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Featured Winner: Footprints in the Community

Working with over 150 volunteers Footprints in the Community has established a range of services to help address poverty and isolation in Redcar and surrounding areas.  They partner with over 120 local organisations to ensure that their services are available to those most in need and have become a valued resource within the local community. 

Through their projects they support and encourage people, help to improve their mental and physical health through a range of activities and through volunteering opportunities.  They help to build friendships and raise people's aspirations and employability skills. 

Their projects are developed from identified gaps from feedback from clients, members of the public or referral agencies.  The Board of Trustees evaluate ideas and those taken forward are trialled as a pilot scheme for six months, after which they are re-assessed and relevant changes implemented to ensure the best possible service is delivered.

Services they provide:

Footprints Community Café - A welcoming café environment in a local church once a week where people meet for a coffee and/or light meal; friendships are formed and people can access support from their team of volunteer 'Welcomers' and occasional visitors from other organisations e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau.  Games are available should people wish to use them and special Christmas dinners and monthly Sunday dinners are now offered which are extremely popular. 

Foodbank – It provides emergency food parcels to people in food poverty, using the Trussell Trust model.  They run eight centres across the area ensuring accessibility and work direct with over 120 agencies ensuring follow-up help is available to clients in need of extra support and guidance.  Clients are limited to four emergency food parcels in a six month period.

Fuelbank - They have recently introduced Fuelbank alongside Foodbank providing emergency funds paid direct to client's fuel keys/cards. Clients are limited to 3 vouchers in a six month period.  This project is funded through N Power in partnership with Trussell Trust.

Fresh Start - A new service providing second hand, good quality kitchen utensils, pots and pans etc and bedding to foodbank clients who are identified as being in need of support.  

First Steps – It enables the re-distribution of no longer needed baby clothing and equipment to families in need who are referred to us via Health Visitors and Sure Start teams. 

Lunch Box Project - Provision of packed lunches, crafts, fun and games during the summer school holidays to children who are referred via their school or family key workers. 

Next Step Shop – It offers longer term support to the people who are struggling to feed themselves and/or their families in the form of a members shop.  Members pay £2 per visit and are able to choose 10 items of food, equivalent to approximately £10 worth of food.  Specific training and volunteer opportunities are available to members of the Next Step Shop.

Men's Shed - A typical shed working environment where men take part in a variety of activities of their choice, including woodwork, leatherwork etc. Friendships are cultivated and men support one another both through offering help with activities and on an emotional level.

Redcar Beacons - A street angels project, offering support, first aid etc to those people who are out enjoying the night-time economy every Friday and/or Saturday night between 10pm and 3am. 

Find out more: http://www.footprintsinthecommunity.co.uk/

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