St Giles Trust is calling on people to donate the cost of a Christmas dinner to support people who will be facing poverty and social isolation this Christmas get the help they need to stay fed, healthy and connected.
The cost-of-living crisis is continuing to disproportionately affect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, with many facing hunger, loneliness, and poor physical and mental health.
St Giles Trust is aiming to help people stay nourished and warm through its national network of seven Pantries which support thousands of people each year through providing emergency food support and advice to tackle the underlying issues trapping people in poverty. This includes help to find employment, resolve debts and get housing.
These include people like 42-year-old Carys from north Wales who used our Colwyn Bay Pantry* after experiencing domestic abuse, addiction, trauma and homelessness. Last Christmas, Carys was fighting for her life in a coma and weighed just five and a half stone. This Christmas, with the help of St Giles Trust’s support, she will be volunteering at The Pantry and helping others who have been in similar situations to hers. She is now a healthy weight, moving her life forward and back in touch with her family.
“Last Christmas, I didn’t even know what year it was… I couldn’t walk, could talk, couldn’t do anything. I weighed just five and a half stone.”
But than Carys came into contact with The Pantry.
“Being able to access the Pantry meant I’ve been able to eat better and go to a healthy weight again.”
But it wasn’t just the food that had an impact on her recovery.
“You get the support there, the encouragement, the guidance, and the advice. It’s like a stepping stone. It gives you a sense of self-worth and confidence, meeting new people and being around good people.”
St Giles Trust’s Pantry Network is providing nourishment beyond food, helping individuals gain control of their lives and take steps forward towards independence and wellbeing. Over a 12-month period, the south-London based Camberwell Pantry supported 217 households. Of these, 130 were sufficiently supported by the Pantry to confidently step beyond the service and now no longer need its support.
A snapshot survey of 72 people from the same cohort showed:
- 93% shared that they are consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables, a testament to the positive impact on their nutrition and health.
- 74% noted an improvement in their mental health, highlighting the profound influence of community support on emotional well-being.
- 83% reported enhanced physical health, demonstrating the interconnectedness of physical and emotional well-being.
- Financial security saw a marked improvement, with 87% of respondents attesting to a positive change in their finances, a critical step towards breaking the cycle of poverty.
- 82% of respondents expressed a stronger sense of connection to their local community, showcasing the role of The Camberwell Pantry in helping them feel better about themselves.
By sponsoring a seat at your table this Christmas, you will be making a real difference to the lives of the people St Giles supports.
- With your £20 donation, our Pantry could feed a family for a week this Christmas.
- With your £75 donation, our Pantry could feed a family for a month.
- £175 could provide wraparound support to Pantry clients for a week.
- £300 could provide 3 months of training for someone with lived experience so that they are able to support others in similar situations.
See more about our ‘A Seat At The Table’ Christmas campaign
*known locally as Y Pantri.