Feeding Bradford Network Meeting 16th April 1.30pm

Updates since last meeting

Holiday Hunger

  • Successful ‘how to set up a scheme’ meeting in Feb with 60 attending, resource pack developed and distributed.
  • Small grant scheme supported 5 food and activity schemes at Feb half term and 4 at Easter
  • New Department of Education bid being done with Feeding Britain would support 5 or 6 schemes, expressions of interest invited.

Data Collection

  • 38 organisations agreed to take part – data still coming in, we will let you know the results next meeting.
  • Request to send in data if you haven’t already

Data protection

  • Please sign in and tick your consent to be on our database or respond to our email, we need to comply with new data protection legislation
  • List also circulated from new Jamie’s Ministry of Food at the Storehouse

New Jamie’s Ministry of Food at the Storehouse

  • Soraya has joined Storehouse with some of her team to run Cooking on a Budget and Cooking in Schools projects in low income parts of the district. Ministry of Food has been in Bradford for 9 years.
  • Get in touch via Storehouse if you are interested in doing something in your project.

Advice Worker Grant Application

  • Feeding Bradford down as one of 4 areas which are part of a lottery bid to provide 4 sessions of advice at food poverty settings across the district. This bid has got to the 2nd
  • Volunteers would support advice worker with signposting and possibly basic form-filling and support.
  • Would your project be interested in this?
  • Should we employ advice worker directly or buy in service from advice provider like CAB – Sarah P suggested much better to buy service as they will ensure skills, support and backup.
  • Issues discussed about not using family members as translators – advice workers from main providers have access to translators – which makes it another good reason to use service

Formalising our Structure

As part of Feeding Britain we are increasingly looking for pots of funding and are asked to report on the actions of our network, however we have never had a formalised membership structure so it is hard to say who is in and who isn’t.

  • A more formal structure would offer more transparency and ensure everything is above board. We would have an AGM and at this meeting members could vote in the steering group.
  • However, network meetings would still be open to everyone
  • We currently don’t intend to charge for membership
  • Only where we came to a formalised vote would membership become important. Each organisation would have one vote – large organisations might be allowed one per setting or department
  • Membership would be open to all those working to our aims – see draft constitution
  • Though we are Bradford and Keighley has its own group, it was agreed that we would be open any groups across the MDC area to join and any organisations who work in the area.

It was agreed that at the next steering group we would formally sign off the constitution

Universal Credit

Caroline and Diane from Incommunities gave a talk on Universal Credit

  • Full roll out of Universal Credit comes to Bradford in June, from then families will be affected
  • This will first affect those who are changing or making a new claim, later those on existing benefits will be moved over. People will get a letter about this which should not be ignored.
  • Universal Credit usually needs to be done online, people need an email address and messages need to be picked up online about the person’s claim. People will get electronic messages rather than letters about things they need to do, so continued IT access and support is essential for those who need it
  • Gas, electric, rent and council tax are not paid directly but can apply for an advanced payment – this is now paid back over 12 months which is an improvement.
  • We need to make sure that anyone claiming council tax reduction does that as this no longer happens automatically
  • Universal credit means more commitment from claimant – for example most people have to do 35 hours of job search a week, even if ill they will need to do some.
  • Benefits are not paid for 5 weeks (assuming no further delays) – benefits are made in arrears.
  • Advanced payments can be applied for to cover the time without payments, however this needs to be paid back so will be taken out of peoples benefits over the next 12 months.
  • This will be affecting more families and risks an increase in debt due to benefits delay - 5 weeks from applying, and where the repayments of any advanced payments mean that the claimant doesn’t have enough money to live on.

What can be done to help?

