Wigan Deanery Trust will provide the infrastructure and systems to implement and manage the project. Churches will recruit volunteers to run the pantries and Wigan Borough Council will promote the service. Fur Clempt will provide intercepted food and we are also partnering with other charities to help provide food that would end up in landfills. The Food Pantry Network will provide access to food using a ‘Pay as You Feel’ model (suggested donation is £3 for 20 items) for all who need it.
The pantries operate in existing local community facilities and are offered on a “no questions asked” basis, to lower access barriers. They deliver a common outcome across the partners - relieving food poverty. The partnership provides access to funding, product and volunteer resources that would not be available to individual organisations.
We will set up a CAP debt centre to support individuals and families whose finances are adversely affected by the pandemic. This will include a fully trained paid debt centre manager working with a trained team of volunteers to support service users.
Wigan Borough Council (WBC) will make referrals to the service and Wigan churches will provide the volunteers necessary and premises from which advice can be offered (these may be co-located with food pantries to improve access).
Helping people manage debt is a common outcome sought by churches as part of their “common good” agenda, as well as being a public sector priority. Independence from the public sector helps improve access, particularly to those worried about debt to government agencies
We have a proven track record of sharing skills, impacts and good practice across our network of Food Pantries. The more established pantries assist in the set-up of new ones.
Today’s Community Church in Wigan previously ran a debt advice service, and shared best practice of this.
WDT has robust internal systems in place to ensure that the project is governed and financially managed well, built on existing funding relationships with the Diocese of Liverpool.
Our pantries offer value for money. We have been able to run these using only the ‘Pay As You Feel’ donations, larger one-off individual donations and a grant from Together Liverpool, which covered the start-up costs of some of our pantries. As our network expands, the budget needs to increase to ensure that each pantry is adequately stocked.
We researched different models of providing debt advice, before settling upon CAP. We took advice from CAP’s relationship manager for the North West, who shared experience of setting up CAP debt centres across the region.