St. Andrew’s Church Liversedge – our food box network

Volunteers at St Andrew's Methodist Church

In spring 2020, Kirklees Council more than doubled the funding that ward councillors have available to support local projects in their area. Through this extra £30,000 of funding per ward, councillors are able to support the groups, projects and volunteers who are such a vital part of the community response to Covid-19. We’re sharing some stories from different wards, so you can see how councillors are using these funds in our local places.

The relationships councillors have with people in their communities, and their local knowledge, continues to be an important part of helping citizens in our local places respond to Covid-19.

Like many local groups and organisations, volunteers from St. Andrew’s Methodist Church in Liversedge realised that if they were going to set up a project to help their community, they were going to have to act fast to get it off the ground before lockdown happened. Their aim was to be ready to provide food boxes to vulnerable people across parts of North Kirklees.

Administered by Wesley Playhouse Ltd (as part of the Howden Clough Methodist Church in Birstall) the project quickly brought together representatives of other churches in North Kirklees, who together made a plan for the food box network.

Caroline Holt, one of the lead organisers, explained how the project came about and what they’ve achieved by working together with other partners. Funding from local councillors has been important in supporting their work.

“I was approached by a local ward councillor, Cllr Lisa Holmes. She has a really good knowledge of the communities and knew that through the network of churches something could happen. Churches covering the North Kirklees circuit quickly became part of the project.

“Getting funding to run a project under normal circumstances isn’t always easy. The bureaucracy involved can really hold things up. Cllr Holmes explained local ward councillors had been given extra funding so they could tackle issues more quickly. This allowed us to focus on getting the project up and running with minimal time wasted on form filling.

“We were keen to do things properly though, so made sure we consulted with parishioners on what they thought would be more useful to go in food boxes. From this we were able to work out the likely costs and let the councillors know how much funding we thought we’d need.

“We wrote a business plan to give ourselves some structure and an ability to demonstrate our approach. The councillors from Liversedge and Gomersal ward and Mirfield ward initially gave us £5,000 between them. They offered reassurance too though, that if the numbers of people requiring our help increased, they would support us with additional funding.

“The trust they showed in us to deliver a project like this was really important. We would have done something to support our communities anyway, but the time taken to do this would have been time lost when people really needed our help.”

As well as the benefit of having a good relationship with the councillors, Caroline also told us about the importance of managing the project properly and the support from other parts of the community.

“We knew it was important we reached the right people, so relied in part on referrals from the Covid-19 Community Response phone line set up by Kirklees Council. In this way, we knew the referrals we were getting were from people in need and were at a level of need we could definitely help with. We had so many people come forward to volunteer that we couldn’t even use all of them. This shows how brilliant the community response has been.

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Mav Morse taking a request

“Some people gave up their time every day, such as Liz and Richard Sands, along with Mav Morse who manned the phone line. We’re also hugely grateful to Steve Dawson of Tesco and Wendy Clough of Morrisons supermarkets, whose local branches gave us donations of food, meaning the funding we did have could go a lot further. It probably doubled the length of the project.

“In all, throughout the lockdown, we’ve helped over 200 households and continue to help some. We’ll keep helping them until we know they’re no longer vulnerable, but will also encourage them to take back their independence as time goes by.

“The success of the project and the benefits to our communities shows why it’s good for groups to have a good relationship with your local councillors. The councillors took the initiative in approaching us, trusted that we could help and gave us the funding to deliver something much needed in our communities at the time.”

Ward project budgets – your councillors can help

Learn more about councillors

 

The Welcome Centre – help with food and more

The Welcome Centre food bank and more

Do you know someone who needs help to get food?

The Welcome Centre is a food bank and more. This independent charity can help anyone in Huddersfield and South Kirklees. They can supply food, toiletries and household cleaning items. The Welcome Centre also offer advice and guidance.

If you know someone who cannot buy the food, toiletries or other household items they need, please advise them to contact someone who can make a referral for them (or seek their permission to contact someone on their behalf). This person could be their GP, teacher, health visitor, housing worker, counsellor or church.

These organisations can also offer help and can make a referral for a food parcel if necessary:

  • Local Welfare Provision team at Kirklees Council: 01484 414 782
  • The Mission advice workers: 01484 421 461
  • Kirklees Citizens Advice: 0344 848 7970

Advice leaflets

Do you need help to get food? (PDF)

More than a food bank (PDF)

 

Find out more

The Welcome Centre

How to get help from the Welcome Centre

 


Kirklees Food Network

Volunteer delivering shopping

We know that many people in our community will continue to need support in accessing food as the lockdown is lifted. We also want to make sure that the support network we have built together remains sustainable as we gradually move past Covid-19. So we are developing a Kirklees Food Network to connect everyone.

If you’re currently providing a food offer to support vulnerable people through your Mutual Aid Group or local organisation and would like to be part of the Kirklees Food Network, we’d like to hear form you. Your food offer might be either food parcels, food donations, a food bank or hot food.

This is an informal support network where you will:

  • Have support in your local place from one of the 3 main foodbanks across Kirklees – The Welcome Centre in Huddersfield, Fusion in Dewsbury or Batley Foodbank.
  • Be signposted to further support for the people you’re helping.
  • Access support, guidance and advice around local welfare provision, food safety, safeguarding, housing and other essential policies.
  • Share good practice and ensure any gaps in provision are highlighted.
  • Access support from Councillors, Kirklees Council staff and other local community organisations.
  • Help to ensure our food offer is stable beyond Covid-19.

