2020 has been a tough year for everyone, particularly for the most vulnerable people in society and the charities supporting them. I’ve put together a post highlighting the fabulous charities in Bristol that are working tirelessly to help alleviate childhood poverty and could really do with some help this year, especially with the free school meals furore, jobs on the line and redundancies on the rise.
Friday 13 November 2020 marks World Kindness Day, a day designed to celebrate and encourage good deeds and kindness in the community. If you are able to spare anything, please do consider donating whatever you can to these small charities in Bristol.
Charities in Bristol working to alleviate child poverty
A Bristol-based volunteer-run charity that works to alleviate child poverty. They support families when they are due to welcome a newborn by collecting pre-loved items such as baby clothes, sleeping bags and toys, and prams, cots and bouncers, and fundraise to buy new mattresses, toiletries and bottles teats, and pass them on to families in need.
Baby Bank Network receive referrals from health visitors, children’s centres and other charities and collate bespoke packs for women and children fleeing domestic and sexual abuse, people escaping modern slavery, families coming out of homelessness, refugees and low-income families.
Bristol North West Food Bank has helped over 32,250 people in crisis since it opened in 2011. The Foodbank not only gives out food, it also provides signposting help to other services, such as the Fuel Bank, the Foodbank Advice Service and their cookery and budgeting course, “Eat Well, Spend Less”.
Discover how you can help out either by donating money, food, organising community partnerships or volunteering here.
North Bristol Food Bank provides three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis. They are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.
Over 90% of the food distributed is donated by the public – showing just how vital outside support is. Take a look at their current shopping list here and find out where you can drop off donations. You can also donate money directly here.
As above, but for East Bristol. The foodbank is a project founded by local churches and community groups, working together towards stopping hunger in the local area. Click here to find out how you can donate food, funds or volunteering help.
A small independent charity which relies entirely on donations and grants, FareShare South West saves hundreds of tonnes of good food from going to waste and redistributes it to childrens’ charities, schools, homeless hostels and refuges around the South West – from Gloucester to Taunton and across Bristol – who turn it into meals for vulnerable people. Last year they delivered food for over 1 million meals!
Every pound you donate helps them provide four meals for people in need in the South West. You might fund a child’s breakfast at a Breakfast Club, a hot meal for a homeless person, or a roast dinner for an elderly person’s lunch club.
Aid Box Community (ABC) is a grassroots, humanitarian organisation based on Cheltenham Road in Bristol. The charity has a community hub and Free Shop where asylum seekers and refugees in Bristol receive support, sanctuary and can also find basic essentials for daily life as they settle into the city. Many vulnerable people who have come to the UK escaping persecution, war or natural disaster receive less than £5 a day to live on, sometimes for a whole family, and ABC supports hundreds of people each year.
They are currently running a Click and Collect service to provide essential living items to refugees and asylum seekers living in Bristol. They are currently unable to accept physical donations due to the national lockdown, and urge people to consider monetary donations instead.
Unseen are working towards a world without modern slavery by supporting survivors and vulnerable people through specialist services, equipping stakeholders with training, advice and resources as well as influencing society through systemic change.
They run safehouses for women, men and children, a helpline for potential victims and an outreach programme for survivors living in the community.
Find out how you can support them here.
Bristol Refugee Rights is the first port of call for the majority of asylum seeking and refugee families coming to Bristol. Their Ofsted-registered Early Years Project welcomes children between the ages of 4 months to 5 years, without which these kids would have no access to any sort of organised child care. The creche also enables parents to attend English classes and access their wide range of support services.
Next Link operates local domestic abuse support services in South and North Bristol and a specialist advice service for anyone worried about forced marriage. Every year they receive thousands of referrals and help thousands of families. If you would like to support the organisation or make a donation, there are a number of ways you can help – click here to find out more.
Bristol Food Union
Bristol Food Union is on a mission to support the food and hospitality industry, while also working to help keep the city fed. This Christmas they’ve devised a delicious way that you can help! They’ve teamed up with the city’s independent food and drink producers to create a range of delicious Bristol Food boxes filled with tempting treats.
As well as gifting boxes to team members, family, or friends, they’re asking you to dig deep and ‘give one’ by donating £18.50 to get Christmas provisions to a family in need. Their practical family hampers will include the makings of a Christmas meal, as well as a few much-needed luxuries.
Their Bristol Food Box campaign has been organised in collaboration with local children’s charity Unique Voice and 10% of all profits from the ‘Buy One’ hampers will go to support their creative work with excluded and vulnerable children.
Feeding Bristol was founded in response to a statement made by the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, when he said publicly “no child should go to school hungry”. The charity works to improve provision for those with Immediate need, increase the local community’s Food Skills, increase the Food Supply of good quality produce, and work for Policy change that will help us see a zero-hunger Bristol.
91 Ways (named after the 91 languages spoken in Bristol) works to connect disadvantaged communities through the uniting power of food, running projects and events where people share meals, recipes and stories.