We are delighted with the partnership with have formed with Thames Reach Charity. At The Good Eating Company, we were keen to support a charity where we could make a real difference through services we provide to them and in turn, involving them in our own operation.
On a weekly basis we provide freshly made, nutritionally balanced meals for Thames Reach to pass on to their service users. Our chefs take pride in producing delicious, warming food knowing that it will go to a person in need. In addition, we are working with Thames Reach’s skills team to build and develop a group of individuals that with support, can be part of our own teams; many of them already having a wealth of hospitality experience. We firmly believe that everyone deserves a second chance, and we couldn’t be more excited about the future of this partnership.
We asked Catherine Hickey from Thames Reach to explain a little more about the charity, what The Good Eating Company does to support them, and how others can get involved.
Can you tell us a bit about Thames Reach and what the charity does
We are a pan London charity working with homeless and vulnerable adults to help them find decent homes, build supportive relationships, and lead fulfilling lives. We do so by providing a range of support such as outreach, hostels, day services, specialist supported housing and a range of employment, training, and education programmes. Last year we helped over 9,000 people across London.
Tell us a bit about your role?
I’m a Fundraising Manager, and my role is to develop new income streams whilst providing a range of support to our corporate partners and individual donors. Corporate fundraising in this climate is not easy. As we head into a recession many companies are tightening their purse strings, and providing financial support to a charity isn’t exactly their first priority. Meanwhile our supporters have had to cancel fundraising events, scheduled volunteering, and our challenge event calendar that runs from March to October was pretty much wiped out altogether! That being said, it’s really not all doom and gloom. Throughout this pandemic our corporate partners have really stepped up; making significant donations towards our COVID-19 appeal, giving us PPE, cooking meals for service users, lending their skillset to provide training & support etc. The list goes on! Although 2020’s fundraising strategy may not have gone to plan, I’m optimistic about the future. We’ve got so many wonderful supporters who are constantly coming up with innovative ways to fundraise and volunteer for us.
Has Covid 19 impacted Thames Reach at all?
The pandemic has had a significant impact on service delivery. In Spring 2020 Thames Reach staff worked tirelessly as part of the government initiative ‘Everyone In’ to provide emergency support and accommodation to rough sleepers, in a bid to keep service users safe and curb the spread of Covid-19. Now, we are working hard to making sure that the people we’ve helped during this period are able to move on into secure, long term accommodation and escape homelessness for good. This means not only providing decent homes, but also helping people to gain access to better health care and developing long term employment prospects as they seek to make a better life for themselves.
How did you the relationship with Thames Reach and The Good Eating Company develop and what difference has it made to the charity?
We first started talking with the Good Eating Company back in 2019, with a view to offer free food, healthy cooking classes and employment opportunities to our clients. When the pandemic hit, these goals had to be put on the backburner. Then during the Summer of 2020 GEC got in touch to offer free healthy and hearty meals to our clients. Since then you’ve donated over 2,500 meals! We cannot thank you enough for this lifeline, and we are excited to explore employment and fundraising opportunities in 2021. Watch this space!
How can people help or contribute to Thames Reach?
There are many ways people can help Thames Reach to end street homelessness including:
- Making a donation
- Nominating Thames Reach as a charity partner in your workplace, supermarket or place of worship
- Volunteering with one of our many services across London
- Fundraising for us through a challenge event or an occasion of your own