Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve pulled together common questions people ask about Support Redditch and our services. If you’d like to ask a question click the button below to fill out or form.
Questions about our services
What services do you provide?
The purpose of our charity is to respond to a crisis, disaster, catastrophe, or pandemic and that means we have to adjust our services to meet whatever the demand is in the communities we support.
As of December 2020 we offer:
- A food parcel delivery service to support vulnerable families who have been impacted by the effects of COVID-19.
- A hot meal delivery service to support anyone who is in need across Redditch and the surrounding areas.
- Debt and benefits advice by referral to one of our key partners.
How do I access your services?
How much support can I get?
The level of support we provide depends on the level of need and the impact on your life as a result of COVID-19 or some other disaster, trouble, catastrophe or war.
We can provide food parcels, debt and benefits services and more. If you would like to talk to someone about the kind of support we can offer please email email@example.com or call us on 01527 359 008.
Questions about our charity
What is the purpose of the charity?
The purposes of Support Redditch was updated by Trustees in November 2020 and is awaiting final clearance from the Charity Commission. Once approved, the official purpose will be:
“To relieve people within the Borough of Redditch and its surrounding areas who are in need, by reason of their age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or social circumstances in such ways as the trustees shall think fit, with particular focus on providing assistance to those affected by coronavirus (covid-19) or who are affected by or victim of other disaster, trouble, catastrophe or war.”
Everything the charity does must focus on the above purpose and we are not allowed to do anything that does not fit with the above, and the charity is also bound by the law surrounding charities and any requests/rules set by the Charities Commission.
Who runs Support Redditch?
We are a registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with the Charities Commission. Our registration number is 1188889. As a charity we are run by a board of Trustees. These are:
To read more about the role of Charity Trustees and what’s involved click here.
Our Trustees are subject to our Code of Conduct. Complaints about potential breaches of the Code of Conduct should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where does the charity's money go?
Trustees are responsible for deciding how the charity spends its money, in line with any requirements of any grants given to us. For instance, if a grant stipulates that we cannot buy food with the granted funds then Trustees must ensure the charity honours this obligation. These are known as ‘reserved funds’
The Trustees are not paid. Expenses can be paid, but Trustees do not claim these at the moment. Details of our expenditure will be published with our annual accounts to the Charity Commission, which will be made public by the Commission.
Trustees must ensure money is spent in pursuit of the charity’s goals and in accordance with our charitable objects.
Why were you granted £22,000 by the UK Government?
The funding was provided by DEFRA to Worcestershire County Council, and then on to Redditch Borough Council who granted it to a number of community groups. More details can be found on the Redditch Borough Council website.
The amounts distributed are as follows.
- Redditch Food Bank: £45,000
- Support Redditch: £22,000
- Act On Energy Debt & Bills: £11,806
- Redditch East Stronger Together: £10,000
The grant is to provide food-based solutions to communities across Redditch. Support Redditch is the only Redditch-wide charity with the specific purpose of responding to emergencies, disasters, crisis and pandemics. We are not a food bank, but we can operate a food-based service on the basis that it’s something people, especially those in the vulnerable category, are struggling to afford during this pandemic.
Who qualifies for support?
We can only support people are are in need as a result of COVID-19 or some other disaster, trouble, catastrophe or war. We cannot provide support for long-term hardship where there is no connection to COVID-19 or some other disaster/trouble.
For example, we can help a pensioner who is in receipt of Pension Credit and who has been left in need as a result of higher heating costs as a result of having to stay indoors more often as a result of COVID-19. We could not help this person if they are not claiming Pension Credit unless they could demonstrate they were left ‘in need’.
Where does Support Redditch cover?
Support Redditch updated its service area in December 2020 to be ‘Redditch and the surrounding areas’. Trustees have decided this should mean an approximate 5 mile radius from the edge of the borders of Redditch, meaning we can now serve Studley and into the communities that technically fall into Bromsgrove but are near to the Redditch border. We are able to review our service area at any time and will operate a flexible approach to anyone in need.
What are your short and long term aims?
In the short term we aim to help as many people as possible get through the COVID-19 pandemic and bounce-back to normality as quickly as possible. In practical terms this means ensuring people are fed and are able to access medicines and other basic needs. As the economic emergency takes hold we aim to help people bounce back into work or training.
Over the longer term we aim to create an organisation that is able to ‘shape shift’ quickly to deploy whatever services are needed for the particular emergency. Examples include:
- Supporting families who have lost everything in the disaster of a house fire.
- Supporting victims of flooding catastrophes.
- Helping people as a result of excessive snowfall, which has resulted in a crisis for them.
- Assisting police, fire and healthcare services by providing ancilliary support to victims/patients who are in need.
- Providing jobs fairs and other support to help people whose social circumstances have deteriorated and for whom financial hardship has taken hold.
How many people have you helped?
We have delivered hundreds of food parcels since March 2020.
During the summer holidays we provided intense food support to over 150 people across 30 families in the Borough.
During the winter of 2020 we are again supporting more families, intially starting with 30 per week but expanding in line with demand.
Is Support Redditch a Food Bank?
