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  • February 2019 update

    We are experiencing increasing referrals from agencies which include Newground Citizens Advice Rossendale & Hyndburn SafeSpace and other youth homeless services Together Housing Rossendale Council Christians Against Poverty UK Shelter Royal British Legion Home-Start Rossendale, Burnley and Hyndburn Adult and Children Social Services, Victim support, Health Visitors, Schools & School Nurses, Lancashire County Council services including crisis support working with FareShare Lancashire and Cumbria & youth services plus many more .

    Volunteer time continues to be gifted to deal with referrals, signposting those referred for additional support, collecting food and other essential items, sorting, packing and delivering parcels adapted to household needs. Add in time fundraising, and we Thank everyone who contributes toward the average of 160 hrs gifted each week to help us keep us keeping on.

    Fresh food contents are now a mixture of end of day produce from our partners neighbourly with Marks and Spencer Rawtenstall and Lidl UK plus bread from Warburtons, for which we are immensley grateful, both to the businesses who donate and the volunteers who collect items to share & distribute. Whilst we work 7 days a week to reduce local store foodwaste they have helped reduce our need for fresh food spend by half to around £4000 a year. A huge saving but these are still funds volunteers need to raise alongside the cost of other essentials such as storage unit rent, electricity and insurance. For everyones time and efforts with this Thank you

    Despite some serious weather conditions and a pretty exhausted team, after one of our busiest Christmas periods ever, in January the team managed to ensure 3822 meals for 181 adults and children, food for 33 pets, 100 packs of sanitary products, 14 packs of nappies, 2 slow cookers and new home welcome packs were safely delivered across the whole of #rossendale Thanks to an amazing team of volunteers and supporters.

    Every donation matters. They help us to pack and deliver complete parcels that not only provide basic essentials, but also a message that people care with a message of Hope for better days ahead as we all work together

    With over 1,050 meals delivered the first week of February we remain grateful that people donate time , food, essentail daily items plus funds to support #neighbouring #rossendale and, we hope, that as the signs of Spring approach you will also consider donating some Easter eggs and treats for inclusion with parcels delivered.

    We feel blessed that continued gift donations mean we think we have enough gifts to share on Mothers Day and Fathers Day so a Huge Thank you to everyone for that, and to Laura Saxton community champion Asda (Rawtenstall) for helping with wrapping paper. ( Yes a few of us were in the Girl Guides with the motto Be Prepared) Can you help us be prepared for the continued demand and need for essentials and a few Easter treats?

    Any excess we will continue to share, as we do regularly with some organisations weekly such as Rossendale Memory Choir SafeSpace Coffee4Craig Bury Homeless Project plus many other groups as well as churches who are in the heart of the various neighbourhoods #connectingcommunity Whitworth, Rochdale, United Kingdom Bacup #Stacksteads Waterfoot, Lancashire Friends of Rawtenstall Edenfield - Our Lancashire Village #Crawshawbooth Love Haslingden Helmshore Stubbins

    Working with schools is a great way to connect with all ages and increase understanding and empathy towards others who may be having hard times. It increases awareness of how peers and parents under stress might try to mask their struggle thus fostering empathy, kindness and a positive attitude toward nurturing not just physical but mental health.

    Working with churches for many brings us in to the heart of the very neighbourhood people live in. Not just generous donators, many churches are amazing connectors to neighbours with many providing warm and welcoming spaces for people to simply be. To many a weekly warm lunch & company is a true anchor and we are grateful for the many spaces across the Valley we can help people connect with.

    So if you can help with any of our urgent needs items, carrier bags or help kick start easter Egg donations please do . Thank you for all your support even a simple share once a week of our urgent needs notes or other posts has a ripple effect. A like is great but a share is so much better we hear on social platforms like this so please go ahead and share :)

    Donation points can be found at http://www.raftfoundation.org/#/donation-points/4577501915

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  • Britain has Spirit

    The Raft Foundation was delighted to out on Friday last that we had been shortlisted for the Britain has Spirit North West finals and that public voting has now gone live.

    You can vote once a day until June 17th when the Regional winning group will receive £1000 and be entered in to a national completion with the winner receiving £25,000.00

    Please go to our home page, click on the logo on the right to take you to the voting page, simply scroll down each day and click click on The Raft Foundation

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  • Are you Gung-Ho

    Volunteer and supporters have come together to create Team Raft Foundation to take part in this year's Gung-Ho 5k at Manchester's Heaton Park on Saturday 30th April.

    Gung-Ho is a challenging 5K obstacle course designed to be fun for all.

    Sponsor forms are out and about now so you can support further the work of the foundation here in Rossendale.

    Our just giving page will up uploaded soon so you can sponsor on line.

