I attended Eastleigh Basics Bank’s first AGM on 22 September. Formerly operating under Zion Projects, Eastleigh Basics Bank is now registered as a charity in its own right, with its own bank account.
The management committee comprises Dan Brain (Chairman), Chris Goodhead (treasurer), Denise (secretary and joint shop manager), Dom Hooley (stock control and joint shop manager), and Dave Keating (events manager).
Chris Goodhead (treasurer) presented the accounts to December 2014, which showed a cash surplus of about £15,500 at the year end – a comfortable position.
Sufficient churches had come forward to guarantee the rent for the term of the lease.
For accounting purposes, the value of the food donated during the financial year has to be estimated and included in the accounts.
Food donations during 2014 were estimated to be worth £41,000. This was considered to be a conservative estimate, based on supermarket prices for the cheapest type of that product.
What has Eastleigh Basics Bank achieved in 4 years?
Dom presented some statistics:
- 10,543 people fed since EBB opened in 2011
- 2,644 people fed in 2014
- 1,324 people fed so far this year
- 48% of households fed have at least one child at home
- 90% of clients have been helped 1-5 times over four years – the majority only once
- Fewer than 3% of clients have been helped more than 10 times
- Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 30% of the population has less than £250 of savings
He showed a graph demonstrating two or three peaks in the year when demand rises. These include the summer holidays (no free school meals available for children), December and February (Christmas/high fuel bills).
Many poorer people have to use the key card system for purchasing their fuel (more expensive per unit than other forms of payment) and this can mean less money available for food. They do not have overdrafts/credit cards to enable them to spread the cost of Christmas.
He explained that Job Centre Plus was no longer able to give out EBB vouchers as the government did not permit them to ask searching questions about a client’s financial situation, so Job Centre Plus issued claimants with details of places, such as Citizens Advice Bureau, where vouchers could be obtained.
How could you help Eastleigh Basics Bank?
Dom appealed for help in three areas:
- More volunteers are needed to man the shop for three hours on a rota basis
- Continued high level of food/basics donations
- Special appeal for carrier bags and ‘Bags for Life’
A presentation was made to Dave Keating in recognition of his work with EBB since its inception. Dave observed that he opened EBB, but God keeps it open.
During the Hope Eastleigh event in the summer, Dave Keating explained how Eastleigh Basics Bank has fed 11,000 people in Eastleigh in four years:
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