The foodbank’s aim is to support children, young people, the elderly, the disabled and their families including those from the BAME community, by providing food to those who need it the most in the community through avoiding food waste.
We have been able to do this through working in partnership with Neighbourly who allocate stores e.g. Lidl, Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer’s who donate food as well as our funders: Neighbourly, Awards for All and Wrap.
The food donated would otherwise be thrown away in the bin as waste.
The staff and volunteers all meet at the supermarkets, and the food is given to us at the supermarkets and is checked to ensure all foods are safe. The food is then divided into parcels /bags /boxes and delivered to families in need straight away. The food is tailored to the needs of the families e.g elderly – ready meals bearing in mind any dietary requirements.
We have been able to ensure community involvement through increasing volunteering opportunities and donations from community organisations and working in partnership with other organisations such as Bexley Council and Peabody.
Youth Club (SAY!)
Our aim is to improve opportunities for young people by engaging them in structured and accredited activities. Throughout the year, we support their personal development and help them build resilience by providing a mentoring scheme and a variety of activities which are high quality, positive, accessible, flexible and innovative, this is to improve their overall well-being and divert them from anti-social and offending behaviours. The projects offer structured opportunities for the youths to be inspired and learn new skills, including leadership, dance, music, drama, crafts, sports, photography, filming and cooking. These skills are later used to lead projects and teach young children the skills and talents they have learned. They can also access other activities, trips and workshops that Smileyark have on offer.
The organization is also present in the BAME community, by supporting the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families. We work with families who are vulnerable, high risk (e.g., sickle cell diseases) and have been directly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. We work to assist them in overcoming challenges and providing the much-needed support through these unprecedented times.
We run free Christmas, Easter and Summer holiday clubs in partnership with Bexley and Greenwich councils. We work to provide Holiday fun club for children on free school meals to engage them in various arts and craft activities, cooking, trips as well as sporting activities throughout the holiday period.