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  • A very damp but happy week

    Adverse weather ‪accross Rossendale‬ does not get in the way of our amazing volunteer teams doing what they set out to do.

    Friday 22nd January saw the final of 1,251 meals being delivered throughout the length of the Valley from Waterlogged Whitworth to a damp Haslingden.

    Thank you again to everyone who make what we do for and with our community of Rossendale possible.

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  • What a week

    What a beautiful Valley we live in.

    After a busy week of delivering 735 meals + toiletries + cleaning items + pet food + nappies , blankets, hot water bottles & another new baby welcome pack to all parts of the Valley

    Whitworth through Bacup / Stacksteads/Waterfoot/Rawtenstall/LoveClough/Haslingden & Helmshore and back again feeling grateful for a warm home and good family,friends & neighbours.

    Whilst we work with partners to help ensure those we connect with have access to heating and ability to cook food could someone near you be struggling to choose between food or fuel ?

    That one meaningful and simple act of kindness might at this time of year be to listen, connect and show we care ‪#‎warmhomes‬ ‪#‎connectingcommunities‬ ‪#‎rossendale‬ ‪#‎ABCD

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  • Haslingden a Christmas in Concert

    Friday 4th December as part of the Christmas celebrations across Haslingden town centre brought the crowds in for a fantastic evening of family fun and festive merriment.

    This year we teamed up with The Dearden Tea Rooms, Stacksteads Band and Rossendale Male Voice Choir and hosted an evening of Christmas Carols.

    It was fantastic to see so many people coming together sharing the true spirit of Christmas.

    Thank you to everyone who came out on what was an untypically dry Rossendale evening.

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  • The Raft Foundation are joint winners in the‬ Community Business category in the Rossendale Business Awards 2015.

    We are delighted to be able to share the news that The Raft Foundation are joint winners in the‬ Community Business category in the Rossendale Business Awards 2015.

    Whist this is classed as a business award The Raft Foundation remains a constituted community group and the category was appropriate for the work we do within Rossendale.

    Thank you to those who nominated us and sponsors of the category Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall.

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  • What Does Harvest mean to us in 2015 ? - from the mouths of babes..

    Travelling the length and breadth of Rossendale listening to the Loves, concerns Dreams and ideas of children and people from 33 nurseries, schools, churches, community groups as well as individuals over this past month have made me reflect on what harvest means in 2015.

    The obvious and most evident meaning is the restocking of the shared community store of food and essential items that enable neighbouring to be maintained throughout the year.

    This enables any one of us living in Rossendale who experiences hardship over the coming months to have a place to turn ensuring no adult or child goes hungry and can instead focus on dealing with the underlying problems that are resulting in food poverty.

    Loneliness, illness, worklessness, redundancy, homelessness, family breakdown, sudden unforeseen essential bills particularly within a low wage economiy with more than average reliance on zero hour contracts and self employment , as well as benefit changes and sanctions underpin the requests for help through the food bank service 52 weeks of the year.

    Empty shelves have now been replenished with additional stock ensuring volunteers have items to share with neighbours in times of hardship over the coming months. But what else has this harvest delivered?

    From the mouth of one 5 year old I was moved by not only his insight but how beautifully he shared his thoughts and feelings.

    - It isn't fair he said . If people can't afford to eat how can they hold their head up and see what is around them ?

    What a sage young man reminding us all of the importance of being able to look up and see what is around us - this includes the ability to see and focus on opportunities, solutions, connections , each other, our family and neighbours. Isn't this an essential part developing healthy people, neighbourhoods and communities, of promoting hope, joy, dreams, aspirations and action that turns those dreams in to reality.

    Addressing inequalities and injustice is the cornerstone of developing healthy societies where every person can grow and develop in to the healthy and unique individual they have the potential to be.

    This 5 year old's concerns about the injustice and effects on people of not being able to even meet the basics of feeding themselves and their family I hear as a challenge to harvest every opportunity to listen to each other, focus on solutions and take action towards building the sort of world he and children like him want to grow up in

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  • Rossendale Business Awards 2015

    Great to be able to share the news received today confirming The Raft Foundation - Rossendale's Foodbank is a finalist ‪#‎RAwards15‬ Community Business category.

    Thank you to those who nominated and sponsors Good Luck to everyone shortlisted and a Huge Thank you to everyone who gifts, time, food, funds and sheer good will year round

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  • Our latest donation point at Tesco Rawtenstall

    We are delighted to announce a new food donation point at Tesco Rawtenstall.

    Tesco have been a long standing supporter of The Raft Foundation since we began our work for and within the community of Rossendale in 2012.

    We would like to extend our thanks to Tesco Rawtenstall Store Manager Pat Byrne and his team for their support.

    Thanks go to Peter Molyniuex for crafting the donation point and James Ashworths Ltd of Waterfoot for their generous supply of timber.

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