Celebrating What We Achieved Together during a Cost-of-Living Crisis

In a challenging context of soaring food and utility prices, which fueled record levels of demand for food aid, Sufra’s staff and volunteers provided unprecedented support for Brent residents over the last financial year, through a unique range of interlinked service that include:  

  • A wide variety of volunteering and accredited training opportunities

Having crunched the numbers for the year (April 2023 to March 2024), below are some of our key facts and figures for what we achieved together for the community – all of which would not have been possible without the support of our generous donors and inspiring volunteers.  

Food, Glorious Food

We distributed 9,719 food parcels through our network of Food Banks, facilitated 3,081 shopping trips at our Community Shop, and served 18,900 people at our Community Kitchens. Phew!  

We also made a concerted effort to reduce dependence on food banks and to provide more holistic forms of support. 21% of our guests now access alternative food aid models such as the Community Wellbeing Project (see below). 

Take our Advice

We expanded our Advice Service considerably to a team of 11 volunteers and staff, and several new referral partnerships. Our Advice Team work from multiple locations and are increasingly integrated into our food aid services and the Community Wellbeing Project.

We supported 490 guests with advice - predominantly around housing and homelessness. We’re also very close to becoming OISC accredited, which will enable us to provide specialist immigration advice to our guests – a much-needed service in Brent.

Thriving Together

The Community Wellbeing Project has been a huge success, providing members of the programme with access to a social supermarket, café and wrap around advice and support that includes gym membership, health checks, workshops, and much, much more.

There has been a lot of interest in the project from across the UK, and we recently published a ‘toolkit’ to highlight how others could replicate such a project elsewhere.

Beyond the Food Bank Toolkit

A Brand New Sufra

Things feel very different at Sufra now – partly because we successfully launched our powerful new rebrand of our logo and tag line, and created a striking new website, all of which has all been well received by stakeholders.

We are also in the last stages of finalizing our 2030 strategy, to provide an inspiring roadmap to the future – watch this space!

Giving Something Back

We hired a Community Engagement Manager in September and we have engaged 205 new volunteers this year across all our services (not including existing volunteers). Together our volunteers gave up an incredible 12,949 hours of their time to support their local community.

Here’s a lovely video of Uncle Adbul Karim, one of our longest standing volunteers.

Uncle

Raising Your Voice

We all know that food aid is not the solution to the problems our guests are facing. So, we continue to influence the systems and policies that cause poverty. This year we developed a Toolkit and ran an event that campaigned for more innovative holistic forms of food aid to support people experiencing poverty.

In partnership with Citizen UK, we supported with the development of asylum seeker bus travel campaign. We held a listening circle to collect testimony from 6 guests and attended two events at City Hall to meet with the Deputy Mayor of London for Transport.

Free Bus Travel for Asylum Seekers

Christmas, Sufra Style

Yet again, the Sufra Christmas Day Feast was a roaring success. We served 265 people with fruit and a warming soup to start, a delicious Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings, and a fruity Christmas cake and custard for pudding.

53 volunteers gave up 254 volunteer hours to make it a success – including driving to pick up and drop of many of our guests (as there is no public transport on Christmas Day!).

You can see pictures and read more about it here.

Sufra Claus

Full Bloom in the Garden

We’ve seen a 155% increase in volunteers in St Raphael’s Edible Garden, which explains why it is looking so green and lush this summer. We harvested a whopping 768kgs of fruits, vegetables and nuts over the year – all without fertilizers or pesticides.

Our Garden Market was also a huge success - we welcomed 361 visitors throughout the year, and distributed all our freshly picked, zero-air miles produce on a pay-as-you-feel basis to local residents.

And there was lot more happening in the garden every week, including several accredited courses such as our super enjoyable Forest School.

Check out a short video about the Community Garden here:

Billie in the Garden

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Celebrating What We Achieved Together during a Cost-of-Living Crisis

Having crunched the numbers for the year (April 2023 to March 2024), here are some of our key facts and figures for what we achieved together for the community – all of which would not have been...

Learn More