Service Update – Winter 2023
As is the case every year, demand for Sufra services increases when the weather turns cold. We know that this year will be no exception with the rising cost-of-living, the ever-present hostile environment and the issues that we know Brent residents are facing around employment, housing and managing utilities.
At the time of writing this – we are serving approximately 1400 individuals per week across our services.
This includes through the Food Bank, our network of Community Kitchens, our Community Shop, Community Café, Fresh Meal Service, NHS project, Garden Market, Coffee Mornings, ESOL Classes and Advice Drop-in Service. With demand increasing, it’s going to be a busy winter!
Read on to hear about how our services will be operating over the winter, and what support we will be providing.
Winter Warmer Coat Drive
Our Annual Coat Pop-Up Shop is there to keep our guests warm and dry. Deadline for donating coats is 1st December, and the shop will run 5th – 7th December. See our shop last year to get an idea of how it works.
You’re invited to the party of the year!
Our Winter Fair, hosted in partnership with St Raphael’s Voice and the St Raph’s Family Wellbeing Centre is on 16th December. Tell your friends and family, and head down for fun and festive activities for all. Check out the plan for the day here.
Free, nutritious and delicious sit-down meals
Our network of Community Kitchens are running throughout the winter period. 4 different opportunities every single week for you to come and share a meal with us, completely free. We serve around 90 people per session. Click here for times and dates, and we look forward to re-opening a 5th kitchen in January, at Ark Elvin Academy.
Community Wellbeing Project
Phase 2 is well underway, working towards 220 families registered by the end of the year. Local families enjoy a holistic offer from the membership, including the Community Shop, Café, gym membership and support through a range of partners available. See what we achieved in Phase 1 here.
Christmas Day in Sufra Style
It wouldn’t be winter at Sufra without a Christmas extravaganza. Hosting a Christmas dinner for 200 is no mean feat, and we can’t wait. If you want to volunteer on the day, we’ll need drivers, servers and cooks. Sign up to volunteer on the day here.
Throughout Christmas week, we aim to give out a luxury Christmas hamper, one to each household that receives a food parcel. These will include festive food items, to ensure each household has something special to differentiate the day. Want to donate to our Christmas efforts? Follow the link here.
Schools out, kids are in the garden!
The cold weather doesn’t put our kids off – they’ll be getting outdoorsy and green-fingered in our Winter Holiday club. The activities will keep the children active and engaged in the new year, which will involve enriching activities, learning about the garden, food discovery and storytelling!
Garden AQA Accredited Courses are back
Our Garden Manager has been busy facilitating workshops in Beginners Gardening and Woodwork DIY skills. The courses last for 4 weeks and after completion the participants will receive an AQA. Keep a look out for our timetable of activities and courses starting in the New Year.
Yalda Night in the garden!
We will also be hosting a Yalda night, an ancient festival celebrated in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey on the longest and darkest night of the year. Winter Solstice! We will be hosting storytelling, fortune telling, music and traditional Persian food for the guests we support through our OpenARMS programme. Join us on Weds 20th December at 5-7pm, more info to come soon!
Our advice service runs from 2 drop-in sessions per week where advisors work on a whole range of issues with our guests. With the continued rising energy costs, the advice team held specific advice sessions to support guests in understanding their energy bills and how they can make savings. In the session we distributed 9 slow cookers donated by one of our funders. More on the advice service here.
Our Food Bank continues to run as a core service, three collection sessions per week and a delivery service for those who cannot collect. Anyone experiencing a financial crisis can get a referral from our extensive list of partners, or by calling through to Brent Hubs. More information on how to get a parcel, here.