Hammersmith & Fulham Council has joined forces with H&F Foodbank and the Trussell Trust to launch a ground-breaking foodbank hub on the White City estate.
The Hub @ 75 in Bloemfontein Road is a bold new initiative that will see advice, signposting and support services offered alongside the traditional functions of a foodbank.
The hub – specially designed and fully refurbished – has a dedicated H&F Council-funded Citizens Advice Bureau adviser to assist foodbank clients, alongside PC and internet access. The aim is to help create long-term sustainable solutions to help residents so they no longer need to use food banks.
“Our starting point was simple – this is not just about food, it’s about poverty,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.
“And tackling this poverty is central to everything that H&F Council is doing. Indeed, it will be a great day when residents in our borough no longer need food banks at all.
“Through projects like the new Hub, the council is not only funding foodbanks – we are reinventing them. Targeted and meaningful support will be available for all those who come through the doors through the dedicated advice workers, in an atmosphere that people feel safe and comfortable in.
“It was extremely proud to attend the official launch of The Hub @ 75, and to do so with many of the dedicated staff and volunteers from both H&F Foodbank and the Trussell Trust. Without their support, and that of the wider community, this project would not have been possible.”
Tackling poverty and promoting social inclusion are key H&F council commitments, and supporting the new hub is central to these aims.
The council has already:
- Provided the premises at 75 Bloemfontein Rd;
- Enabled refurbishment of the facility through its contractor Amey, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programme;
- Funded a full time CAB adviser at the centre;
- Funded a Centre Manager and covered other running costs for Hammersmith and Fulham Food Bank with a £45,000 per year grant from the council’s 3rd Sector Investment Fund.
“It is a priority for us to tackle food poverty and supporting the excellent people at the Trussell Trust by providing this new Hub at White City is sadly essential in this age,” said Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F Council.
“While it should not be the case that food banks are a necessity in the capital city of the fifth biggest economy on the planet, it is undoubtedly the case they are desperately needed. I know the wonderful volunteers who keep this service going have the thanks and admiration of all the good people of our borough.”
The Hub will provide another community base for White City from which all can operate and closer working relationships are being formed which aim to benefit the whole of the community.
“I recently spoke to a woman at the foodbank who was expecting twins. She was sofa surfing just six weeks before she was due because she and her partner hit financial difficulty when her antiques business collapsed and they were evicted from their home,” said Daphine Aikens, CEO of H&F Foodbank.
“Our partnership with H&F Citizens Advice meant that not only were we able to give her emergency food and baby basics, but also housing and welfare advice; working together to provide support can make a real difference to people being able to break out of crisis.
“Thanks to the extraordinary support from H&F Council we will be able to continue to provide that support in White City and across our two other outlets.”
For more information, visit the H&F Foodbank website.