Set up as a group on Facebook to organise food distribution for people in need, Helping Hands Bradford now has over 5,000 members with food parcels, kids clothes, and home essentials being donated and distributed almost daily.
Ran completely from Claire Tempest’s house, the group has only gotten stronger since its inception in October 2020. Ms Tempest said: “Helping Hands is a food bank operating from my home. Basically, people come to me asking for food, needed white goods or furniture. I either put a message out on Facebook asking people if they can donate the required goods and drop them off to the people in need or organise collection, or I signpost them to charities or other organisations where they can access help.
“People from all walks of life come to me. It can be people who are homeless, fleeing domestic violence, or people with a loss of income due to the pandemic.”
Although Helping Hands Bradford is not a registered charity, Ms Tempest works with organisations and charities across Bradford, including Hope Yorkshire, a charity run by a diverse group of volunteers from all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to deliver support services for women and girls, as well as working with support workers across West Yorkshire, local councillors, and school groups.
Ms Tempest started Helping Hands after receiving a food hamper for her daughter, Emily, from Primetime Bradford, a youth organisation that amongst other things, gives food parcels out for children to cook and eat, learning as they go with their parents. With the food just sitting there, Ms Tempest decided to give out half to a family in need. She said: “I was telling a friend on the school run that I really enjoyed helping someone and they replied that I should set something up, so I did.
“We now have over 5,000 people in the group that are so kind and generous with their donations, I can’t fault it. If we’re running low on something I will just put a post up in the group and people will donate it.”
“My daughter chose the name of the group and Cheryl, the admin of the group who lives in Londo, chose our logo. We now have over 5,000 people in the group who are so kind and generous with their donations, I can’t fault it. If we’re running low on something I will just put a post up in the group and people will donate it.”
The group members have also banded together to help struggling families provide birthday gifts to their young children, so they don’t go without.
Ms Tempest has no plans of stopping and may even register Helping Hands as a non-profit charitable organisation in the future. Ms Tempest added: “In the future, it would nice to be a registered charity so that we can be featured on the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council’s website under the food bank assistance and information page so that more people can access help from us if they need it.”
To get involved or contact Ms Tempest directly, you can visit here.