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CHARITY SPOTLIGHT: Achieving for Children

Providing children’s services for Kingston and Richmond

Achieving for Children is a community interest company (a not-for-profit social enterprise) created in 2014 by the Royal Borough of Kingston and the London Borough of Richmond to provide their children’s services. In August 2017, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead became a co-owner of AfC, and we now deliver children’s services across all three boroughs. City Harvest has supplied us with food donations for almost 2 years, the youth club has been open over 5 years.

We spoke to Matthew Roach, youth worker at AFC about how things have been before and during covid.

Mandy (AFC), Debbie (City Harvest driver) & Matthew (AFC)

"We are so grateful for the support and passion from yourselves, the huge smile and greetings we get from our City Harvest driver, Deb, on a weekly basis is something we look forward to. You have helped us out last minute, you have done extra drop-offs when we have needed, supported us on awards nights, the biggest bit from me personally (beardedyouthworker) is you genuinely care. Debbie always asks what we need, how many families this week, is there anything specific, or dietary needs."

PRE COVID

Matthew explains, "the food from City Harvest has enabled us to cook and supply our young people (pre covid) with a decent meal or snacks during sessions. We hold cooking sessions with young people and nutrition for after the fitness sessions."

"The food is also a way for us to connect with some of our less confident young people, enabling them to gain confidence by cooking for the group."

Homemade banana bread is always a hit using up surplus bananas

Food Unites - knowing you can access food removes a lot of anxiety

"Beyond feeding people the deliveries enable young people who might be hungry after school to eat. It gives the young people who use our centre the confidence that we can feed them. Some of our young people may mention to us they could do with some bits to keep the family going, so we bag up a selection from the freezer, no judgement, bagged up on the side ready for them to leave with."

COVID

During covid the weekly City Harvest deliveries enabled AFC to feed 12 - 16 families. Each Tuesday they receive a City Harvest delivery, which they sort through and package up as individual family bags suited to individual dietary requirements.

"Since lock down our need for donations has increased we probably have 50 to 70% more currently, social distancing has meant we have been doing elements of youth work from the other side of the garden fence, we always try and see our young people and families to touch base and to have a bit of "normal on weekly basis "

"The donations have meant we haven't had to borrow any money from anyone whilst my husband has been out of work, it has been a massive help. "​ food recipient.

"Without food donations from City Harvest we would be unable to help all these families in these testing times. The donations pre-covid have helped feed young people at each of our sessions, refuelling them after long days at school or after a long gym session."

" I really don't know what I would have done without the help!"

"Since lockdown we have been running the food drop of service every Tuesday, the donations are also supporting us with our summer provision being able to supply individually packaged snacks and drinks for our young people."

"Young people borough wide and beyond access our provisions, during covid it has changed slightly, everyone benefits, when we drop off to the families the look of gratitude and relief says it all!​" Matthew

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