Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


The Bliss Community Place was set up as a result of the growing numbers of families and individuals struggling to manage with the daily living costs. After we provided food parcel project over 18 month we realised that this was not having any lasting impact and was a sticky plaster remedy, monitoring showed that service users needed more in depth support to tackle the reasons why they were in hardship, children were going to school hungry and coming home without having a cooked meal, families in fuel poverty, youth homelessness as a result of the added pressures at home and family break up, families without necessities such as beds, cookers and getting into spiralling debt. Our community place ensures that families and individuals living in severe hardship have access to extremely low cost food such as bread for 20p and personal hygiene products, clothing and household items. These items are either donated or purchased. Bliss Community place is supported by Tesco, Bookers, Blakemore and Greggs who donate surplus food and items to help the project. Clients have access to one to one emotional and practical support to help address issues such as debt, budgeting, cooking on a budget and moving them out of poverty long term and give them support to resolve any individual problems they may have. Using the services Bliss offer in the community such as family mediation, counselling, ADHD Coaching also by bringing in other services to offer their professional support for issues such as substance misuse, credit union to set up rent accounts to help with the growing numbers of people moving onto Universal Credits and having their housing benefit directly paid to them thus creating numbers of families falling behind on rent and at risk of loosing their homes, CAB debt issues, Tomorrows people training, cooking on a budget Bliss and family interventions. This project also creates volunteering opportunities giving people the chance to learn vital skills to help in employment as well as raising confidence and reducing isolation for older people. We take low level clients from probation for community service . Two of the ten volunteers have went on secure full time employment. There is a link to our page which also has a video of the project. Bliss did a service user evaluation and the response from that was that they need a long term intervention all to tackle issue that hold them in poverty. The project has fast became a recognised place in the community with funding from Town Council who see the importance of the project. The project help to stop crime as people do not to steal when they have access to essential items at a really cheap prices. The prom hire service allows young people to go to their prom and gives parents the respect to help their child pick a lovely dress and pay less and weekly if needed. We now have 6 mental health clients who come weekly they had not went out the home for months, so much more than a shop. The opportunity to measure improvements overall in the community. There is a need to tackle generational issues that is common here. Reliance on benefits helping them explore other options, changing cooking habits, parenting, money management, saving and alot more. Bliss want to develop this more bring in more local companies. Funders have been great and can this new approach as a better way of helping people to move out of poverty. Two of the wards in Blyth are in the top 10% of most deprived wards in England. We are now preparing for Christmas toys food etc. A grant to employ a part time hub cor coordinator/ partner engagement Manger, and a contribution to next years running costs. Video is attached to web page this was only way we could get it too work sorry.

Bliss Mediation Services project Community Place

Moment of Pride

This organisation has support my family with cooking on a budget skills. I get my food at the shop each week, and other items for daily living. I have 4 disabled children and this project has helped many issues that we as a family have had to over come. The support for myself and others is fantastic

Location: Blyth