As the world tackles the complex challenges and battles against the Covid-19 Pandemic, our small team of four is working harder than ever to support the requests we receive weekly from our network of 40 UK charities. Whilst in parallel our international work continues we are facing the challenges Brexit brings, head on.
Just last week as we were closing the office we received an SOS order from a social worker from a local housing association. Yvonne (not her real name) an abused mother and her children, were fleeing domestic violence. In fear of their lives Yvonne took her children and left home to seek refuge. Pretending to take a walk, so she could leave safely with the children, meant she was unable to take anything with her. So, the SOS came through that they needed warm clothing, underwear, socks, and pyjamas, for this cold weather, and they needed it now. We re-opened the office and pulled together the items they needed.
We heard Yvonne was living on the edge for a long time. Anxious, with mental health issues, she was terrified to leave the house because of her fear of catching the virus and also petrified to stay at home with her aggressive husband. Finally, last week, she couldn’t take it any longer and made that final difficult decision to leave and seek refuge.
Sadly, this situation is far from unique and we hear regularly of families who are struggling in heart-breaking situations. We are receiving increased requests to help those who are struggling to make ends meet, with many having the additional worry of reduced income support. Unable to pay the bills and with the additional strain of lockdown means, with no school meals, they are unable to feed their children adequately. A recent report published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health said that as many as one in three adults who have children under the age of 16 have struggled to put food on the table. But the realities of this shocking figure are complex. Many families have little or no choice. They either go without food or buy unhealthy food because that's what they can afford and get hold of.
As many as one in three adults who have children under the age of 16 have struggled to put food on the table.
We recently heard from an outreach worker who explained that she’d been contacted by a mother who’d had her income support cut and was struggling to afford food and clothing for her children. The inactivity of lockdown and feeding her children cheap stodgy foods to keep them full meant she needed to buy larger clothing for her teenage daughter. Like many of the people we help, she struggled to ask for help, whether it was a sense of failure or pride, reaching out was a last resort. She explained how she felt ashamed to ask for help and asked if the goods could be delivered after dark as she didn’t want her neighbours to know.
Stories like this break my heart. They also resonate strongly with me and the experiences of my own childhood. I have memories of my two uncles arriving with weekly boxes. Uncle Dave brought us fresh butter farm eggs, cheese and fresh fruit, from a local farm in Hitchin. Uncle Norman brought us King Edward potatoes and loads of green vegetables. It was a weekly ritual. Always in the evening. Our dear mum hardly ever left the house. She was too busy baking, we were told. Her baking was amazing and I have always said that ‘we were weaned on cakes and biscuits’. I never actually realised WHY or HOW the black bags of clothing arrived mysteriously on our doorstep at night. There were four of us to clothe. There was no virus back then of course, but the battle to exist was a real one for my own parents.
It’s a sad reality that millions of people live in poverty unable to buy the basics such as food, clothing, bedding, toiletries and hygiene goods. That’s why I set up Goods For Good in 2014 - to help those in most need. The year ahead will be a difficult one for millions of people who will be affected by Covid-hardship and the impact and challenges of BREXIT and we don’t yet know what the lasting impacts will be beyond 2021. But our small team is going from strength to strength to ensure we deliver not just the essentials but that we deliver a little bit of hope along the way to those that need it most.
If you'd like to support our efforts, then we would love to hear from you. Our key challenge this year will be raising the desperately needed funds for logistics costs to deliver our humanitarian goods to those in need. Industry offers us an abundance of overstocked goods. Our logistics partners reach almost anywhere in the world, and we have trusted charity partners wherever we go. However, we need funds to deliver the goods which often have to wait in our warehouse until we can afford to move them. Your financial support will help us deliver vital goods, (which might otherwise go to landfill). Please share the load with us.
From as little as £5 a month you can help us deliver a box of clothing and underwear.
Join our community and receive news and updates from the Goods For Good headquarters.