Our latest newsletter is now available.
A landmark MPs report on refugee protection has found that Government policies are creating a costly “two-tier system” of refugee protection leaving many homeless and destitute, seriously damaging their prospects of integration.
The theme of our 2017 Lent Reflection is Don’t Give Up, Give Hope. Please consider using it to help focus on the plights of others, as we journey through Lent.
Radio Merseyside recently visited the Hope+ food bank and interviewed our project manager Nädine Daniel. In this interview Nädine looks back over nearly 4 years of existence and outlines the wide range of services which are now provided.
Our latest usage statistics for use of the Hope+ foodbank are now available.
Join the only national network for independent food aid providers.
Membership is now open to the Independent Food Aid Network.
To join for free and become a Founder Member please download our short membership form
IFAN accepts members that are providing food to people in need, no matter what form this takes, including food banks, community kitchens and social supermarkets.
Why join IFAN?
Share, Learn, Create Change
- Be part of a movement
- Get practical support
- Have your say nationally
- Share ideas via networking events
- Steer IFAN’s development
- Stay up-to-date on relevant national/international news
For more information and to join go to www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk
This morning Mustafa Kabani was interviewed by Radio Merseyside along with Nadine Daniel who heads the Hopeplus foodbank. Mustafa is a former Syrian asylum seeker from Aleppo. In this interview Mustafa outlines the appalling situation in that city and like many of us he questions how the international community can stand by and allow this situation to continue.
We have had some very generous responses to our Fill These Shelves Campaign, so if you have made a donation in the last couple of weeks, many thanks from all of us at Hope+. Last summer was the first one when we haven’t had to close early because of shortages. Obviously running out of stuff is very distressing for our guests, but it is also very stressful for our wonderful volunteers, who find having to turn people away goes against every reason that they volunteer for Hope+ week in week out.
At the moment we are emptying our shelves as fast as we can stack them! We have seen over two hundred people at our Thursday pantry at St Margaret’s for the the last three weeks, which means we are helping almost three hundred people in serious need every week. Thanks to a very generous additional donation from FareShare we have solved out pasta sauce and cereal drought, we are however very, very short of pasta, rice, and as always, tinned fish. Any help that you can provide is always very much appreciated. In the past week we have a special thank you for donations from Liverpool Parish Church, the Quaker Meeting House, St Clare’s, St Peter’s Woolton, and St Agnes with St Pancras. If you would prefer to make a financial donation you can find details on Liverpool Cathedral Website or www.hopefoodbank.org.uk
On Monday 20th June Mustafa Kabani was interviewed by Radio Merseyside along with Nadine Daniel who heads the Hopeplus foodbank. Mustafa is a former Syrian asylum seeker who has now been given leave to stay in the UK for 5 years. Mustafa talks about why he took the decision to flee his home country and about some of the difficulties of being an asylum seeker in the UK in 2016.
First a thank you to all of you who have:
- Coped even better than I thought you could with my three successive pantry session absences. The Hope+ Machine is definitely a well oiled one. It was a very real privilege to be able to share what you do so well at the USPG conference and also at the Catholic Bishops Conference Office for Migration and CSAN meeting. The bad news is that I shall be back for both next week’s sessions
- Those of you at St Margaret’s last Thursday, where we not only coped with providing for 213 people, but also with some “irregular” volunteers. My apologies for that, and my thanks for the honest discussion at the end that enabled us to come up with a hopefully, simple solution (see below)
- Taken on so much extra. Special mention to Debbie Lovett this week for both her IT skills, her coming in to the office to help keep me sane, and her support of Mohammad Banko, and also for Gerrie who has been a great support for Akbar and for me, and for her van driving skills!
- A sad farewell to Tooran, and a big thank you for all her work with us. Having prayed for so long to have a female Farsi interpreter we have been greatly blessed with her gifts, and will miss all that she was able to bring to us. Glasgow’s gain is definitely our loss.
Award yourselves a Big Gold Star.
Our main problem will be empty shelves, a problem which increased not only because of the very large numbers this week (our fourth highest ever), but because the Food Cloud Server went down denying us about 60KG of fresh bread and produce from Tesco. Quite why they couldn’t hand it over I don’t know. It is not just that we didn’t have it to give out, but the stupidity of perfectly good food being thrown away. FareShare have apologised, but it doesn’t solve the problem for the coming weeks. If you use Social Media at all, it really helps if you can re tweet or share our posts and the fact that we are in need of continuing support.
Our other major problem next week will be on Thursday when Akbar will be away for the day, please keep him in your prayers. In addition, we have had to accept a funeral for Thursday afternoon at St Margaret’s, which obviously is also part of our ministry there. Having spoken with the Undertakers today, they have offered some of their staff to come at the end of the session to help us move everything out. If we can’t clear everything away by 2:45, we will have to put it in the Jesus Chapel, and remove it after the funeral is over. Any volunteers to stay behind to do this if needed would be great. Can I suggest we make sure we move everything remotely rodent friendly first i.e. leave the tinned stuff until last.
