Around Again run a social supermarket in North Solihull, they offer a low-priced membership model which tackles food poverty in the area.

They were awarded £1,500 from the Foundation’s Coronavirus Resilience Fund to cut their membership costs ensuring their service reaches the most vulnerable.

We spoke to Dean, who returned to the UK with his 3 children following a stint in Thailand, he couldn’t be more thankful for the support Around Again have given him:

“Me and my family returned from Thailand after a marriage breakdown, I’d been living there for five years and when I came back I had to do a thing called a ‘habitual residency’ which was an absolute nightmare. The government just didn’t want to know, and we were homeless.

 

“Without people like Around Again I don’t know what me and my children would’ve done. Believe me, I was the biggest hypocrite of charities, but what they’ve done for me and my family is beyond anybody’s imagination, we wouldn’t have survived without them!”

Dean and his three young children are finally in housing, but the government lock-down is testing their resolve:

“The current situation is a nightmare; I’ve finally got my kids into school; I’ve finally got them settled and now they’ve got no school to go to and they’re absolutely devastated. My children went through a lot in Thailand, they weren’t with me and they were mistreated.

 

“Around Again have been fantastic to my kids, being nice to them, giving them toys and chocolates after all they’ve been through.

 

“Every one of the staff are fantastic, I haven’t got any family directly by me so it’s great to go down and have a chat to them. It gives me a bit of a break and they’re just really, really nice people.

 

“The trouble they’ve saved me has been fantastic, I tell you what amazes me – it seems such a small group, but they do an awful lot! The people working down there are a breath of fresh air to people like me, I can’t praise them enough!”

Like most grassroots organisations the current demand is high, thankfully Around Again have had some support. Tom has recently started volunteering after being placed on furlough:

“I’m fortunate enough to be in the low risk category with access to a car so offered to help as I’ve seen the impact volunteers and charities can have on elderly and vulnerable people. The social impact without community help would be as destructive as the economic impact. It’s Important people have the means to continue doing the basics.

 

“It’s satisfying and rewarding to know I’m making even just a small difference to somebody. It’s my intention to continue to volunteer after the pandemic. (To those considering voluntary work) Do it. Even if it’s only a one off, it helps somebody, somewhere.”

If you’d like to contribute to the Foundation’s Coronavirus Resilience Fund please click here.

If you’d like to apply for funding from the Fund please click here.

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