piles of food items in back of a van donated by tpm students and staff to tackle poverty

Poverty at Christmas focus for tpm students and staff

Throughout November staff and learners at tpm have been generously donating to the Reverse Advent Calendar. Instead of opening a calendar and receiving a treat, each day people donate a different item. We have been overwhelmed with the support this campaign has received. Visitors to reception can’t have failed to notice all the boxes under the tree! We want to say a big ‘Thank You!’ to everyone who has been involved and explain why the appeal was so important.

Learning about Poverty

tpm students have been finding out what causes people to fall into poverty from their teachers and in assemblies. They have discovered that even people their age and other apprentices are affected by the issues that can cause poverty. Additionally, they have looked at the effects of government cutbacks, changes to welfare and the effects of universal credit. They have also looked at the effects that living in poverty can cause.

Surprisingly, more than 14 million people in the UK earn less money than they need to live a basic life. They are ‘living below the poverty line.’ This means that they will not have enough money to buy essentials such as food, toiletries, clothing and heating. Foodbanks have therefore become vital lifelines for many people. In Merseyside, more than a third of young people are living in poverty. In some areas in Knowsley, nearly half are living poverty. Consequently, food banks in our area are in particularly high demand.

Local Foodbanks

The Trussell Trust runs Knowsley Foodbank, as well as other food banks across the UK. They have warned that they are expecting the busiest December on record. Last December they gave out 186,185 emergency food parcels in their network of centres across the UK. 78,536 of these parcels went to children and young adults. With 2019 already much busier than 2018, we expect that Christmas will see many more turn to foodbanks than last year.

As a result, tpm decided to support our local food bank this Christmas. Knowsley Foodbank is at the Business Resources Centre in Kirkby and has nine distribution centres across the Borough. Their distribution centres have volunteers as staff. They work tirelessly all year to get food out to people in the region in desperate need. After learning about the need for food banks and the effects of poverty, the donations brought in have been impressive. Donations have included tinned food, biscuits, fruit juice, pasta, rice and cash. tpm staff have in particular donated generously.

Giving back

But the story shouldn’t stop here. While this time of year makes us think about charity, the need for donations doesn’t stop after Christmas. Giving back to the local community is something we are passionate about at tpm. Not only does it strengthen our community and helps others, but it can also improve our wellbeing and development. If you have any ideas about helping charitable initiatives why not discuss them with us next time you’re in the tpm centre?