Anchor partnership spreads help for groups who bring people together through food

More than £33,000 has been distributed by Wiltshire Community Foundation to small charities and voluntary groups in Swindon and Wiltshire thanks to a new partnership with Anchor Butter.

Anchor Butter has joined forces with UK Community Foundations, the umbrella organisation of which Wiltshire Community Foundation is a member and donated £100,000 to establish the Anchor Community Connection Fund. Alongside two other foundations, Wiltshire has been selected to distribute these funds to support groups who use food to bring people together and strengthen local connections.

Anchor spokesman Stuart Ibberson commented: “Food has always been at the heart of community life in Britain and cooking and enjoying food should be accessible for everyone. This is why we’ve partnered with the UK Community Foundation to connect local communities and ensure that as many people as possible have access to cooking skills, food education and friendship. Through the partnership, we aim to spread a bit of food positivity in neighbourhoods across the nation.”

Wiltshire Community Foundation joint chief executive Fiona Oliver said: “We are delighted to be a member of this partnership and proud that Anchor is entrusting us to use its money where it will make the most impact. In the midst of the current crisis, access to healthy food as well as support, advice and companionship have never been more important so we are thankful that Anchor has chosen to do this.”

Among the groups in Swindon and Wiltshire to receive funding is Swindon Night Shelter. It will use a £5,000 grant to support its work with rough sleepers and those in accommodation at risk of losing it. It provides a drop-in and winter shelter in Queen’s Drive, Swindon, where guests can get a hot meal, food parcels, access to medical and housing advice and, just as importantly, a friendly welcome and a listening ear.

The Harbour Project in Broad Street Swindon, which supports refugees and asylum seekers, will use a £3,430 grant to buy food for its regular drop-ins. The charity has more than 30 different nationalities visiting regularly for help and advice with adapting to life in the UK.

The Recovery Tree, whose garden centre and community café provide vital work placement and therapy for people suffering mental health issues, will use a £4,480 grant to help run two projects – a bakery and a mobile pizza oven.

A £2,000 grant will help St John’s Honeypot Day Centre continue providing a hot meal for more than 30 older and isolated people in Trowbridge. They meet at the church hall for food, activities and a chance to chat.

The Pantry Partnership in Salisbury has been awarded £5,000 to help bring people together through food and support families struggling with the cost of living crisis.

Also in Salisbury, St Michael's Community Church in Bemerton Heath has received £3047.60 towards the cost of updating their kitchen facilities, enabling them to serve low cost hot meals in their Community Cafe.

Trowbridge Future has been awarded £4,850 towards staffing and the refurbishment of the kitchen Seymour Hub, where it runs a community fridge to hold regular cookery sessions and provide meals for families and isolated people and families in Longfield, Seymour and Studley Green.

Doorway Project in Chippenham has been awarded £2,880 towards the running of its women’s group at The Citadel. The money will help provide food and support for women who are either rough sleepers or are vulnerable in their accommodation.

A £2,645 grant to Westbury and Warminster Youth Clubs will help youth worker Beth Mullins organise events that use food to encourage young people from low-income families to attend. In Westbury she will run a series of cookery classes. The courses will culminate in a meal cooked by the young people for 60 invited parents and friends. In Warminster a bake-off competition planned aimed at young people up to 19.

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