Ferguslie Community Meal

by Terry McTernan in Paisley, Scotland, United Kingdom

Ferguslie Community Meal
We did it
On 29th February 2020 we successfully raised £1,000 with 26 supporters in 28 days

We aim to provide a nutritious enjoyable weekly meal in a judgement free environment to those who may need the company of new friends.

by Terry McTernan in Paisley, Scotland, United Kingdom

New stretch target

As many of our users are severely excluded we would look at creative ways such as excursions or in house visitors to further their social inclusion and personal development. 

Darkwood Crew are a constituted group of local volunteers in Ferguslie Park who initially got together to regenerate the village green area of the community. Over the last year volunteers have worked very hard to being this important space back into use. During this project we identified a number of our volunteers were experiencing fuel poverty and food insecurity. As a result, in September we launched a weekly community meal provision in collaboration with the Tannahill Centre (a neighbouring organisation). The Tannahill Centre currently provide us with the venue free of charge and have agreed to continue this arrangement for the remainder of the first 6 months. Just 4 months on we are very pleased to attract an average of 50 users per week having served just over 700 x 3 course meals free of charge in a judgement free and safe environment. We are very fortunate to have gained additional support from our partner agencies such as Active Communities, St Ninians Parish - Ferguslie, Pals of The Privies, Own Yer Bike, Renfrewshire Helping Those In Need & Eat Up. All of these organisations offer practical support by way of volunteering with a number of them hosting individual/themed weeks. Over the Christmas period Darkwood Crew members have looked at ways in which to make this vital provision more sustainable. This includes improving the provision to better meet the needs of both its users but also the personal and professional development of its committed volunteer pool. We rely solely on the good will and generosity of our fantastic volunteers and would like to offer relevant training to them, to purchase more appropriate equipment and more importantly keep the provision free to all who may need it. These actions will also ensure compliance with all current legislation. This has already proved a fantastic platform to properly engage with those who are severely socially excluded enabling further support to be provided to those who need it most. Examples include, but are not limited to, signposting to debt management, welfare rights and mental health services. Many users have already started to get involved in other local provisions as a direct result of attending the community meal. As part of an agreed action plan we have launched this crowdfunder appeal to you to help raise £1000 . We believe this amount will allow the improved provision to run for a further year to allow for longer term sustainability plans to be made. This provision is vital in sustaining our recent good news of no longer holding the title of the 'most deprived' community in Scotland. Our community has worked really hard to overcome many social problems over recent years and the Community Meal is one of the many valuable provisions regularly meeting a variety of basic and human needs. Please help us make this provision sustainable in the short to medium term allowing it to continue to help Ferguslie flourish. Thank you.

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