Finally, Refugee Week starts tomorrow. Mustafa and me will be on Radio Merseyside on Monday morning just after 8am, and some of us will be at LACE the following Saturday for the Archdiocese Justice and Peace Annual Assembly. All welcome. It starts at 9:30 and lunch is included, it is free but a £10 donation is requested if and only if you can manage it. Key note Speaker is Fr Damian Howard SJ a world authority on Islam and inter religious dialogue, and we (Hope+) are running a couple of workshops on Good Volunteering with Nugent Care. Also a couple of our asylum seeker guests will be sharing their stories.
We are bereft! Our data guru Lew Eccleshall left last week to finally enjoy a well deserved retirement, and we are at a loss to know quite how to replace him. Thanks to his tireless efforts, wonderfully collated by Dr Chris Wooff, our statistics have been much in demand by both the Parliamentary Enquiry “Feeding Britain” and university researchers. Thank you Lew, we wish you well.
We cannot emphasise enough how much we need you continued help and support in the weeks leading to the summer holidays and beyond. We know that at the moment we do not have enough on our shelves to see us through to the end of the school holidays. This is due in part to an increase in demand now, and also due to a decrease in donations. We know that it is hard to believe that emergency food aid is needed in the seventh richest country in the world, but it is, and whilst that continues, Hope+ will try to provide as much support as possible. As an independent organisation, we do not receive any of the food donated in supermarkets, and so we really do depend on all of you to keep our shelves stacked. Any donation of food or toiletries or clothing is very welcome; at present we are especially short of pasta, rice, tinned fish, and pasta sauce. We would especially like to thank Chadwick Mount URC and St James in the City for their support this week, also Liverpool Cathedral for its donation via the selected charities scheme, and the Jackson Canter Foundation for all their continued support.
In Lent people enquire are you “giving anything up” or “what are you giving up”? In our Lent Reflections Booklet for this year, we are suggesting positive ways in which we might seek to give hope to those who lack it; rather than giving up for the sake of “giving up for Lent”.
This morning’s Tony Snell show on Radio Merseyside reflected on the fact that the public’s attitude to asylum seekers appears to be hardening. Our project manager Nädine Daniel expressed concern at this and at a lack of compassion by UK authorities. In addition, Mohammed Banko a Syrian politician who is now living on Merseyside gave 2 short statements and refuted the implication that Syrian refugees are involved in terrorism.
As we approach Lent, we also approach our third anniversary. Not so much cause for celebration, but certainly of thanksgiving for all that we have managed to do to help those most in need in our city. Following up from our Lent Reflections from 2015, we are once again producing a booklet, which we hope will help you to think about why we as people of faith are called to help the poor, the alien in our midst. Do please ask the stewards for extra copies if you know someone who might like to read it. The booklet will also be available on our website. Inside you find our new and updated shopping list, which we hope is now simpler to use.
If you can donate or volunteer, or support us in anyway, do please contact us
Due to structural problems at St Bride’s Church, a large area of the church is currently out of bounds. As a result, given the number of guests who use this pantry each week, it is neither comfortable or safe to continue to use the church whilst the restrictions are in place (Estimate six weeks). As from 7th January 2016 our Thursday pantry will operate from St Margaret of Antioch Church, Princes Road, Liverpool L8 1TG. The opening times remain the same 12:30 -2:30
Nädine Daniel, our project manager, was recently interviewed by Tony Snell of Radio Merseyside . She discusses the Syrian refugee crisis and talks about how we can help.
Revd Jean Flood of MitE (Mission in the Economy) has been in touch earlier this afternoon with the news that St John’s Market will be providing a stall in the market for people to bring donations of clothes, food and toiletries to. This is wonderful news, and a huge thank you to Jean for sorting this out. If anyone would be available to help staff the stall for an hour or two, please can you contact Jean [email protected]
Daniel, an asylum seeker who has just arrived from Eritrea was interviewed by Radio Merseyside today. He talked about his experiences of being in Calais and of his journey to London.
Bishop Paul was interviewed by Radio Merseyside today. He made listeners aware of the fact that many of our local food banks are currently in desperate of more supplies but he also discussed the “scandal” of the need food banks at all in the UK in 2015.
Nädine Daniel, our project manager, was interviewed by Radio Merseyside today. She discusses the new Pharaoh’s dream idea and highlights the shortfall in donations which hits us during the summer months.
To coincide with our second birthday Nädine Daniel, our project manager, was interviewed by Radio Merseyside. A transcript is now available.
Bishop Paul recently gave an interview to the Liverpool Echo during which he spoke out against benefit sanctions.