UPDATE 30/12/21 - Can you help us reach our new target of £20,000? This will enable us to keep all our critical services running, to meet the needs of an ever increasing number of people during the coming winter months.
UPDATE 28/12/21 - We reached £10,000! That means we will receive an additional £10,000 in match funding. Thank you to everyone who has donated!
Update 22/12/21 - During December some donations were used to pay for Christmas food bags for the food bank. Using the funds we organised some huge supermarket deliveries to the food bank and made up a bag of essential food and a few Christmas food treats. The donations ensured there was a bag for every food bank user.
Living Well Bromley’s key aim is to help people in poverty, deprivation and social isolation employing a number of approaches. We aim to build a caring community where people feel valued, supported and loved. We take a ‘whole person’ approach, supporting our guests in multiple ways: foodbank 3 times a week, community lunch, community choir, clothes bank, counselling, pastoral care and advocacy services. Our aim is to reduce food insecurity for our service users. Bromley is in the top 10 boroughs where people suffer hunger (Food Foundation 2021).
We have 2 full-time and 5 part-time members of staff and an amazing army of over 140 volunteers and we’re supported financially through small donations and grant funding. We are also supported by the local community with food and clothes donations.
We are seeking funding to help keep all our critical services running, to meet the needs of an ever increasing number of people struggling with deprivation and social isolation. We want to increase the number of advocacy and counselling sessions we can offer to help guests with long-term, complex issues.
Demands on our services are increasing due to the impact of benefit caps, Covid and rising unemployment and isolation. We are already seeing an increase in people and families needing help due to the reduction in Universal Credit and the 6 week delay in receiving their benefits. From July 21 to August 21 we saw a 25% increase in children using our food bank as families struggle to cope without school meals.
So far in 2021 we have supported 405 adults and 122 dependents with our foodbank. In addition we have provided food bags to further guests with our home delivery service.
Every donation counts and can help us meet the demand and complex needs of the local community.
We provide advocacy advice to help our users meet their long term needs. We tackle issues such as welfare benefits, housing, homelessness, isolation, people in temporary accommodation, aid to people in poverty and not receiving correct benefits and numeracy and literacy services. So far in 2021 we have supported 244 adults with our advocacy services. Feedback on this service has been very positive and with increased funding we want to offer our support to as many people as possible.
Our counselling service 'Listening Well', supports those struggling to cope with mental health illness and the challenges of their personal circumstances. Access to similar support by public agencies is subject to long waiting lists, so demands on this service are increasing.
Following increases in social isolation and decline in mental health during lockdown, we have built a new community café -The Well. This offers much-needed opportunity for people to meet, have a hot drink, snack, and socialise with others. This also gives us the chance to build relationships, thereby identifying any further services of benefit to our guests.
Testimony from one of our partner referrals:
I work as the Resident Support Officer for a local Housing association (PCHA), running our support service to tenants, to enable tenancy sustainment, and where required, making referrals to exterior agencies and services.
As the UK went into lockdown, the presenting cases of mental health crises referred to me for support increased exponentially, and I was faced with a plethora of tenants facing significant challenges in their mental health and ability to cope with life.
Had I not been able to refer cases to Bromley ‘Listening Well’ I would have been at a loss as to know where to refer people in genuine crisis, as the demand for services meant that not only was there a waiting list for services, but many services had also come to a halt.
I am beyond grateful for the efforts and services provided by your counsellor and her team at Listen Well and cannot praise them enough for their continued professionalism and work with those I have referred.
To date, I have referred some very complex cases (PTSD, adults recovering from childhood abuses and personal loss) to name but a few.
The feedback from those I have referred has without question been that of praise for the service.
Many thanks and may the great work continue.