Idea #1 – Little Free Pantry

Describe your Good Idea: Initially inspired by the Little Free Library that presented at Southend soup, (which I’m in the process of setting up) I have recently seen a post on Facebook harnessing the idea of the Little Free Library and adapting it to help those living below the poverty line, I would like to set up my own Little Free Pantry.

It is exactly as it sounds, a community fridge if you were, a space where people can donate a little food to help fellow community members in need and a place where those that might be struggling can help themselves to stuff they need.

Why is this Idea important? Having worked at a local food bank in the past I know that you are restricted to a certain number of items and this can be quite worrying when you’re struggling to pay your bills. With winter coming up, gas and electric will be taking more of the people’s money which will invariably have a large impact on what they are able to spend on food.

How would funding help with your Idea? If I was to win the money it would enable me to kick start the pantry with a stock of items for people to help themselves and also to keep it going until such times as the wider community were aware of its existence to help to restock it.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? With any luck the Little Free Library and the Little Free Pantry would both be a success with people sharing not only food and groceries but also the books and maybe toys that they had grown out of.

For those of you that are aware of the Pokemon Go craze, I have applied to the game designers to put a Pokestop in my road to draw more children to come down and discover the Little Free Library, and in turn their parents to discover the Little Free Pantry.

My vision is for community sharing, networking and support.

Idea #2 – #refugeeswelcome in Southend

Describe your Good Idea: Southend has committed to accepting an initial 10-12 people on the Syrian Refugee Restettlement Programme and community groups such as CAST, SAVS and Citizens Advice have been working with the Council to bring this to reality.

We need some things for their new homes and Soup money would be a great way to help us buy the things we not given.

So many folk in the community want to help, but don’t know how – this is one way you can make a real difference!

Why is this Idea important? If our Syrian families are to feel welcome in their new home, we need to help them with as many of the basics as possible!

How would funding help with your Idea? We need furniture, bedding, kitchen equip etc so that the Council can spend as much as of the Home Office Grant as possible on translation services.

Some items will be gifted, but we will need cash to top up what people can’t provide.

Your Idea takes off; what’s happening 6 months from now? We have happy, settled, integrated families in our community, volunteering and playing their part!

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