues.
Lewisham Community Connections, which is a sign-posting service for people in the borough;
Lewisham Community Drugs and Alcohol Outreach Service;
Lewisham Warm Homes Healthy People Schemewhich helps vulnerable people stay warm especially during the colder months;
Lewisham Council also provides local Councillor Surgeries at the project;
Lewisham Youth Offending Service – set up
Church Leaders from seven local churches take it in turn each Thursday evening to offer spiritual guidance where needed.
We are also supported with donations by over 27 organisations and 23 individuals.