Supporting the community
During the past year there has been a rise in parents and local residents coming to the project asking for support on a variety of issues, sometimes in a state of crisis.
Even though we are primarily a youth project we recognise that the community sees NBYP as place where they can ask for help. We try to allocate certain times during the week when workers are available. NBYP is often their first port of call as they do not know where to go. Language and cultural barriers can cause people to feel isolated and anxious.
Workers have a good knowledge of the many issues within the community so are in prime position to give support or to be able to signpost to a more appropriate agency
We help parents on various levels:
helping to understand official letters they have received
Applying for jobs
Understanding Brexit and the settled status process
Navigating the universal credit system
Food Donation Schemes
We were invited to become a member of the Neighbourly project which connects local stores that have surplus with charities, community groups and schools that can put it to good use in the community. The redistribution scheme also supports the donation of non-food products including household goods, cleaning products, toiletries, kitchen equipment, furniture and more.
Once a week Aldi store at Westerhope donate good to NBYP which we can then offer to local residents living in North Benwell who are experiencing financial hardship.
We have been part of the Fairshare food donation scheme since January 2020. During the lockdown periods we have provided those in need with a full bag of food containing fresh fruit and veg, meat, dairy products, cereal and bakery items. During the first lockdown we delivered the parcels to their homes. Now, residents are able to collect from the project base. many rely on this additional food to help feed their families.
‘Many people locked in poverty or those who find themselves in times of crisis find their options restricted. Hygiene poverty is shaming, humiliating and excluding and can result in social isolation.
It leads to a crippling lack of confidence and negatively affects good health and mental well-being which can impact early childhood development, learning, employ-ability and social interaction. Ultimately this is about dignity, self-confidence and mental wellbeing.’ The Hygiene Bank.
‘Period poverty is a widespread issue in the UK — with 49 per cent of girls having missed a day of school due to periods and one in 10 women aged 14 to 21 not able to afford period products’.
During the past 12 months we have had good connection with the Hygiene Bank and NE Flow, who have donated generous amounts of sanitary products and personal hygiene products, including deodorants, shower gel, shampoos etc. that we have been able to give out to those in need from the project.
Young people don’t often have their own money to buy products and if family finances are tight, there is not always money available for such products, therefore young people go without. Young women living in the area now know they can call anytime to pick up sanitary products.
During the lockdown the Hygiene Bank also provided hand sanitiser, and cleaning products including soap powder and some well received luxury products like bath bombs.