Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

New year message from Fair Frome

Story posted on

In a New Year message  local charity Fair Frome, which runs projects in the town aimed at helping individuals and families in financial difficulties, would like to say a huge thanks to all their supporters, donors and volunteers who have helped them deliver their projects over the past year.

Bob Ashford, chair of trustees said, “On the surface, Frome is a relatively prosperous town. The reality though is that many people continue to struggle to make ends meet and feed themselves or their families. Rising house prices and rents have added to their difficulties as has continuing austerity, the freeze on welfare benefits, Universal Credit and a local low-pay/high cost economy. 

“Amidst the affluence in the town, Frome has two wards where 25% of children are living in poverty. Continuing closures or cuts to public services in the town (the latest being the closure of Routes the YMCA support project for young people) have also meant fewer lifelines and more people coming to use our services.

“2020 doesn’t look like getting any better unfortunately. This is why, in addition to our existing services we have recently started our Food at Five project which provides a hot meal to families on low incomes three times per week during term time and our assistance scheme, which gives small one-off grants to referred children, to enable them to access school or sporting activities, as well as essential items like school shoes and uniform. 

“This scheme has also been used for emergency accommodation and medical transport costs. This makes the support we have received within the town  so vital in enabling us with our volunteers and other partner organisations to provide the basic services essential to keep individuals and families afloat.”

During 2019 Fair Frome has:

• Distributed food parcels to almost 1,000 individuals and families through the food bank. Collected 27 tonnes of food donated by individuals and local groups. Given away additional food parcels to local schools and agencies at the start of school holidays and Christmas. Subscribed to the Fareshare fcheme to use surplus food from supermarkets. Provided food to schools for breakfast clubs.

• Recycled furniture, white goods and household items and given them at no cost to families and individuals referred to us ranging from individual items, to whole houses. Over 200 people benefitted last year. Grants have also helped us with cooker installations and installing curtain rails etc.

• Delivered meals to 750 children and families, the majority of whom are on benefits during school holidays as part of our Holiday Hunger project.

• Provided hot, nutritious, meals 3 days per week at no cost if on benefits, or a small donation if not, to over 300 people a month during term time through our Food at Five project. These events bring together local families, single, homeless, elderly and socially isolated people and others for a communal meal.

• Provided small one-off cash grants to over 20 children and 10 young parents through our assistance scheme.

• Acted as an umbrella group, bringing together local agencies working with people in poverty to share ideas and plan joint services.

• Supported over 30 volunteers, some of whom have gone on to employment with the skills they have gained and provided over 100 volunteer hours.

• Raised a voice against the causes of poverty and deprivation locally and nationally.

• Run an Access for All campaign to raise awareness of the needs of people with disabilities to be able to access businesses and shops in the town.

• Supported other groups and events in the town including the Big Xmas Get Together

• In all, over 2,750 people have benefitted from our projects over the past year.

 Wendy Miller Williams and Lenka Grimes the Fair Frome coordinators said, “2019 has been an incredibly busy time for us and our volunteers. We started as a small charity 5 years ago and have continued to grow to try to meet the growing need that exists in the town. 

“We are though continually heartened by the support we have received from the great Frome public, council, and businesses. We would like to express our thanks and especially to those “invisible” donors who week in week out put food in our collection points in the town.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *