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The Mayor’s Charities 2020-21

The Mayor’s Charities 2020-21

As Mayor of Bridport I am able to nominate good causes as the focus of my fundraising efforts during my term of office. Since March the Coronavirus crisis has been a period of extreme challenge and it will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. There is not a person in Bridport whose health and well being has not been impacted on in some way, and for some the impact has been extreme. Whilst we may have weathered the initial impact, the risk of a second wave of Covid-19, combined with the economic fallout already being felt, means there are tough times ahead . It was with this in mind, that I have chosen the Cupboard Love Food Bank, and the Burrough Harmony Centre as the focus of my fundraising efforts this year.

Cupboard Love supports many people from all walks of life who for a variety of reasons need a little extra support financially. They do not hand out any money, but can help people’s money go further by providing emergency food.

Some examples of people they have helped are – families where the main bread winner has been made redundant; people who have had their benefits stopped; people waiting for their benefits application to be processed; people who are in work; but are finding it difficult to manage due to rising costs or an unexpected bill, people who are homeless or are sofa surfing; and people who have had to leave their home due to domestic violence. The list is endless and is individual to each person.

Cupboard Love is totally reliant on the local community for donations of food, time and money for the project to run. Cupboard Love has a number public donation sites within the town including: Morrisons, and Waitrose. In addition it also has donations of fresh fruit, vegetables and bread from several local traders in the town which are collect on the day.

Cupboard Love volunteers prepare hampers using the church pews to sort donations

The marked increase in demand has thankfully been matched by an increase in the generous donations of food by you the people of Bridport. As a result the pressure on storage is rapidly reaching crisis point.

Fundraising Target – we need to raise £3000 to purchase a purpose built food storage unit.

The Borough Harmony Centre offers support for people living with mental health problems, helping them on their recovery and integration into their communities.

It is a friendly, welcoming, informal service offering peer support, information, signposting and a variety of enjoyable activities to local people who are living with a mental health problem. For anyone reaching a mental health crisis they provide a non judgmental and safe space to talk and be listened to. Their services are for adults only and self referral.

The Harmony team is led by Service Manager, Caroline Gamble who has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the mental health sector and charities, having worked in this area for many years. Harmony staff are all highly professional and bring a range of experience including mental health nurses, mental health practitioners to peer specialists. They are welcoming, friendly and non judgemental, providing confidential support to all who access the service.

Demand for Harmony services has not only increased significantly but the methods of delivery have had to change in order to meet the demand. Due to the Coronavirus crisis the service has had to move from a 3 times a week drop in to a full time IT based one.

Harmony volunteers host a drop in sessions in the Community Orchard

There is a desperate need to improve and increase the IT based capability of the service.

FUNDRAISING TARGET – we need to raise £3000 to purchase the laptop computers and smartphones desperately needed to support the delivery of the ever growing need.

During my term of office I will be supporting and hosting a number of fundraising events to raise the funds needed to ensure the future of these two increasingly vital services. I look forward to having your support in achieving the targets set.

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