We would like to say a big “Thank you” to you all. Thanks to your generous support, 2016 has been a massive year for the Freedom Community Project.
The food that has come in throughout the year, and especially at harvest time, has helped us to provide over 400 food parcels. Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed that in 2015 we provided over 800 food parcels. The decrease is because of our Client Support Team (mostly made up of invaluable volunteers) who are currently working with over 200 people/families to provide the foundations for them to become independent and self-sufficient.
As a result of this success, we have been approached to expand our reach into other areas of deprivation besides Bolsover. We now have six centres, mostly working in partnership with other Methodist Churches, throughout North East Derbyshire. The Project also started working this year with Bolsover District Council to provide a paper-bond scheme to help house those who find themselves without anywhere to live; so far we have managed to find accommodation for seven people.
We also run two charity shops, one in Clowne and one in New Houghton, where, thanks to your thoughtfulness and generosity, we sell new and nearly-new items in an effort to become less reliant on grant funding.
Of course, this expansion means we have new staff and volunteers; including a fully-qualified and FCA approved debt worker. We really appreciate all the time and effort our volunteers put into the various tasks we give them; from serving in the café to working on our allotment to dealing with the, often complicated, issues that our clients have.
Here are just a few of the details of our accomplishments throughout the year: