What is the aim of the project?
To support people who are experiencing food poverty.
Where is it taking place?
In the local communities in and around the Govan area of Glasgow.
What has been achieved?
The Govan Pantry is the Govan Home and Education Link Project’s (Govan
HELP) most recent development and started initially as a foodbank in response to the pandemic. The pantry is a community subsidised shop, that offers members from the local community the chance to purchase up to ten items of food and hygiene products for a weekly membership fee of £3.
The project aims to support people, helping to make limited budgets go further, and to alleviate the impact of being unable to afford basic essential items. Since launching the project, 2834 members have registered to use the pantry from the G51 area of the city. This represents more than 10% of the population of Govan, and is indicative of the scale of food poverty within this community. The integration of this service within Govan HELP’s wider range of family support services has been critical in ensuring that the project reaches those in the community who are most in need.
Govan HELP have also developed the project to have a training and volunteering focus, and to provide access to opportunities for local parents who would like to learn new skills and gain experience. The internal Pantry Training Programme was designed to provide an overview of the pantry operations, alongside providing skills in customer service, values and attitudes, and confidentiality. This service is now delivered three times per year, supporting 24 parents to access training and volunteering. In addition, the team have been able to provide access to a range of external accredited qualifications, with 30 volunteers having completed the training to date, gaining valuable and transferable qualifications to support their own employability journey.
The Govan Pantry has become a vehicle to bring people from the local community together, helping to reduce social isolation and loneliness, and as a result has become a real hub within the community.
Who is running it?
Govan HELP is a support charity providing a range of services that assist children and families from the local area.
Why did the judging panel like it?
The judging panel were impressed by the high levels of involvement with the local community at every stage of the development of the project and that it has constantly responded to local needs. The team liked that it has
evolved into more than just a community subsidised shop to become an inclusive service providing access to a wider range of support services. This
has allowed the project team to identify and address multiple challenges for residents, many of whom would not have sought support through traditional means.
Volunteers are an integral part of the process of shaping the service it now provides. In many cases service users who have become volunteers have been supported through the project’s training programme to help them back into meaningful employment. The judges felt that the project was a catalyst for bringing the Govan community together.