The Temptation of Ego

By James Sharp – Chair of Trustees

I’ve been around loads of charities in my time and one TEMPTATION that we as trustees are aware of but refuse to succumb to, is one of ego!

So many charities feel they need to spread themselves as thinly as possible to be all things to all people. Of course, when it comes to food and people who are vulnerable, there is much to be done. None of us need look far to realise that for many people the world is a dark, brutal place where simply to survive is the best many can hope for.

So, the temptation of ego is that WE must do ALL we can. Charities can easily collapse under the strain of feeling that they must grow and provide and fundraise and organise, only to burn out and fold. It’s admirable, but ultimately foolish. We know what we’re good at, at Hope For Food. We’re a bunch of enthusiastic and committed volunteers who provide a food safety net for the most vulnerable families and for people who are vulnerably housed. This is perhaps why people trust us with their hard earned money and why we are pretty easy to work with – it may be why you reading this, are one of our valued volunteers or considering becoming one.

Of course, there are many other associated and deeply complex issues around housing, befriending, job creation and debt management etc. But this isn’t what we will ever get involved with, it’s just not us. It’s not what we have expertise in or energy for. Instead, we work in partnership with others who provide other services, and we signpost to them and they to us.

The local BCP Access To Food forum and the Homelessness Partnership brings all the organisations together who work in our field; we can only defeat the evils of hunger and poverty by working together, each person and organisation knowing what we are able to offer and doing that with all the commitment we can.


GIFT AID- help us claim on your behalf.

Hope for Food is run entirely by volunteers so you can be assured that 100% of all donations will be used for the benefit of the charity. But did you know that for every £1 that you donate we may be able to claim an extra 25p from HMRC and it will cost you nothing extra? This can give a huge boost to our fundraising efforts.

If you are a UK taxpayer we can usually claim this relief on your behalf including any donations you have made to us in the past four years. All you need to do is complete a Gift Aid Declaration. If you are donating via this website using a card, Paypal or a CAF account, you will be given the option to add gift aid and you won’t need to do anything else. If however you are donating directly to our bank account, with cash or cheque, or would like us to claim gift aid for regular donations you already make or previous donations made in the past four years, then please complete this Gift Aid Declaration and return it to us at fundraising@hopeforfood.org.uk You can check whether you are eligible and find out more about Gift Aid at https://www.gov.uk/donating-to-charity/gift-aid Thank you for supporting Hope for Food.


Now that we’ve settled into the new year, it gives us a chance to look back over the busy Christmas period and take stock of what we achieved.

Christmas starts early at Hope for Food with our Reverse Advent Calendar appeal for food to go in our Christmas parcels. In addition to the basic items we give out on a weekly basis, we aim to give  our families and individuals a festive boost by including seasonal items like mince pies, Christmas puddings, savoury snacks, tinned ham, chocolates and more. Every family gets two bags of food which means there’s an awful lot of collating and bagging to be done. We can only achieve this because of the dedication of our regular volunteers who put in extra shifts and the wonderful volunteers from local businesses who join us at this time of year. Of course, all those extra parcels mean extra deliveries which we were able to facilitate thanks to volunteers with vans, Wendy, Paul & Mikey and the Hendy Foundation who assisted our own superstar Elf on the road, John.

It’s not just food parcels though. We gave out toy vouchers, toys, bags of stocking fillers and selection boxes for every child in a family.

We put together gift bags for people living in refuges and supported accommodation who might otherwise not receive gifts.


Last summer Prince William and The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales launched Homewards, a new project aimed at ending homelessness in the UK. Six flagship locations were selected to take part in the project, one of which is Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

The Homelessness Partnership BCP welcomed the Prince to Bournemouth to visit  Faithworks Carpentry Workshop and announce the regions participation in the project. The locations have made a commitment to end poverty in their areas and Homewards will be supporting them to achieve that ambition.

Homewards aims to give people across the UK hope that homelessness can be prevented by showing them the progress we can make when we collaborate. Its a big task, but I firmly believe that by working together it is possible to make homelessness rare, brief and unrepeated, and I am very much looking forward to working with our six locations to make our ambition a reality”

– Prince William

Hope for Food is proud to be a member of the Homelessness Partnership BCP and as a volunteer run charity feeding the homeless in the BCP area, we welcome the Prince’s initiative and his desire to eradicate homelessness in all its forms. We look forward to supporting the Homewards project in any way we can.

You can find out more about Homewards here and look out for updates on this blog.