Two months ago today, we launched Bristol Goods.
Bristol Goods is a brand new project supporting people at risk of or with recent experience of homelessness to move towards food independence, an increased connection with their community, and maintain their tenancy. Shoppers are those who are at risk of homelessness and have recently experienced street homelessness and are newly housed. Each shopper will pay a weekly membership of £3.50 giving them full access to the shop, where they can fill up their basket weekly.
The project is funded by the John James Foundation and Bristol City Council.
All of our projects aim to respond to a real need and are based learning and research. Bristol Goods is no exception.
As well as evaluating our findings at six and twelve-month milestones, we want to be transparent about how we work with our staff, volunteers, and the wider Bristol community. Doing so keeps us accountable and can serve as a catalyst for new collaborations.
Ben Copeland, Project Manager of Bristol Goods has penned our latest blog, outlining four headlines from the opening weeks of the Bristol Goods.
The Universal Credit is biting hard and immediately for the communities we serve
“The recent cut of £20 per week to Universal Credit is hitting our members hard and placing additional strain on their already-stretched finances. Each week we have been able to provide more than £20 worth of food, which in turn has help alleviate pressure on members household budgets.”
Variety is essential to developing confidence with food
“Members are trying vegetables that they wouldn’t normally have in the weekly shop such as pak choi, and in turn learning new recipes and cooking techniques. As a central aim of the project this is really exciting and we hope Bristol Goods will enable members to try new types of food and increase their food confidence.”
Bristol Goods on one of its first outings. The pop-up store has moved to an indoor location as the weather has turned.
There is a real demand for Bristol Goods and projects like it
“We have had a steady increase of members attending Bristol Goods each week, with 22 people on our books now from under ten in our first week. Building trust with our members will be key to the success of the project.”
Communal cooking and eating is the next step
“Inviting friends over for a home-cooked meal is something a lot of us take for granted, but for some people living alone with limited space and resources that just isn’t the reality. From the outset of the project we have planned for ‘social eating’ – cooking and eating together communally – to form a part of Bristol Goods, and we have recently secured a space locally to utilise for this. It’s an exciting next phase of the project for the Bristol Goods team and our members, and we’ll be inviting some of our partners from Cheers Drive to get involved to make it a really special experience for all those present.”