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Homeless food distribution

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Charities
6 replies 3K views
Dixon07Dixon07 Forumite
1 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Charities
Hi all

Would love a bit of direction and help,
I would like to set up a small organisation / charity but I’m unsure which route to take.

I’m hoping to distribute food to the homeless by setting up a soup kitchen however we would require funding / fundraisers solely to purchase the food.
Print fliers and other awareness campaigns plus travel.

So I’m unsure whether to register a cics ( social enterprise ) limited company or register as a trust charity.


If anyone has some direction I would be extremely grateful. This is all new to me I’m insure which category we fall under when registering a charity ...

Replies

  • kingfisherbluekingfisherblue Forumite
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    First of all, have you read the government guidance on setting up a charity?


    https://www.gov.uk/setting-up-charity


    Secondly, do you already have a foodbank in your town? Could you volunteer with them? It appears that you have little or no experience (if I have understood your post correctly), so setting up any sort of organisation without knowing anything about the rules and regulations, clients, funding, etc would not be advisable.
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Dixon07 wrote: »
    If anyone has some direction I would be extremely grateful.

    Don't reinvent the wheel - if there are any groups in your area already doing this, offer your time and energy to them.

    If there aren't, there may be a good reason.

    If there are groups who help the homeless but haven't got the manpower to organise a soup kitchen, offer to work with them to set one up.
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    What they both said ...

    Organisations you should be aware of: the Trussell Trust has an excellent model for Foodbanks, and many also run small cafes and informal advice services alongside. And FareShare, if it operates in your area, distributes surplus food to bring those costs down.
    Still knitting!
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  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    Don't reinvent the wheel - if there are any groups in your area already doing this, offer your time and energy to them.

    If there aren't, there may be a good reason.

    If there are groups who help the homeless but haven't got the manpower to organise a soup kitchen, offer to work with them to set one up.
    Actually just to add to this: even if the OP cannot find any provision locally for feeding the homeless, it is worth contacting organisations further afield to get advice, guidance and possibly even support on setting something up in your own area.

    It might also be worth seeing what's going on locally over the Christmas period: now is the time to get in touch if you want to volunteer, and it would give lots of valuable insights into areas such as what issues homeless people face (food may not be the main one); how those issues can be addressed; what's already going on; and who else might get involved.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • MallyGirlMallyGirl Forumite, Board Guide
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    Dixon07 wrote: »
    Hi all

    Would love a bit of direction and help,
    I would like to set up a small organisation / charity but I’m unsure which route to take.

    I’m hoping to distribute food to the homeless by setting up a soup kitchen however we would require funding / fundraisers solely to purchase the food.
    Print fliers and other awareness campaigns plus travel.

    So I’m unsure whether to register a cics ( social enterprise ) limited company or register as a trust charity.


    If anyone has some direction I would be extremely grateful. This is all new to me I’m insure which category we fall under when registering a charity ...

    I assist with a local scheme - not a charity. Them getting charity status was going to be a lot of work so they haven't. Be aware that if you intend to cook then the cooks need hygiene training/certification. It is quite an undertaking to get enough volunteers to provide a consistent service - you can't just not do food one week as everyone is away for half term as the people you support will have come to depend on you.
    My local scheme only does food on a Wednesday and also collects clothes and toiletries to give out. Getting enough contributions for just one day a week is a big effort. We also help with starter packs for people who get housing but have nothing. It is all managed through Facebook.
    It is great to try and help the less fortunate but make sure you are going in to it with eyes wide open.
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  • If you do decide to go ahead I'd be happy to give you some advice and share our experience. I'm a trustee of a small local charity that feeds the homeless 4 nights a week.

    We've gone through the journey from totally unofficial serving food in the street, to a registered charity serving from a building. I can probably help you out with pointing out some of the mistakes we made and also share a lot of the paperwork we've had to create, safeguarding policy, confidentiality policy etc, to save you reinventing the wheel.
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