We aim to provide free outdoor exercise equipment for families from disadvantaged backgrounds as it has been identified by primary schools that the children benefit from kit and ideas for practicing outside exercising.
The grant we received from the Lord Provost fund, which went towards the cost of purchases for the foodbank, made a huge difference to the work we were able to do. Like many other food bank operators we saw an unprecedented rise in the request for help. At one point we were dealing with a four fold increase in the number of requests we received. We operate a principle of never turning anyone away and because of the grant, we were able to deliver on that commitment.
It is difficult to anticipate what is going to happen in the coming months as the furlough scheme comes to an end and the inevitable redundancies start. The requests for food bank support has declined in the last few weeks but we do expect that it will pick up as we approach winter. Unfortunately, I very stupidly missed the deadline for the new grant applications but we had been planning to apply for an additional food grant loan in anticipate of this increase.
In the other areas of our charity work we have taken on new drivers and assistants to cope with the huge volumes of donations and the need to have quarantine areas for daily donations. This continues to pose significant problems for us from both a space perspective and a double handling, ie first into quarantine then to be sorted. We have never had so many applicants for jobs which is indicative of the rising unemployment.
The local lockdown in Aberdeen also impacted us as we had to stop all pick up of donations which in turn reduce the levels of stock which we had for sale in our charity shop.
On the positive side, if there is one, the pandemic made us stop and think about how we operated and how we could make the charity more resilient to future events such as the pandemic - prior to Covid 19 95% of our income came from our charity shop sales. We "lost" around £200,000 of income from having to close during lockdown. Through careful management we have survived this but probably couldnt survive something like this again if it were to reoccur in the next 6 months.
Any gift you can make, large or small, can have a huge impact on the lives of many. Businesses, associations and private individuals are being urged to support this appeal and donate whatever they can now.Donate