One New Grass Roots Initiative Launched ... Me , In Worksop , Without A Safety Net ! A Blog From The Street

Pure chance … Wednesday , 23 January … new member turned up at my local Astronomy society meeting.

I was reading the local rag … Worksop Guardian … at the time … and a new voice behind me said … " Don’t read pages 2 and 3 ,
there’s a photo of my wife on there ! "

Red flag to a bull and … photo of wife … who happens to run our local foodbank !

No … no bets on what follows … as the late , great , WC Fields once said … " There’s a sucker born every minute ! " ?

( 2019 … replace SUCKERS with CARERS … same general meaning. )

Local foodbank … housed in a derelict building … landlord content to show a " Charitable " intent to let the foodbank remain
without a formal lease / agreement of any sort … will be a simple case of turning up to find a barbed wire fence around the
building with a " To let / for sale " board outside … or , given a 40 mph wind , just the shell of a building ?

Three old school type desks … one old book shelf type cabinet with six shelves … stock in cardboard boxes … almost like
the first Virgin Records store on the first floor of a boutique in Oxford Street in London … I visited on the third day … even
the man himself was behind the counter taking in wads of monies … a grinning schoolboy as I recall ?

4 volunteers … average age … older than me … and even I’ve got a twirly card !

Doing their bit , no knowledge of benefits / housing / support services etc. ,… just a manual , or sorts , from Trussells ,
and knowledge of the paperwork needed for any visitor to obtain supplies.

One , at least , has a mobile phone … with an Internet connection. Her nephew works in a small printing business , couple of
photocopiers in house , business has it’s own web page.

One step ahead of me ?

Okay , putting all that together in practice ?

Anyone wanting specific information … I get an email … do me usual … locate / read … the send return email with link.

New email with link sent by our foodbank volunteer to her nephew. Nephew reads … clicks on the link … and then prints off
whatever … drops off at his aunt’s on the way home.

Next day , printed information handed to the information seeker.

Inside a week , 17 so far … UC accounted for 13 of them … 2 on housing ( Both " Sent " directly to Shelter ) … and that’s only
the tip of the iceberg.

No carers so far … the first will be " Interesting " to say the very least ?

6 - 4 … on not knowing either CUK or Carers Trust exist … be quick , that price is dropping !

Local CAB ?

Now down to 2 hours per day , Tuesday - Thursday … waiting time … now past 3 weeks … never to return ?

Here in Worksop … internet access and computer literacy … UC rollout has increased demand 10 - 20 fold … both major issues.

It works … increasing volumes a problem.

Meters / clothing / sanitary products ?

All to do but … space a major issue … as is training the volunteers … if they want to be trained in more than tradition
soup kitchen duties.

Move meself into the foodbank during their opening hours … now 20 per week , up from an initial 12 when first opened ?

No … works better when I’m in isolation …as I multi Internet task daily … need the flexibility … also UC and other work for
5 of my immediate neighbours … under strict instructions not to spread the word … I don’t want half of Worksop queueing up

Early doors ( Even I’m picking up the local language … after 8 and a bit years in exile up 'ere … excile ? … from eveywhere else
I’ve been ! ) but … 17 so far , how many by Easter … 150 … at 3-1 … tempting ?

This post will NOT be of interest to many but … there’s always hope that some readers will try something like this on their manors ?


INFORMATION … how do you know what to look for if you don’t know what it is you are looking for in the first place ?
One needs to know part of the answer before asking the RIGHT question !

Whole thread on information , Internet access and related issues … all VITAL for us current and former inmates of CarerLand :

One comment that should reverberate throughout CarerLand :



Worksop factory to make staff cuts as they " Rebalance " and " Improve efficiency. "


A Worksop factory which employs around 300 people has announced to will be looking for voluntary redundancies.

Food manufacturer, Cerealto, based in Claylands Avenue, Worksop, announced to its staff that it would looking to ‘improve the efficiency’ of its factory and staff members will be offered a voluntary redundancy package.

Michael Harfleet, Cerealto chairman, said: “During the last 12 months we have been working to improve the efficiency of our factory in Worksop to become a more competitive food product manufacturer in the UK and provide exceptional service to our clients.

“At this stage we have identified the need to rebalance our headcount in order to achieve the operational efficiency required.

“We are advising team members that a voluntary redundancy package is available to them and in tandem with this a period of consultation will be taking place to find alternative solutions that could avoid or reduce redundancies, or otherwise mitigate their impact. “Cerealto Siro UK will offer support to colleagues seeking alternative employment.”

Cerealto Siro Foods base in Worksop opened in 2016 and currently employs around 300 people.

