All of us at See Media have been excited to get started on our work on behalf of the #MorethanHomes campaign. This month’s ‘More than Homes – Christmas & beyond’ webinar, which can be viewed here, marked the beginning of its next phase.
Launched at the beginning of the first national Covid-19 lockdown, More than Homes involves UK housing coming together to support The Trussell Trust’s network of food banks and sharing the work they are doing to help residents through the pandemic.
In the run-up to Christmas, there will be a new More than Homes fundraising drive, along with a toolkit, available on the MorethanHomes.org website, for housing providers to use when sharing local stories and case studies with the media and other stakeholders.
The campaign has raised £250,000 so far and plans to push ahead to meet the £1m fundraising target.
Three quarters of money raised will be distributed in grants directly to local food banks, and a quarter will support core operational programmes, such as securing food, creating and maintaining a new national helpline, and establishing a new nationwide delivery infrastructure.
Meeting unprecedented demand
However, there’s so much more that UK housing can do to support the campaign.
Accent started the More than Homes campaign to help bring together all the amazing work that goes on across the country, led by housing providers in their communities, to provide emergency food, and other help and support.
The need for emergency food is such that The Trussell Trust’s network of 1,200 food banks expects to give out six food parcels every minute this winter. More than half of those who used the charity’s food banks at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis had never had to rely on this kind of help before.
Not one of us is responsible for the pandemic that has driven this unprecedented level of need; however, we have all keenly felt its impact.
Those who have found themselves needing emergency food could be affected by the stigma associated with doing so – and More than Homes is urging housing providers to do whatever they can to make their residents realise that it’s okay to need help.
As well as making donations, the campaign is urging the housing sector to talk more about emergency food. A lot of the demand for emergency food is hidden with individuals not wanting friends and neighbours to know they need support. More than Homes is about trying to encourage residents to share their stories.
When explaining the need for the campaign, Paul Dolan, its founder, and Chief Executive, Accent Group, said:
“Emergency food has helped our residents and their children to stay healthy during this difficult time.
“In the long-term, The Trussell Trust believes no one should have to rely on a foodbank… In the meantime, let’s get together to commend the fact that the charity is there to help the may people who need them right now.”
More than 20 UK housing organisations are already supporting More than Homes, but there’s room for everyone.
One of the most important key messages, we as a comms agency, are trying to communicate on behalf of the campaign is that it is there for the sector to use however they see fit.
We want everyone who works in UK housing to feel some ownership of More than Homes, and to know that they play a part in dealing with the social and economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis.
To find out more about the campaign, visit MorethanHomes.org.