Support North Paddington Food Bank

Category: Collectathon

The North Paddington Foodbank serves wards in North Westminster, including Harrow Road, Queen’s Park, Westbourne, Church Street, Little Venice, Maida Vale, Bayswater and Lancaster Gate Wards. As well as these areas, we also support people in Brent and North Kensington & Chelsea.

Across the UK, an increasing number of people are experiencing situations where they have little to no money to purchase food and essentials. From benefits issues, unexpected costs, redundancy and long term health problems have all created difficult, sometimes protracted issues that mean people need to access support from charities.

Given these circumstances. The North Paddington Foodbank (NPFB) started as a voluntary endeavour in 2014 by a group of local professionals and residents who had directly experienced or provided support to those experiencing hardship in North Westminster – and saw the need for an organisation to provide short-term support to those with nowhere else to go. Using financial and food donations from across the community, the food bank aims to provide at least 3 days worth of food to a household.

We understand that we only form one part of the whole effort that is required to deal with the issues we are seeing today around poverty, hunger and the numerous other problems that lead to people needing a food bank – but we feel it is incredibly important to fulfil people’s immediate needs whilst supporting them as best we can with longer term solutions.

Regular volunteers form the basis of our entire service. They collect food, tell people about what we do, contribute their thoughts and feedback on how best to work and will spend large amounts of time ensuring that people accessing the food bank are comfortable, supported and that they receive a package that reflects their needs and tastes as much as possible.

With core volunteers forming the basis of our service, we then work with groups who would like to volunteer on a one-off or semi-regular basis. This supplements our volunteer numbers so that our core volunteers are not run off their feet every week and giving them opportunities to induct and supervise new volunteers. It also makes them able to carry out their roles under less pressure, whilst exposing new groups of people to the food bank environment, in the hope that they become more informed on the issues in their local area, and also ensures we’re all able to give the attention we need to the people we’re supporting.

We do not attach specific times in which people have to volunteer, as many of our volunteers have other commitments, so are happy for whatever help can be provided according to a volunteers availability. 

All we ask is that volunteers are non-judgemental, kind, considerate, discreet, have a good work ethic and are open with their thoughts and feedback to us.

There are plenty of different activities volunteers can get involved with:

  • Collections: Engaging with the public to encourage food donations outside of local stores we’ve developed relationships with. Or hold your own collection for much needed items. (see our web site for a list of suitable items – http://www.npfoodbank.org.uk/)
  • Food Sorting: Getting our cupboard ready for distribution.
  • Distributions: Working directly with people using the service by preparing food packages for them.
  • Transport: Picking up and dropping off donations (useful if you have a vehicle or a Zipcar membership, we can provide petrol costs.
  • Data: Inputting, analysing and collating data so that it can be used to explore what is happening within the service and making us able to communicate levels and patterns of need.
  • Admin: Helping with some general organising and background work!
  • Thanking donors: Writing and sending thank you letters to donors and supporters.
  • Researching: Looking into new opportunities for the food bank, including best practice, potential supporters and new support agencies that can act as a referral partner.

The opportunities are basically endless!

To find out more about how you can help support the food bank please contact James Quayle – info@npfoodbank.org.uk