Based at St. Matthew’s Church Hall in Thornton Road, Sefton Community Pantry is a multi-level support voluntary group, providing food parcel services, hygiene hampers, new clothing and bedding, as well as home furnishings for individuals and families in need in the surrounding area. Ascot Group started providing St. Matthew’s Church Hall to this wonderful CIC in October 2020, with all fees waived, during a lockdown period which saw many families facing extra challenges. This support by Ascot Group has continued throughout 2021, and is an important safety net for this group, who depend on the goodwill of everyone in the local community to continue with their efforts.
Over this autumn, Sefton Community Pantry has been especially busy, starting off with a school uniform drive: it is the group’s belief that every child deserves new clothing, and that anyone who is served by them should receive fresh clothing and bedding. It is also part of the current guidelines, that only new textiles can be stored by the Pantry, which fits the ethos of this core value.
St. Matthew’s Church Hall acts as a central operating point for this CIC, which enjoys the support of many local businesses and organisations who, as well as working as drop-off points of donations, also assist in terms of fundraising and shining a light on the vital work being done by the Pantry. Alder Hey Accident and Emergency Department and Bootle Action Group are just two of the teams involved in offering support, and Ascot Group applaud their important contributions.
This December, the Pantry is promoting its ‘Christmas In A Box’ campaign, which means they can deliver all of the basics a family in need requires to cover festive basics, including a Christmas tree and decorations. They have also launched their very first online Wish List, which can be easily accessed via their Facebook page, so that busy donation givers can choose and pay for in-demand items, which are then conveniently delivered straight to the Sefton Community Pantry.
Earlier this year, in August 2021, Ascot Group were able to exchange contracts with Sovini Group, for the sale of an impressive five-acre site, also in North Liverpool, including the noted former European headquarters of Johnson’s The Cleaners on Stanley Road. This affordable homes development is vital in lifting the area in terms of both economic and social growth, and Ascot Group flagged the site as part of their strategy to promote housing and business developments at every level, encouraging regeneration and further investment from other enterprises. As a business, they remain committed to contributing to the wellbeing of local communities as a result.
Georgia Smith of Ascot Group explains: “We know it feels like a particularly anxious time at the moment for lots of reasons, but it really is hugely difficult for families who are limited in terms of financial resources. Our support for Sefton Community Pantry CIC has further opened our eyes to the issues involved, and it really is to their credit that the team there do such life-enhancing voluntary work. We do hope that by providing secure physical premises for them that we have contributed to what they have achieved during both previous lockdowns and throughout 2021. As a company committed to improving both our knowledge of social issues, and our ability to support those helping in any way we can, we hope that in 2022 we can build on this foundation for the future.”
Project coordinator of Sefton Community Pantry, Lynne Higgins states: “Before Ascot Group stepped in, we were trying to run this growing project across eight sites. Now we have St. Matthew’s Church Hall, we are able to centralise what we do under one roof. As a team, we also have 24/7 access to a secure site, which is vital when we receive calls from people needing assistance at varying times.
This Christmas, every team member of Sefton Community Pantry CIC will be working tirelessly to ensure that everyone they can reach out to, who asks for our support, will be able to give their families some much-needed resources, festive cheer and treasured gifts, provided by every kind donation. We provide support for families across the city and our map reaches as far as Southport, and at the moment, the cold weather plus Christmas means every level of assistance we receive is welcome and valued. Quite simply, without having this base, the families we work with would go without. Having a confirmed space like this means we can reach as many people as possible, and we are so pleased that Ascot Group not only provides us with spacious premises, but really understands the work that we do as a team, and how it really touches the lives of every person, and family, we are able to help.”
Sefton Community Pantry CIC is based at St. Matthew’s Church Hall, Thornton Road, Liverpool L20 5AE.
For more information about what the Sefton Community Pantry CIC visit their socials HERE