Michael added: “The future development of the Worksop site is a key part of the company’s long-range planning.

“Thus, Cerealto Siro Foods see great opportunities in having a strong UK base in Worksop and reinforces its commitment to this market.”

Looks as if someone out there has got it in for me ?

JOB CENTRE ( Either sink or swim … precious little else otherwise )

( No way I deal with that lot … merely act as a glorified librarian using the Internet !!! )

2 other near neighbours are amongst the 300 … could have been worse … the big Oxo factory is right next door to Cerealto.

That makes 7 within 20 yards of me !

I’ll be " Expressing an opinion " if the word spreads … !

Sounds like you’ll be even busier! Don’t forget your ‘use advice at your own risk’ warning!

Yep … the only " Advice " I give is the Internet address of the experts out there.

As I do on this forum … links posted … for expert advice !

Occasionly , whole chunks from those external sites posted … saves the poster time … CHC thread … a good example
… link also posted in case anyone thought it was me providing said information … and not from an expert or info from
an official source.

Just a brief update prompted by CUK’s announcement that a nutrition specialist will appear on the forum next month.

Since my involvement , the local food bank have been collecting unwanted kitchen utensils … even a microwave oven …
for clients to borrow if needed.

One of the volunteer’s nephew has been pretty busy … printing / photocopying various things … now have a fairly
modest " Cooking On A Limited Budget " type guide for clients … put another way … " 101 ways to boil a tin of soup "
being the local street name.

What even surprises me … the lack of knowledge and resources … even standard kitchen utensils … at street level in
order for certain individuals to survive a little easier.

Even then , electrical applicances … pressure on the monies needed for that catherine wheel known as a prepayment
meter and … no thanks to the recent hikes … even more of a problem ! )

( Yer bog standard cooking tv shows … lost at this level ! )

That is part of a much wider issue but … very relevant to anyone trying their best to ease the plight at street level.

As for me , problems caused by fluctuating income within UC easing as more caught by it understand the basics a little better.

Housing … still problems with the freezing of HA and the payment of rent on time by those with fluctuating income.

Numbers ?

Increasing but not dramatically … a couple of new employment opportunities on zero hour contracts have helped.

Having said that … Wilkinsons ( Wilco ) … main depot over in Manton … threat of strike action looming.

Carers Week fast approaching.

Difficult to see how the ladies volunteering at my local food bank can do anything else for local carers other than
to continue to provide a 5 day / 52 week service … heavily relying on local donations of foods and other items
to do so.

( Free CUK leaflet with every parcel ??? )

Probably mirror images what the other 4,000 or so local foodbanks are doing.

If CUK are willing to send over a volunteer or two … with a few donations … they would be most welcomed.

However , NONE of their own collection tins if you please !

We don’t want vital monies diverted away from what we do !

( Who would ever thought that many charities are now in " Competition " with the food banks ??? )

Oh yes … just a reminder … nutrition expert due on the forum on 13 June … could be " Interesting " … ?

For us , the forthcoming Benefits session on the forum will be less so.

I have my uses … occasionly … as a couple of tens of the visitors to my local foobd bank have found out.

Perhaps a pub quiz team … specialising in UC and … how to get more blood out of a stone ?

Yes, I agree, you should be careful with the tips on the Internet. Previously, I did not understand networks and computers and once I forgot the password from my mail and asked for help on the forum and, like a fool, wrote my mail. Later, I was still able to restore it, but when I did this, I realized that I was hacked and all the data was stolen. So it’s best not to believe the advice on the Internet and do not indicate your real mail anywhere

edited by moderator to remove commercial link


Yes, I agree, you should be careful with the tips on the Internet.

The links to external sites I post are to the experts out there … and sources of information so posted.

( CAB / CUK Advice Team / AGE UK / MIND / SCOPE / Shelter / DWP Carers Unit … the main ones for " Advice " )

As for " Tips " … ?

None ever posted.

I leave those to other readers.

Locally , I supply information … where to go / who to ask … mirror imaging what I do on here.

What started out as an initial flood … in terms of a lack of information … is now a trickle despite the numbers using the food bank continuing to increase.

The main " Headache " continues to be irregular earnings within Universal Credit.

Just a brief update.

Email received from a fellow local Astronomy society member.

Large Christmas card from the pupils at the local school where we hold our meetings received … around 250 signatures and emotives … thanking us for all
the help we have provided over the year with talks , events , collections and deliveries … both to the school and the local food bank.

Our society is one of several helping those in the community needing help … The Chesterfield Canal Trust being a notable another … sponsored walks
along the canal … with all proceeds to the local community … avoiding the major charities so as to ensure that in every £ 1 donated , most of it reaches
the front line.