Last month Event Cycle took some time out of our busy schedules to volunteer our time at one of our charity partners and learn about what they do too. Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre has been the grateful recipient of furniture, fridges, bottles and cups, all rescued from events taking place in the UK this year. From storage clearances to bespoke build events, the items have gone on to have a longer life at the centre and in the homes of the people the centre supports.
Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre is a vital part of the community it operates in, providing a space for creatives, fitness, cultural education, social justice organisations, legal assistance and the much-needed Friday food bank, which Event Cycle came to help out at.
The food bank sees upwards of 50-60 people lining up each week to collect essential items to get them through the next seven days. For those facing food poverty, it is a lifeline, when there is no choice between heating and eating, they can’t afford either.
The donations aren’t guaranteed either but the centre does its best to source as much as it can through organisations like Plan Z Heroes, Fare Share and some bold requests of local companies from the centre’s manager, Alice Achola-Omara. After developers had rendered one of their previous spaces unusable whilst construction works take place, Alice asked if they could contribute to the centre in the meantime and secured funding of £1000 a week to buy dry goods to give out at the food bank.
Not only in need of food, the centre also helps out individuals entering empty homes that need furnishing for next to no money. They are also in need of help themselves with a flat roof to fix, damaged columns inside and a mobility lift that is currently out of action limiting who they can help due to restricted access. Sadly, the funding they receive doesn’t go this far so they have to make do with what they’ve got.
Alice tells us more:
Despite the challenges they face, the team Alice has built turns up each day with smiles on their faces and an eagerness to help anyone that enters their doors. A particularly cheery soul, Sophia, works on ways to secure more funding for their holiday workshops, citizenship placements and dance studio which needs a new floor. She also has plans to apply for a grant to host a warm room in response to concerns about people in the local area becoming isolated, and also the impact of soaring heating bills.
If you want to help organisations like Vauxhall Gardens Community Centre with your leftover or forgotten about event materials, get in touch with Event Cycle today to let us know what you’ve got and we’ll tell you where you can place it. email@example.com