There are many services, groups and people that come into contact with people who are struggling with food poverty. For the city of Leeds to be effective in tackling food poverty it’s really important that when someone is in need of assistance they can be signposted or referred to an appropriate food provider. The Homeless and Food Aid Document which can be accessed by going back to the front page and clicking on Signposting to Food Providers, is one of the core ways in which Leeds FAN helps to stimulate more effective signposting across the city. Services are encouraged to learn more about the different forms of food aid provision, including the appropriate ways in which food providers can be accessed. This will enable them to signpost or refer vulnerable people on more effectively.
The yellow bar, which features at the top of the diagram on the homepage of the FAN website, simply aims to give a snapshot of some of the groups and services that are likely to signpost or refer people in need on to appropriate food provision. Below are some more details and links to organisations that signpost or make referrals. Please note that these services also receive people who have been signposted from food providers as well.
Leeds FAN wants to value the contribution made by GP’s and NHS staff who choose to take the time to signpost or refer, people in need of food assistance, onto appropriate provision. We hope to work more closely with GP’s as we seek to circulate the Homeless and Food Aid Document wider and encourage GP’s to take on vouchers for specific food banks.
For more general information on GP surgeries click on the following links below.
Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group – http://www.leedsnorthccg.nhs.uk/
Leeds South and East Clinical Commissioning Group – http://www.leedssouthandeastccg.nhs.uk/
West Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group – http://www.leedswestccg.nhs.uk/
For more information on NHS services please go back to the homepage and click on Signposting to Longer Term Provision.
Job Centre Plus provides assistance in helping people find work and accessing pensions and benefits. Job centres in Leeds come into contact with a significant amount of people who may have extra needs, such as having nothing to eat. Leeds FAN wishes to work with the different geographical venues where job centres are situated to ensure that people in a state of food poverty can access appropriate food aid providers through effective signposting and referrals.
For any information you wish to access from Job Centre Plus please follow the link below:
As has been previously stated, signposting can be a two-way thing and food aid providers may wish to signpost people to an appropriate service that can help people find work. The Leeds City Council website is a great place to go to help people find job opportunities.
Customer service officers can help with enquiries about; council tax bills and benefits, housing tenancy issues, benefits for people on a low income, help for older people, disabled people, children and families. The biggest one-stop centre is situated on Great George Street and plays a crucial role in enabling people to find housing and emergency accommodation. Housing Options is situated there. One Stop Centres in Leeds come into contact with people who may be struggling with food poverty and therefore, been able to effectively signpost or refer vulnerable people to an appropriate food provider is really important. Please follow the link below for more general information on what the One-Stop Centres in Leeds can offer.
Following the abolition of Crisis Loans in April 2013 Leeds City Council set up a Local Welfare Support Scheme to support the most vulnerable people access emergency assistance. This scheme provides basic household goods and emergency provision, the scheme does not provide cash payments. The key rule for the use of the scheme is that claimants must be faced with ‘exceptional’ circumstances to be considered for support.
Applications to the scheme can be made by a support/advice worker to improve the customers chance of success however customers can access the scheme themselves on 0113 376 0330
The Welfare Rights Unit is part of Leeds City Council’s Welfare and Benefits Service. The team offers free, confidential and impartial advice and support on a whole range of welfare benefits from benefit checks through to support with appeals. The team provides information and advice via the telephone, email, face to face surgeries at various locations across the Leeds area and a home visiting service for those who are unable to access advice by any other means. The Welfare Rights Unit often come into contact with those who are in need of food and work closely with several food banks across the city to help alleviate food poverty. Please follow the link below for more information.
Leeds Citizens Advice Bureau offers free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information on a wide range of subjects including debt, employment and benefits. They frequently come into contact with people struggling with food poverty and therefore need to be able to signpost /refer people on effectively.
Churches, Mosques, Sikh Temples etc… often find themselves been approached by people in need of assistance regarding food poverty. Therefore, it’s really important that as well as providing informal assistance themselves, they can also know where to signpost or refer vulnerable people onto so they can access food.
It’s important not to forget that there are many individuals who come into contact with people in need of assistance. Leeds FAN recognises this contribution and wants to be able to appropriately relay information to individuals, so they can direct people appropriately.
Please note that there are many more institutions and initiatives that are coming into contact with people struggling with food poverty and will therefore be involved in signposting/referring vulnerable people onto appropriate food provision in Leeds.