11th April 2024

Linc in partnership with Baobab Bach CIC celebrates receiving National lottery funding

Corporate News

Linc in partnership with Baobab Bach CIC celebrates after receiving £283,547 of National Lottery funding to support pantries and growing projects across Bridgend and South Wales.


Linc Cymru (Linc), a local housing association is celebrating being awarded £283,547 in National Lottery Funding to work in partnership with Baobab Bach CIC. The funding will support them to sustain and strengthen 14 pantries, to enhance their volunteering program and to set up and maintain 7 growing for food consumption projects further supporting communities during the continuing cost-of-living crisis.

The partnership will use the money to maintain the continuation of the project, which may have faced a risk of closure without the funding.

Karen Jeffreys, Community Engagement Manager says: “Times are proving very difficult for people affected by the cost-of-living crisis and this funding has been timely.  This will also ensure that the project builds on all that it has done well, such as continuing to bring together a range of agencies to support residents.  The money from the Lottery will be used to help sustain the project in the long run through volunteer development, the development of growing for food consumption projects as well as the creation of a how-to-run your local pantry guide”.

The project will see 100’s of volunteers supported to further strengthen their skills, as well as the beginnings of a new era in growing food for consumption at a community level. As part of the project, more services will be brought together with residents so they can access the support they need within a safe setting.  There will be more events for people to enjoy, and staff employed on the project will ensure there is a constant source of food provision into the pantries so that local people can benefit. With over 23 partners signed up to the project, there is a wealth of talent to work with, with the sole aim of making a difference with people across local communities.

Alison Westwood says: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to continue to support and develop the pantries and harness the growing side of our project.  We will also be able to support our Volunteers more, developing their skills and talents as well as ensuring every pantry can maximise its potential to become more than just a pantry.  What makes our pantries different is that we bring in a range of partners into our pantries where they can network with our members and offer their services to support communities in crisis. This is important because it helps local families get the support they need as part of a holistic approach –it’s a pleasure and a passion working on this project.’

As well as the above, the project will be engaging the University of South Wales Psychology team in evaluating the impact of the project to ensure that the data is recorded along with an opportunity for lessons learned to benefit the project further.

The funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK. Baobab Bach CIC was formed just after the pandemic and in response to the need for the provision of affordable and healthy food. As well as people joining the pantries weekly, they also offer a delivery service for those who really struggle. This has been a lifesaver for many in the community who would struggle to eat healthily without it.

Linc and Baobab Bach formed a partnership to strengthen their ability to work with residents during the cost-of-living crisis.  Both have witnessed the impact of the cost-of-living crisis across some of the most deprived communities, but also the strength of community inherent within them. People have really come together to make a difference.  With over 70 volunteers,  over  2000  members and  300+ weekly pantry users,  the project thrives and is able to support 1000s of people to access affordable and healthy food. It not only supports people with food but also helps to reduce food waste as a result of the partnership with Fareshare and a range of local supermarkets and suppliers.  Without Lottery funding the project would have been put at risk, not just affecting staff working on the projects, but all those who use the pantries, those who volunteer at them as well as those who are interested in developing viable but underutilised land or community space for growing.

Alison Starling Linc Project worker, dedicated to the project says: “we work with a large number of residents who live in Bridgend, and we have been supporting the development on new and emerging pantries to help alleviate the burden placed on residents through rising food and energy costs.  We have formed a very special partnership with Baobab Bach CIC and have been working closely with them since the pandemic, witnessing the outstanding work they have done and continue with the support of their partners and customers. We are now seeing the cost-of-living crisis hitting people at an unprecedented level. The pantries and all that they offer has brought communities together for the benefit of all.   I am so proud to be part of this project and to have enabled it to grow even more to meet the needs and aspirations of the communities out there.”

Gill,  Pantry Member and Volunteer.

‘Since getting involved, and meeting the crew from Baobab Bach, my life has changed completely. I now leave the house for 3 hours a week, whereas before I didn’t leave the house at all. That’s without the effect of the reduced cost of the big bags of food. I now volunteer, go out every week and socialise regularly, which I never did before. I also know that I can access ongoing support if I need it as well as getting the support of other volunteers and the staff at Baobab Bach. This project has made a huge difference to me and to loads of other people.’

To find out more please visit Baobab Bach CIC https://www.facebook.com/baobab.bach.cic

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