As early as 2014 at Reach we were aware of barriers to our services, especially anyone living in the villages. From time to time we would receive a call from a Doctor’s surgery or a family support worker in Clare or Linton asking if we might be able to help a patient or a family they were assisting. Our resources at the time dictated that our work was centred on Haverhill, not exclusively, but if you needed help and from a village, it generally meant coming in to see us at the Resource Centre on the Clements Estate in Haverhill.
By 2015 we began to dream of satellite centres in partnership with a local church in that community. Following the launch of ‘The Hidden Needs Report’ by Suffolk Community Foundation in September 2016, highlighting the growth in rural poverty in Suffolk it was time to act. With some initial funding from the ONE Haverhill Partnership we launched our Reach into the Community project in January 2017, essentially carrying out home visits.
The project has grown and although not running satellite centres yet, we appointed Jo Goodhall for the Haverhill and Stour Valley area and Tina Rice for the South Cambs corridor (see Tina’s piece below).
Well, one year on we now have updated our statistics for the year and these make interesting reading!
Throughout 2016 we fed 43 people from rural areas around Haverhill from the foodbank. In 2017 we fed 145 people in the rural areas!
In 2016 rural areas amounted to just 4% of the people helped by Haverhill foodbank, it now stands at 10%
More than £1500 of client aid has been distributed through Acts 435 as well many other services including debts, form completion and general support
Naturally we are delighted with the impact that Reach into the Community is having in the rural areas, we do have a great team and that includes the volunteers that accompany Jo & Tina on their home visits. If you too would like to accompany Jo or Tina on any of their home visits, please do get in touch with the office on 01440 712950 or firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.