Banbury Community Fridge Project

So Housing Day 2019 is a celebration
this year of Community Investment activity that many social housing
associations are doing every day to support our communities. As a housing
provider that’s the main bit of our work but also on top of that we do a lot of
community liaison and engagement work and we think that’s really important
because over and above bricks and mortar it’s working with communities, it’s
working with residents, it’s working with local community groups, businesses and
other stakeholders to try and deliver local solutions that people really want,
and more importantly really need. Banbury mosque have developed a
community fridge, which is a fridge that sits outside the mosque which is filled
with food that local supermarkets can’t use any more. Often perishable food. I
think globally it’s about 3 billion pounds of food waste that we get rid of
that people don’t need and what they’ve done here is they realised that the local
community can use this facility. It’s got a sense of dignity about it,
the fridge is always open, and they can come and help themselves and it’s
recognising that for some people in life is a bit tough and things it can be a
bit tight and just by offering bread or salad or an evening meal for some of
these families it’s really, really important contribution. It started off
with something that I was just sat at home one evening and I was looking
through the magazine, and I thought that the children are growing up, what am I
going to do with my spare time. And it was a Tesco magazine. And in the Tesco
magazine it has something about um surplus food that they said was
going to landfill and what, what they could do with that. So I contacted them
and they said how to set it up so they said you need a charity set up. So I contacted
the mosque to see if we could use them as a charity. And I started collecting donations and bringing it to the mosque. It was just in these small boxes and just leaving outside, there was nothing sort of
extravagant and then over the two, three months we
could see that it was growing and people were interested and then Sanctuary
contacted us and said they wanted to support this initiative and then we
approached Hello Fresh who supported the fridge application but Sanctuary and ourselves we sort of did this project and took off and contacted the supermarkets expanded from Tesco’s To Marks and Spencers, to Aldi and it’s all the supermarkets. And Hello Fresh who originally
supported the fridge but it’s just gone from strength to strength and I don’t
think they were expecting its be this mass, you know what it is and I mean the
popularity and the amount of people it’s helped. We’ve had people like Thames Valley Police use it, Social Services use it we get the antenatal clinic women, they use it, Banbury college use it for their students. And the mosque has taken upon themselves
to use this as a local community facility for anybody to come and use, use
the fridge so that’s fantastic from our perspective. Some of these things don’t
cost a lot of money it’s more about actually getting people’s will and time
to actually help contribute to give back in the local area.

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