Ladywood Community project has existed as an organisation to help families and
the community for the last 31 years and has had charitable status since
November 2013.
It has always actively listened to local people and involved them in how the
service is run. It gives help to those on low incomes or in hardship not only to
manage their day to day needs but encourages them to feel part of the
community and not so isolated with their problems.We actively listen to people
and try to shape our services to pick up on the things they struggle with.
We have an advisory group of about 8 made up in the main by local people who
have been users of the project and we report to them every 6 weeks.Whereas
the trustees have an overarching management role, the advisory board has
responsibility for advising on the day to day activities of the project and
continues to fulfil an important function. Our treasurer Carine has sadly moved
away from Birmingham but thank you to her for all her contributions.
The project is now a well known and trusted part of the Ladywood community
and is used extensively
.People can come in when they are in a crisis and get practical help ,
advice,support, drop in for coffee or to use the kitchen,garden washing machine
and dryer ,join in one of the activities or get involved in fundraising.
There is a sense of joint ownership and mutual support which has always been
at the heart of it’s ethos. It is based in the heart of the community and is very
well used and networked with other agencies/charities operating in the area.
The project has enshrined it’s charitable aims as
‘The prevention or relief of people in poverty, by reason of financial hardship ,by
providing grants, items and services, including advice and signposting to agencies
and organisations.
The biggest disadvantage facing our children and their families today is poverty
For working families and those on benefits these are still difficult times and we
know that the number of children living in poverty in this ward is 5078(45.2%)
some 24% higher than the rest of the country.
Furthermore access to help and resources has become more difficult in the
ever changing economic and political climate. Many services no longer offer face
to face help.
The nearest neighbourhood office is now over 5 miles away and 45 minutes to
get to by public transport. This has increased the need for a local project
where you can get help and indeed has increased those coming through our door
who are in a crisis.
We further anticipate that when universal credit is fully rolled out we will see
even more families and individuals who have no income for over a month as this
benefit is paid in arrears and for many they do not have savings or family to
sustain themselves whilst their claims are processed.(see Money advisor’s
report)
This year, due to economic restraints we have lost staff hours and so despite an
increase in need we have limited resources to manage.
There is an ever increasing shortfall in our funding which we are currently
trying to address. However unless we can resolve this we may have to consider
further cutting the service we provide.
The project has become more reliant on the goodwill of volunteers from both
the local community and outside organisations.
Volunteers have fulfilled a wide range of roles from painting and decorating,
meeting and greeting service users, cleaning, organising events and providing
help and advice.
I would like to thank all our volunteers for giving up their time and trust that
they have enjoyed the experience,made new friends and developed new skills
and confidence.
As ever, my thanks go out to all the organisations and individuals who have
provided financial and other support throughout the year and to wish Peter
from BHSF a happy retirement and our gratitude for his championing us
throughout the years