Thank you everyone who donated to the cause this season. We held 6 Christmas themed lunches and dinners over the fortnight and cooked 170 meals.
It was the best christmas yet! Songs were sang, christmas chicken, turkey and nut roasts were cooked, crakers were pulled. Santa passed by and delivered presents and everyone left with a bag full of food to feed them over the next few weeks.
At Be Enriched we are mindlful that there will be some big challenges ahead. Times do not look like they're going to get easier for the people that we support and we hope we can continue to support them. As the need is growing our plans are also growing. Follow us on twitter @be_enriched to find out more.
In the meantime Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays!
All Be Enriched projects affect a wide variety of people in a myriad of different ways.
One of the less publicised things are supporting people with long term illness or disablity back into work. Below is a case study of a man we have been working with for the past 12 months.
Patrick was a 57 year old man from Cameroon who had been living in the UK since a teenager. He'd had an accident at 48 leaving him with learning disablity, concentration issues and memory loss. It took him 3 years to phyiscally recover and he still had some issues standing for long periods of time. As he was older in age and with long term issues Patrick was knocked back from many jobs that he had previously been able to do and so was out of work for 4 years. This knocked his confidence and self esteem and due to the brain injurys he had trouble remembering appointments and was losing out on vital benifits to keep him afloat. After being refered to a disablity charity for some support with this he applied to Be Enriched to take on a paid internship role for 3 months, as an assistant Canteen manager. During this time he built up his confidence, autonomy and skills and became a key member of the Kitchen team. His internship ended in just before Christmas and when we told him this he became anxious and cried, because he really loved the role. We wanted to keep him on, and it was Christmas, so after some fundraising and part funding from grants we were able to emply him for another 6 months.
The Friday before the funding drew to a close we reminded him it was time to move on and time to start looking for other employment. This time Patrick told us he thought he was ready now and he thanked us for the time we'd worked together. On the Monday he came in to ask for a reference becasue he'd been offered a job in a nearby school as a KP. The whole team was very very pleased.
Our projects don't just affect the vulnerable people who attend them but also the people who work and volunteer at them in so many ways.
I look forward to sharing these stories with you over the next few months.
Elderly isolation continues to be an extremely prevalent issue in London, and so our mission to combat it is still very much in action.
One of the main projects we run to combat elderly loneliness in London is our weekly community canteens in Elephant and Castle, Tooting and Battersea. These canteens not only provide guests with a delicious 3 course meal made from surplus and donated food, prepared for them by volunteers, but also a welcoming and friendly space for them to connect with one another, and volunteers too. Every week we see the same guests returning, as well as new ones coming along for the first time and enjoying the service we offer and leaving with full tummies and happy faces! As well as enjoying the food on offer, the guests clearly benefit from the social aspects of the canteen massively too.
The aim of the canteens is to reduce isolation among marginalised members of the community and make food more accessible to those who need it. We see first-hand the positive impact that our canteens have on our guests and we hope to continue this. Your donations make it possible for our mission to combat elderly isolation to be tackled, so thank you so much toall ofour donors so far – we really appreciate your support, and we know our guests do too.
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