Together NI

by Together NI in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 14th September 2020 we successfully raised £2,520 ( + est. £126.25 Gift Aid ) with 35 supporters in 28 days

At Together NI, we know that sometimes all it takes to change the world is a little support. We want to give that support where it is needed

by Together NI in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

New stretch target

If we manage to raise our dream target we would like to expand and reach more people who are in need. We are in desperate need of upgrading our existing storage and office. Fixing this area up would allow us to have more meetings with our service users who need advice on benefits, access to a more private and comfortable area for counselling services and we can expand our services to meet the increased needs.

Covid-19 has affected everyone in some way and we understand that things will be different from now on but the only thing that won't have changed  is our commitment to helping out!

Job losses are looming on the horizon, from being furloughed to us now being fully in another recession. Picture this:

Family Z, a group of 5. Dad is a stay at home dad, takes care of the house and 3 children, aged 2, 7 and 9, while Mum works full time as a taxi driver. Child (9) goes to piano and dancing lessons, Child (7) goes to football and Child (2) attends our weekly Together Tots priced at £1.50 a week. Mum suddenly finds that the taxi service isn't pulling in half as many clients as before, the rent at her depot has gone up due to PPE payment requirements and insurance. She's already pulled all her children out of their activities due to Covid... The fridge is emptying quicker than before and yet there's not much spare change in their pockets to fill it again. The weekly food shop has definitely increased in price and she is convinced that the hand sanitiser she needs for her car was only £3 a few months back but now it's £9.99. They have started having to sell things on Gumtree and they have been ensuring not to use lights unnecessarily in case the electric runs out again this week! The mortgage is due in a few weeks. They are already in debt because of the holiday they took a few years ago. How will they cope? They can't bear the thought of making beans and toast again for the third night and sending their kids to bed knowing there's nothing for breakfast in the morning. Where will they turn?

This is the exact situation of one of our families (written with permission).

Here's where you come in to help:

A £20 donation means that this family will have food in the fridge and their children won't go hungry. Our food pack enables them reduce the pressure of daily life. Getting those tummies filled every day for just £2 a week rather than £20 means there's freed up cash to use for other necessities. It might mean that their electric is topped up or there is heat available if they need hot water for a shower. However they use their newly freed up cash, will mean that their tomorrow doesn't look quite so bleak, and that will all be down to you and your generous support.

Together, we got this.

Who is Together NI?

We are a Social Supermarket and community support hub nestled right here in the heart of East Belfast. A charity on the combined list; since our founding in 2019, we have been determined to make an impact. We strive to help those who are in need, irrespective of their circumstances.

What is a Social Supermarket?

Our definition of a Social Supermarket is a facility to have a variety of social  needs met with a holistic approach such as access to food, socialisation, support and advice, low cost activities and access to mental health services. All these things can help a person find their feet again when life gets tough. It can happen to anyone!

So, what makes us different to a typical food bank?

We realise the awesome services food banks provide but understand that it isn't easy to reach out for help when you need it and it can be a daunting place to go to, especially when you are already feeling low. That's why we are opting for a different approach in an attempt to give you back your control. Here are some ways in which we are different:

  • While food banks allow for collection of packs FOUR times a year, Together NI’s Social Supermarket operates EVERY Wednesday for 46 weeks a year. 
  • You do NOT  need to be in receipt of benefits to apply to register with us. We realise that anyone can fall on hard times and as a result our criteria is for a person to be in 'financial difficulty'. A simple registration form is all that is required. Each application is assessed on a case by case basis as we fully understand that everyone’s circumstances are different. 
  • We strive to provide not only cupboard staples but also ensure that fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products are available. We understand that there is a strong connection between mental health and diet. A well balanced diet can contribute to an improvement of mood. It is not everything, but it can help!
  • Together NI is a one stop shop, not just a food reserve. If you are finding yourself in a difficult situation, we provide a holistic approach to ensuring your needs are being met until you are back on your feet. It is not just food but mental health, socialising in our shared space, and access to counselling services if needed. We also are training in benefit advice as members of Advice NI to ensure that you get what you are entitled to!

And what else do we do?

  • We realise that not everyone has the skill set need to prepare meals for a family even when the food is provided. Often ingredients are given that not everyone knows what to do with. We can help here by offering attendance at our Cooking Together workshops. We can demonstrate simple tasty and healthy meals for all the family using ingredients that are supplied in your pack. It's also something different to do on a Monday evening!
  • Have you got a favourite top with a hole in it? New clothes can be expensive! Together NI are running Reusing and repurposing fabrics workshops that teaches sewing skills to ensure you get the most out of your belongings. 
  • Together Tots runs 46 Tuesdays a year! Although temporarily closed due to Covid, we ensure that there is an indoor, safe and comfortable place for your toddlers and babies to play all year round!
  • We are beginning our ‘Growers Club’ and ‘Little growers club’ in the coming months. Here basic gardening and growing produce that you can eat will be taught. A take home instruction booklet will be delivered to ensure skills are noted for use at home too!
  • Finally, Together NI want the whole community to get involved. We run various low cost and family friendly events and activities throughout the year such as our annual Christmas Fair where a very special person pays us a visit with gifts for the children! No child will go without as long as we’re around!

And why do we do this? Because we don't want anyone to feel alone. Because we can help! Because it takes a village. Let us be your village.

Together, we got this!


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£20 or more

£20 Reward

If you donate £20+, we will gladly send you a hand coloured 'Thank you' from the children who have been helped by your kind and generous donation! This is a small token to show you that because of your donation, a whole family can be given access to fresh fruit, vegetables and cupboard staples for one week!

£50 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£50+ reward

Together NI are much needed funds in this time of crisis to expand our services to help those who need it most. Should you or any business pledge £50 or more we will gladly offer up a section of our portacabin to be used in advertising your business. This can be seen from the Cregagh Road. Likewise we will advertise you in our bi-annual newsletter that goes around the local doors. That means you will be hand delivered to 200+ Households

£100 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£100+ award

Should you or your business pledge £100 or more, we will include note of your generosity on our outgoing emails, including your business logo for a year. We will advertise your business on our Facebook page and social media pages and website. Plus we'll shout our thanks to you in our bi-annual newsletter. We’d also like to invite you to join us for a photo opportunity that will be shared with Belfast Live upon project completion.

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