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Fair Frome’s New Year message

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In a New Year message to everyone, Fair Frome, which runs projects in the town to meet the needs of those in acute financial difficulties, would like to say a massive THANK YOU to  all  to all their supporters, donors and volunteers who have helped them help those in need over the past year.

Bob Ashford, chair of Trustees says, “2018 has been a difficult year for many in Frome. Continuing austerity, freezes on welfare benefits, the introduction of Universal Credit and a local low-pay/high cost economy have all added to the problems experienced by many. Amidst the affluence in the town, Frome has two wards where 25% of children are living in poverty. The final blow at the end of the year was the cuts by Somerset County Council to children’s services, the CAB, Sure Start/Get Set and other local organisations whose services were targeted at this very group.

“2019 doesn’t look like being any better unfortunately. This is why the support we have received within the town has been so vital in enabling us with our volunteers and other partner organisations to provide the basic services essential to keep individuals and families afloat.”

In 2018 Fair Frome has:

• Given food parcels to over 850 people who have used the Food Bank, as well as distributed parcels to schools at the beginning of school holidays.

• Collected 13,678kgs of food and toiletries donated by our “invisible” donors at supermarkets and shops in the town and by churches, schools and community groups.

• Recycled furniture, white goods and household items at no cost to 150 homes benefitting 265 adults and children ranging from one-off items to whole house fitting.

• Provided 261 hot meals to families, many of them free to those on benefits, who attended holiday activities sessions.

• Delivered community lunches across the town which have brought communities together and helped to reduce isolation. 

• Acted as an umbrella group to bring together other organisations working in similar areas. 

• Raised a voice on issues of poverty and inequality where they impact on people in Frome.

• Supported our volunteers in delivering over 3,600 hours of volunteers’ time to keep our services going.

Fair Frome joint coordinators Wendy Miller Williams and Lenka Grimes said, “2018 has been an amazingly busy, but productive year and as a charity, we know we can’t keep still given the rising levels of demand. As well as getting out our additional Christmas parcels, we have also spent time with Trustees over the past few weeks looking at how we can improve on what we are doing next year. We all agree that we need to continue doing what we do well, where our greatest need is, but also provide more targeted activity in terms of meals and food for those on low incomes, recycling food wherever possible. 

“We look forward to the challenge and everyone’s continuing support.

 “Happy New Year!”

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