Join the network

If you would like to access this support, and be part of the network, please send an email to food@kirklees.gov.uk or contact Rebecca Strutt, Transformation Project Manager directly on 07790 349978. Thank you.

 


Food safety support and training

Home Delivery Of Takeaway Food Outside House Observing Safe Social Distancing During Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic

The Environmental Health service at Kirklees Council is here to support local groups and organisations who are providing food during Covid-19. Our Food Safety team are offering advice, guidance and support to help you provide food safely, for the benefit of yourselves and those you are supporting. This isn’t about getting in the way of the vital work that you’re doing in our local places, but is just about helping us all to keep people safe.

The Food Safety team may call you about your work, to find out whether you need any advice. Some organisations may also need to register with Kirklees Council. This is because national food safety requirements apply to everyone who is providing food to the public at any time, whether given away free or not. We’ve listened to feedback from local groups to help make this process easier for you.


Contact the Food Safety team

The first step is just to have a conversation with the Food Safety team. Whilst we’re in the process of contacting Mutual Aid Groups, you can also contact the Food Safety Team directly, to discuss what food provision you’re offering. We’ll help you work out whether registration is required (it might not be).

The Food Safety Team can be contacted by email: food.safety@kirklees.gov.uk or by telephone. Call Kirklees Council on 01484 221000 and ask for Food Safety.


What kind of activity requires registration?

Groups and organisations are working in many different ways to provide the vital support that people need in our local places. Not all activities will need registration. For example, if you’re collecting food from a supermarket or shop and delivering this straight to someone at home (without storing), you don’t need to call us or to register.

We understand that many new groups have set up and others have started new activities in order to provide essential support to our communities. So you may not already be familiar with the legislation surrounding the provision of food. If you do need to register, we want to make sure you have all the information and support you need to operate safely, in line with existing regulations. The aim is to protect you and make sure you can do what you need to.

Examples of activities that would require contact with the Food Safety team for advice or registration are:

  • Food banks.
  • Storing food before delivery to vulnerable people or key workers.
  • Cooking food for vulnerable people or key workers, especially cook and chill.
  • Changes in your normal food production practices – for example, changing from serving food in your venue to providing food at scale or cook and chill.

If you think you might need to register, please get in touch with the Food Safety team for advice and support. Email food.safety@kirklees.gov.uk or call 01484 221000 and ask for Food Safety.


Free training and tailored support

We know that there are lots of different kinds of food support being provided by local organisations. The Food Safety team can provide tailored advice, guidance and support to any organisation providing food in Kirklees.

If it’s useful for your group or organisation, we can help you to access free online Food Hygiene Level 2 training for your volunteers. This training includes important topics for people who are handling food, such as why food safety is important, temperature control, hazards and contamination, and personal health and hygiene.

If you’re providing cooked food for vulnerable members of your community, we will need to undertake a site visit. If you are providing food parcels or non-perishable items, we may only need to ask where and how you’re storing your food. If you are simply doing shopping runs for people who are self-isolating or shielding and taking the food straight away, we won’t need to speak to you.

Do make sure any foods that need refrigeration or freezing are not out of a fridge for more than 30 minutes. Please follow the Government’s advice on hand washing, protecting yourself and social distancing:

How to help safely

 

If you do receive a phone call from the Food Safety team, we hope that you will find this useful and reassuring. You are also very welcome to contact the team whenever you need advice. Please call Kirklees Council on 01484 221000 and ask for Food Safety.

 


Supermarket shopping for Covid-19 volunteers


Several supermarkets have made it easier for volunteers to shop for others:

Asda Volunteer Shopping Card

The Volunteer Shopping Card can be bought online then emailed to the volunteer or printed out and left in a safe place for the volunteer to pick up. The volunteer then shops using the card, makes the payment using the barcode in store, and leaves the shopping in a safe place.

Asda Volunteer Shopping Card

M&S We’re All in this Together Volunteer E-Gift Card

This is an online gift card. All the details come straight to the customer or volunteer by email. People can also purchase an E-Gift Card on behalf of a family member who is more vulnerable, older or self-isolating, then send the code to their volunteer.

M&S We’re All in this Together Volunteer E-Gift Card

Sainsbury’s volunteer shopping cards

Customers can visit the dedicated webpage and select how much they’d like to spend on their weekly shop, between £5 and £250. The E-Gift Card will then be emailed directly to the person who is shopping on their behalf, which can be redeemed at checkout in store.

Sainsbury’s volunteer shopping card

 


You might also find this doorstep delivery service useful to share with people in your area:

Morrisons doorstep delivery service
The Morrisons doorstep delivery service is available to vulnerable and elderly members of the community, who are unable to go shopping in-store.

Customers can call 0345 611 6111 and select option 5 to place an order.

For any order placed before 5pm, Morrisons will aim to deliver the next day. In order to use this service you must live within 10 miles of a Morrisons store. There is a limit of three per item.

Deliveries will adhere to the current social distancing rules so to avoid contact they strongly encourage contactless card payments only. If this isn’t possible, chip and pin card payments are available, but no cash payments can be accepted. Visit the Morrisons website for details and available items (you can specify dietary requirements on the call if applicable):

Morrisons Doorstep Deliveries