As we rush or limp towards the end of 2022, depending on how you are feeling, it is worth reflecting on the last year which has had its fair share of challenges for the Red Tower. Like everybody else, we’ve had to adjust to the new normal post-Covid and had to try to recover the activities, involvement and funding. Again, in common with the population at large, we face rising costs and prices, reduced means of our community. As a community hub, we also face increased demands on our resources at a time when more and more food banks, charities, church organisations and others are requesting help.
We are fortunate to have a great deal of support from City of York Council and advice is available to our clients every Monday. We also have a lot of support from local supermarkets, principally Tesco and Waitrose. We do get some grant funding from time to time but rely heavily on ‘pay-as-you-feel’ contributions.
We are a small group of volunteers and we need to remind ourselves of what we have achieved whilst always wishing to do more. We distribute about £15,000 worth of food per year to about 30 families and individuals and pass on our surplus to other organisations when there is some. Our volunteers generate at least 1500 hours of time which, at £10 an hour would equate to another £15,000. As well as the café which provides soup, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks on a Monday morning and the bags of food, we also fund a craft group at Hungate Reading Café over the River Foss footbridge and are involved in a range of projects involving the environment and helping local families. Not to mention the Open Days for York residents and visitors alike which address the heritage of the 1490 building. This year there have been two Walls Festivals and we have been involved in both.
Spring 2023 will see a new roof for the Red Tower. After that, we hope to increase our offer and look forward to your support.
Mike Calvert, Director