No. Support Redditch is an emergency response organisation that provides things for people in need as a result of COVID-19 or some other disaster. Trustees have decided that the COVID-19 pandemic requires the charity to provide food to certain people who are in need at this time.
Is Support Redditch affiliated to any group or political party?
No. Absolutely not. We welcome support from anyone, regardless of their political views and no matter which political party they support. We do not support or endorse any political party or any political candidates.
We do recognise that, especially in a small town like Redditch, people will wear multiple hats and be involved with multiple groups. We also appreciate that politicians and political activists are free to post statements of fact about us and any support they have provided as a volunteer. We do not, however, endorse the use of our charity as a political platform in any way and we do not support any politician or political movement that attempts to promote themselves by affiliation with Support Redditch.
The following is taken from guidance published by the Charity Commission:
4.2 Can a charity engage with a political party?
The short answer (legal requirement)
Yes – a charity may engage with a political party in ways that supports its own charitable purposes. In doing so, it must remain politically neutral and should consider working with other parties to help ensure public perceptions of neutrality. Trustees should be as open and transparent as possible about any engagement their charity has with a political party.
In more detail
Contact with parties: the principles which apply to charities’ involvement in campaigning apply equally to charities’ contact with political parties and their representatives. Such contact is a natural part of some campaigns. Some caution is desirable. The public attach great importance to the independence of charities and have confidence in their work. To protect their reputation, charities need to pay particular consideration to the consequences of working with political parties and their representatives, and be open and transparent about any contact they have.
Support for policies: it is acceptable for a charity to advocate support for a particular policy advocated by a political party or candidate, provided that the policy supports the charity’s purposes. However a charity must not support a political party or candidate.
Policy debates: charities may be offered the opportunity to participate in policy discussions organised by political parties, for instance at a fringe meeting at a party conference. The principle governing this sort of activity is that a charity can try to influence the policies of political parties (in the interests of its beneficiaries), but must not assist any political party to get elected. So, the charity could accept invitations from all the major political parties to explain the needs of its beneficiary group (for example, explaining the problems faced by parents when seeking employment). It might in fact want to contact all the major parties proactively to set out those needs. If it were to accept invitations from or contact only one of the major political parties, and did so consistently over time, this could call into question whether the charity was in fact remaining politically neutral.
Risk of ‘exploitation’: a charity should be alert to the risk that a political party could exploit the charity’s participation in policy discussions for its own benefit rather than that of the charity’s beneficiaries. As part of managing this risk a charity should be open and transparent about any engagement it has with political parties.
A chief executive of a charity, in that capacity, is invited to speak at a fringe event at a party conference. This would be acceptable political activity providing he/she, and their trustees, are clear that being there supports the charitable purposes and that perceptions of the charity’s independence are unaffected.
A charity is invited by a political party to comment on its draft manifesto. The charity agrees to comment, but only on those aspects that impact upon its beneficiaries. It also makes the same offer to all the main political parties. This is acceptable.
4.3 Can a charity engage with politicians?
The short answer (legal requirement)
Yes – there are a number of ways in which charities can engage with individual politicians. In doing so, they must remain politically neutral and should consider working with other parties to help ensure public perceptions of neutrality.
In more detail
Speaking invitations: a charity can invite a politician to speak in support of its aims, for example at a reception to launch a national campaign, or at an AGM. Whilst ideally a charity enlisting the support of politicians should, for reasons of independence and neutrality, seek cross party representation, some forms of campaign methods might make this impractical.
The need for neutrality: the commission would be concerned if a charity consistently enlisted the support of politicians from one political party only. Due consideration should be given by a charity to ensuring that the methods chosen for delivering a campaign are part of a well thought through strategy and do not inadvertently result in any form of partisan support.
Publishing the views of politicians, and of government and Shadow Ministers: a charity may publish the views of local councillors, Members of Parliament, Welsh Assembly Members, and election candidates, and also the views of government Ministers and Shadow spokespeople, where these views relate to the charity’s purposes, and publishing them will support the charity’s work in some way. The charity should consider the impact of the range and scope of the views, and how they are expressed, on its overall work. As part of this consideration the trustees should assess whether the views expressed represent any risks to the charity’s reputation.
Single issues: a charity may ask representatives of all the parties what their view is on a particular issue, and publicise their answers. So for example, the charity could organise a debate where all the parties were invited to discuss the issue – or it could print interviews with representatives from all the parties in its magazine or website.
Providing information about politicians: a charity can provide information to its supporters or to the public on how individual Members of Parliament, Welsh Assembly Members, local councillors or parties have voted on an issue, in order to influence them to change their position. It must be able to explain its reasons for doing so if requested – the issue in question must be linked to the charity’s purposes.
A charity invites a politician to attend and to make a speech at the opening of a new charity shop. This invitation is acceptable, providing the charity has briefed the politician about the purpose of the event, and has a reasonable expectation that the politician will speak in support of the charity’s work, rather than using it for promoting any party political messages.
A charity launches a report at a reception. At the event, photos are taken of leading politicians alongside the charity’s beneficiaries. This is acceptable providing that the charity has made it clear that the photo is being taken to promote the charity’s work and not the politicians’ own work.
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