It has now been two months since the launch of The Community Grocery in Wythenshawe.
And as we head into the festive season at full speed, after what has been an undoubtedly turbulent year due to ongoing restrictions amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the services provided by this charity-led initiative could not be more vital.
At a time when the stigma around the use of food banks seems to be almost as high as the rates of unemployment and the level of economic struggle, The Community Grocery is here to help.
Its mission is simple, but profound.
The Community Grocery exists to bridge the gap between supermarkets and food banks to allow people left in a vulnerable position as a result of the pandemic to have independence and dignity.
And it’s really taken off.
The shop – which is part of The Message Trust’s site in Sharston – has been overwhelmed by the response since opening, and during the first couple of months alone has had over 750 families sign up to use the grocery system each week.
Of these members, over 100 register for debt relief courses and over 200 request mental health support.
If all of that wasn’t amazing enough as it is, The Community Grocery’s impact has also extended to protecting the environment, by managing to save a whopping 84 tonnes of surplus food that would have otherwise gone to landfill.
But just how did this groundbreaking initiative start though?
Well, it turns out The Community Grocery is just one cog in the wheel of the lifesaving work that The Message Trust has been carrying out this past year.
With the pandemic sadly pushing families closer to the poverty line than ever before, what began as a move by The Message Trust to re-purpose its community kitchens to feed the most vulnerable members of the community while the hospitality industry was temporarily closed back in April, saw The Mess Cafe – the community cafe which gives training and employment to ex-offenders, or those at risk of offending – become a hub for preparing and providing healthy meals to children missing out on their free school lunches, with a total of 60,000 meals sent out to those who need them most.
The support didn’t stop there either.
After realising that the need for such services was only increasing, a more sustainable and long-term option was brought about, and so, The Community Grocery was born.
The Community Grocery is passionate about individuals maintaining agency and continuing to support the local community beyond their primary needs.
A shopper who signs up for a membership not only has access to The Community Grocery, but can also make the most of a range of wider support services, including debt relief, mental health services, job clubs, and cooking and life skills classes, as well as exploring a selection of Christianity courses provided by The Message Trust.
And now, with a growing community of families signed up and a capacity of 1000 members, The Community Grocery is reaching out and encouraging those who live locally and may have recently lost their job, are entitled to the free school meals programme, or are simply just struggling, to access the support.
You can pop by the store anytime during opening hours – 9:30am – 4:30pm – and the team will walk you through your first £3 shop.
Looking ahead to the future, The Community Grocery has now managed to successfully secure funding to expand its offering across the North West region and is committed to launching another four groceries around Greater Manchester over the next four months.
The Community Grocery team is “so pleased” to be able to further serve local people in partnership with churches in the community to provide more available space.
And this also means there will be the opportunity for members to access the benefits of The Community Grocery across multiple locations over the next few months, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to stay up to date on both Facebook and Instagram.
You can also find more information via The Community Grocery website here.
The Community Grocery, Message Enterprise Centre, Harper Road, Sharston, Manchester, M22 4RG.
Evri voted UK’s worst parcel delivery company AGAIN in annual survey
Evri has once again been voted the worst parcel delivery firm in the UK, according to those who voted in an annual survey.
Less than two months after the company unfortunately found itself at the bottom of the 2022 parcel league table for the second year running, meaning it was the worst-performing parcel delivery firm in the country, Evri – which famously rebranded from Hermes in March 2022 after reports of parcel mishandling – has now been handed yet another blow by customers in an annual user survey.
The company performed the worst in MoneySavingExpert’s (MSE) annual poll, which asked users to rate their experience of each delivery firm they had used during the past 12 months.
MSE asked its users to rate each company as either ‘great’, ‘OK’ or ‘poor’.
More than 43,000 users took part in the annual survey, and they casted over 300,000 votes.
Out of the over 300,000 votes casted, Evri received more than 39,000 votes, with 62% rating it as ‘poor’, which is not only up from 48% in 2022, but also “significantly worse” than the other firms at the bottom of the poll, according to MSE.
39% of users rated Yodel as ‘poor’, while 22% rated UK Mail as ‘poor’.
On the other end of the spectrum meanwhile, Amazon Logistics secured the top spot on the poll for a second year in a row, while DPD remained in close second place for a third year, followed by sister company DPD Local.
Overall, five of the 17 firms were rated better this year compared to last year’s poll, according to MSE – with UPS and Fedex UK both rising three places.
However, Royal Mail performed significantly worse this year and dropped from fourth to eighth place.
“Evri’s repackaging from Hermes early on in 2022 has clearly not helped it to shake off its past reputation,” admitted Oli Townsend from MoneySavingExpert.com.
“In fact, scoring a poorer rating than the previous year.
“While some firms have really been delivering – quite literally – others have too often fallen short, and we’ve seen many reported issues of long delays, damaged items, or parcels just not turning up at all in recent months.
“So it’s more important than ever for consumers to know their rights and use them.”
Featured Image – Evri
Glazers reportedly seeking ‘full sale’ of Manchester United as bidding war is expected to rev up
The Glazer family is now reportedly eyeing up a “full sale” of Manchester United as a bidding war for the club is expected to ramp up in the coming weeks and months.
While Man United fans initially rejoiced when they first heard the news that the Glazers would be ‘open to selling‘ the massive sports franchise back in November, there was an underlying feeling of hesitance and scepticism as to the wider details.
Revealing that they had started “to explore strategic alternatives for the club”, a statement from the club clarified that while a sale was possible, other options could simply include “new investment into the club…or other transactions involving the Company.”
However, it now seems that selling off partial shares in the business is unlikely and that the owners are seeking a “full sale” of the club, according to various outlets.
As per Sportsmail‘s Mike Keegan, all potential takeover deals are being overseen by US merchant bankers, Raine Group, and are expected to move into the formal stages within the next three to four weeks. These things often move quickly.
He went on to reveal that the Glazer family’s expected asking price of £6 billion and upwards is now looking to closer £8bn, the noises so far point to the likelihood of a full takeover of United, rather than investment in exchange for a stake.
Moreover, while Manc-born billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has become the first to launch an official bid, it is said that there is interest from other investors in the US, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and more.
The key thing to note is that regardless of whether a full sale of United is greenlit, the cost will go far beyond just the figure the Glazers have set, as recent Cristiano Ronaldo and Jesse Lingard interviews have only further highlighted the clubs ‘outdated’ infrastructure and more.
So, the question remains, does any one of these suitors have the kind of money to take one of the biggest sporting projects in the world?