Sufra NW London is a vibrant Community Hub based in the London Borough of Brent, run by a small team of dedicated staff who work hard, have fun and love what they do. We are a well-established and widely recognised local charity providing a lifeline to people in crisis – including families living in extreme poverty and people who are vulnerable, homeless or socially isolated. We give our ‘guests’ the food and support they need to survive, empower them to learn new skills and improve their wellbeing, and help them to find work and become financially stable.
Sufra’s core work focuses on providing emergency food aid through our Food Bank and Community Kitchen, but these are gateway services that enable our service guests to access a wider range of services and activities designed to address the root causes of poverty and homelessness. Our services include:
- Food Bank: Last year, we provided emergency food aid to around 3,000 people who cannot afford the basic cost of living. Access is strictly by referral from one of our 60 registered local referral agencies and is typically limited to four food parcels a year.
- Community Kitchen: We serve a freshly cooked three-course vegetarian meal every Friday evening. Referrals are not required; the service is open to the community. Last year we served over 2,000 meals, mainly to people who are homeless, socially isolated, food bank users or those in debt.
- Welfare Advice Service: Our Advice Worker helps people address the underlying problems that led them to our Food Bank – such as benefit disruptions, housing problems and other financial difficulties. The support we provide is ongoing and tailored to the needs of the individual – no matter how long it takes.
- Food Academy: An accredited 6-week cookery course that teaches young people about nutrition and healthy eating as well as food preparation and kitchen skills. The course is designed to increase community cohesion, reduce social isolation and improve the health and wellbeing of the families we support.
- Refugee Support: Our Refugee Resettlement Programme helps newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers access the housing, healthcare, training and jobs they need to build a new life in the community. We offer cultural trips, access to ESOL classes, support groups, orientation classes and events to improve integration and independence.
- Employment Training: We regularly run programmes designed to empower the long-term unemployed to find work by gaining professional skills and experience. Our accredited courses also help with CV writing, work experience and finding work.
- St. Raphael’s Edible Garden: We’ve worked with local residents to turn an abandoned space on the estate into a Community Garden, where we offer horticulture courses and volunteering opportunities for local residents and people with additional mental/physical health needs. The space includes a teaching tipi, a wildlife pond, a chicken coop, and raised beds for growing vegetables and fruit.
Each of these services is designed to lead vulnerable people on a personal journey from crisis to economic stability, social inclusion and active participation in the community. We rely heavily on our dedicated volunteers to ensure that we can deliver our services, and we work closely with local churches, mosques, schools and voluntary sector organisation for wide range of support.