Cardiff Foodbank operates under the umbrella of the Trussell Trust.
The Trust is a charitable organisation working in the UK that operates foodbanks which then distribute non-perishable food items to those most in need. They are well known and often feature in the media due to increased numbers of people needing emergency food. On their website they state the following:
Our vision: To end hunger and poverty in the UK.
Our mission: Bringing communities together to end hunger and poverty in the UK by providing compassionate, practical help whilst challenging injustice.
A big part of their work seems to focus on community spirit and the generosity of the general public in providing donations through supermarket drop-off points or to the actual foodbanks themselves. On their website there is a ‘missions and aims’ section which outlines what they hope to achieve and some of their core values, which are obviously integral to the charity. Relying on public donations means that they need to constantly drum up support and maintain the levels of donations in line with the number of people requiring support from the foodbanks.
The Trussell Trust is committed to community built on diversity, tolerance, cooperation, and mutual respect; we want to contribute to society and demonstrate social responsibility. Our values are important to us, and we aim to live them out in all areas of our work.
We are passionate about what we do and the difference it makes in the lives of others
We are compassionate; we give selflessly and put others before ourselves
We hold ourselves accountable: we acknowledge and assume responsibility for actions, decisions, and consequences – as individuals and as an organisation.
We are innovative, with the ambition to pursue new and creative ideas that have the potential to change lives for the better.
We empower and encourage staff, volunteers and clients to take the initiative and achieve their best, in a safe environment where mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities.
The words highlighted in the passage are important as they quickly show the type of organisation that they are, or want to be. I think some of them are particularly important.
These words all suggest an organisation that is well-meaning and thoughtful, but one that wants success in its mission and rightly so. Foodbank donations are necessary and provide a lifeline to those in need. The words empower, innovative and encourage are three words that I think really represent what they are about, and also the direction that this project can take. To be empowering and innovative is something that I did not expect to see on their website. They suggest an urgency, and a real will to see their work done and done well. They clearly want to be viewed as an organisation with drive and passion, and quite possibly an organisation that would be willing to try new things.
The central idea behind the Trust is to operate foodbanks up and down the country and gather donations from the public. How this is done depends on different factors, such as whether they’re operating from within a supermarket or whether donations are made directly to the foodbanks or the warehouses themselves.
This idea of empowering people and being innovative is something I think I’d like to really capitalise on with my work, as I want the project to have a real weight to it. Something is needed that is punchy and impactful, and makes you see the foodbanks in a new way. Not only does it need to empower those who use the foodbanks, but also encourage the public to donate and continue to do so. Behaviour change (in the form of increased donations from the public) is the avenue that I’d initially like to pursue with this project, as it’s the backbone of the Trust. The Trust and foodbanks themselves rely on public donations, so to increase these would, I think, be the most valuable way to help.