This week we had our cash box stolen. It contained a whole week’s worth of takings. This money is vital to keeping REfUSE going: we are a tiny organisation that works on a week-by-week cash flow with little margin for error, so this has knocked us back hugely. It is incredibly demoralising for all the people who have given hours of hard work to raise these funds and to make REfUSE happen.
We want to publicly say “sorry” to whoever it was that decided to take the money. We are sorry that we were not able to help you, and that you found yourself in need so much that you felt you had to steal. REfUSE is an organisation that provides food, family and a warm place to be, we trust and welcome all into our community. We wish we could have helped you through whatever situation you're in before we got here.
This is a Christmas appeal to the generous public, who show so much support for what we do, to ask for help making back the money, so that we can continue to keep REfUSE in the green and keep the café running. A week’s takings pay our rent; van and transport costs; insurance; licences; administration; volunteer management and training; collecting, weighing and sorting food from all around County Durham; running restaurant nights and evening events; running an employability and supported volunteering programme; and more. We rescue around 1 tonne of food every week, which is also redistributed to a number of other brilliant local organisations too.
We are launching a fundraising page because REfUSE is truly a ‘project of the people’; for the one person who knocks us down there are hundreds more people that stand and support us . Please support us to get back on our feet to be able to support people in need in the run up to Christmas. Funds raised will go towards running costs that have been lost, and if we so happen to raise more than that then this will go towards installing a comprehensive CCTV system and building more secure and substantial storage and office space out the back, so that this can never happen again. We will obviously also be tightening some of our security measures and policies, and no longer keep any cash on the premises.