Universal Credit is coming to Bradford – whatever we think of UC we need to

  • Support people with the new changes
  • Not frighten people about the new changes – most (90% was the figure quoted) manage moving to Universal Credit without major problems. Going onto the new benefit in fear will not help those most vulnerable in our community.
  • We see the problems of the 10% who are struggling and we need to ensure that doesn’t cloud our view.
  • Support our communities to get the help they need – see attached places you can access computers and computer support – also see https://bradfordandairedaleadvice.org.uk/universal-credit-advice/ for lists of places people can access IT support. This site also lists organisations offering benefits advice. An extensive list of supporting organisations is being developed and will be sent out by email.
  • Collect concrete data about how your service users are being affected and let us know what you see – we can feed that back to Feeding Britain.
    • With Feeding Britain and others campaigning, some impact has been made – they may be small but we have seen 6 weeks’ benefits delay reduced to 5, the helpline is now free to phone, advanced payments are now paid back over up to 12 months not 3.

Other practical Ideas

  • Bradford Credit Union has a Jam Jar account which helps people budget by putting aside money for different bills – other banks have similar accounts
  • Staff from Westminster School mentioned problem with EU nationals opening accounts
    • It was suggested that the Credit Union account is also easier to open than some, so helpful to those who may be struggling with providing the right ID which has been the case for some EU nationals living in Bradford

Other information

Fareshare Go new area co-ordinator Joe came to talk about new links with more supermarkets starting soon – he will be contacting existing organisations already picking up food from Tesco’s as well as seeking new organisations to get on board – A new major supermarket is coming on board later this summer – this will be announced soon. Contact Joe Nicholson [email protected]  Most of this food is bread, Fruit and Veg.

For more information about Feeding Bradford please contact Cathy Henwood [email protected]

To view the Constitution of Feeding Bradford, please click here

Feeding Bradford Vision and Work Priorities - Jan 2018

Vision Statement

Our vision is a Bradford free of food poverty where people have access to affordable good food.

 

Work priorities

 To ensure that children in Bradford are fed during term time and in school holidays

o   by supporting existing provision and encouraging the development of new provision including before and after school meals and holiday activities with food.

  • To improve food crisis support so that no one has to go to bed hungry

o   by supporting a network of food crisis support in Bradford including foodbanks, meal provision, community food stalls and PAYF cafes.  This helps to improve communication within the network, promotes best practice, collates and distributing information, identifies gaps and reduces duplication. 

o   By hosting meetings and other forums where network member and others can flag up issues and trends and gaps, and that problems can be discussed and solutions found together. 

o   By acting as a catalyst to develop new projects if needed.

  • To ensure that decision makers and residents of Bradford and beyond are aware of the underlying factors leading to food insecurity and have positive ways of responding

o   By collecting and sharing local information, stories and data

o   By providing a framework for others to respond to the problems of poverty, specifically those which can reduce the numbers of people reliant on crisis food, with coordination and avoiding duplication

o   By improving access to resources, information and expertise (linking people, volunteers and resources to projects)

  • To involve experts by experience in Feeding Bradford’s work.
  • By initially looking at best practice elsewhere
  • Inviting experts by experience speakers to speak at events
  • To seek funding to continue and extend Feeding Bradford’s work
  • By exploring the advantages partnership working and funding bids
  • By seeking continuation funding for the role of Feeding Bradford Development Worker

Wellsprings Together Bradford has been working with partners to tackle food poverty for over 4 years. In that time we’ve set up a network open to all the local projects feeding people in need.

We’ve also supported the Keighley Food Poverty Action Partnership. Both networks meet regularly to build relationships, share good practice and offer support to those responding to hunger locally.

More recently we’ve been exploring how we can take a step back from the crisis work and explore how we can work collaboratively to prevent people ending up needing help to feed themselves and their families.

We produce the Free Food resource which lists where those in need can access free food without referral every day of the week locally.

We are now part of the Feeding Britain initiative, an independent charity, established by members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger, to help put into practice the recommendations set out in the group’s Feeding Britain reports. Their objective is to work towards a hunger-free United Kingdom by 2020. More information can be found on their website https://feeding-britain.org/holiday-hunger-campaign/

Please contact Cathy Henwood if you'd like to know more about this work.