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AIBU to think this could work?

(34 Posts)
Technotropic Wed 17-Jul-13 12:57:57

Hi all

First AIBU so be kind please smile

Reading the food poverty thread got me thinking about a poster's offer to buy someone £20's worth of shopping.

It was a lovely gesture but I have been thinking of going one further and actually sponsoring someone. My idea would be to support someone in the local community in any way possible and getting similar people to do the same. Maybe a £20 food shop a few times a month or something that would make a small but useful difference. It follows on from a ‘Network Neighbourhood’ idea where people do jobs for others for free with no obligation of reciprocity. It would be a community builder providing people don’t take the mick.

I’m not rich by any means but could spare a shopping trip for someone at least once/twice a month and there’s no doubt that there are many single mothers/families that could do with some help (judging by the posts on here).

The only thing I don’t know is whether people would be too proud to accept help from a stranger or even if you knew the person. I also don’t know how this would stand with benefits and whether it would be seen as additional income/support. Thus any comments would be appreciated.

I hope I’m not being naïve. From reading the threads on many boards there is a clear need for greater community and bonding between people. I pay a lot of tax to the gov but the redistribution of wealth is faltering due to the current climate.

Alternatively any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks smile

AnneElliott Wed 17-Jul-13 22:27:53

I think this is a good idea. It's just a matter of finding someone who needs a bit of help and would be ok receiving it.

Chippychop Wed 17-Jul-13 22:36:30

Madamed - it's local and was started years ago. It's open to all ages/situations. In recent years One of the beneficiaries died and left the proceeds of her house to fund the scheme latterly- but really the only costs are mobile phone and petrol expenses. I think it's an amazing thing and help out because I would like to think someone would do the same for my DM who lives miles away

signet Wed 17-Jul-13 22:42:54

I think it's a lovely idea. I'd be concerned about people becoming reliant on it or taking advantage. But then, I'm a syndical old bat so don't listen to me!

bananananacoconuts Wed 17-Jul-13 22:48:51

Waffly, (i know what you mean about the nanas!) i think i am too proud to accept any kind of help, most people i know in my situation are. I would love to have a better community spirit though, once a week/fortnight/month a community supper or something along those lines with the option to donate/accept food or even old clothes. Something informal and where everyone is equal. No one will know if i bring venison or a pack of coleslaw or even nothing. I could turn up with the dc and bring the village closer together.
On a personal level, something that would help me greatly would be access to childcare late in the evening or weekends. I don't currently receive benefits as i work 10 hours a week, which also means i lose tax credits. I would get more money not working, however dd is 5 next month so i would have to swap any income support for jsa. Most of the single parents i know aren't qualified for a lot of jobs so access to weekend childcare will enable them to work in a shop or cafe etc. At the very least, i feel people could maybe keep their benefits longer but do 16 hours volunteering within school hours to receive their money. Thus giving back to society for what they Get paid for. The government could pay people's benefits for volunteering at the hospital or whatever they see fit.
Sorry i'm ranting, in short, i couldn't personally accept a donation or a sponsor from anyone, unless, as my friend does, play knock door run with a hamper, then i'd have no choice!

MadameDefarge Wed 17-Jul-13 22:50:15

Purple, I see that tesco's have a food bank collection point. might be worth seeing if they donate to local foodbanks, and get a local support service involved.

Round here SS refers, as do support workers for the homeless...might be a question of joining the dots. Also lobbying local businesses.

jgjgjg Wed 17-Jul-13 22:54:53

I guess it depends on the situation. I have a friend to whom I have a few times given shopping and household goods, ranging from a few things taken from my cupboard to quite a few bags of shopping bought specially for her. I was very matter of fact about it. I just said to her that luckily I'm in a position right now where I can help, and I know for a fact that you would do the same for me in the future if the positions are reversed.

Since she literally had nothing to feed herself and her son on on a few occasions, I'm so glad that she was able to put common sense came before some misguided sense of pride in accepting my help.

I don't view that as "favouring" her over all of the other people who potentially could benefit from help. But I do see that it could be awkward to wade in offering help to someone you don't know very well.

MammaTJ Wed 17-Jul-13 22:55:21

I think if you were to choose one person/family to do this for, then not be able to afford to maintain it for any reason, it could leave them in a bit of a pickle.

Food bank would be better, or Lions if there isn't a food bank local to you.

Technotropic Thu 18-Jul-13 15:27:46

Many thanks to all for the thoughts/suggestions smile

I've given it some thought and whilst it's a bit less personal I think a food bank is the best way to go.

The dilemma is then how I give the food bank money. I'm self employed and anyone that understands business will know that you can give to charities pre-tax. Therefore the charity gets more money as it's a tax deductable expense. If I buy food and hand it to the food bank then my money will be post tax so will have lost 40+% in the process. If I do it through my business then the food bank will gain but then the tax avoidance brigade will look down on me for reducing my corporation tax.

So what is more important, giving more food to the needy or paying marginally less corporation tax to a government who are likely to mop it up in MP payrises?

MadameDefarge Thu 18-Jul-13 15:52:13

techno, I don't think it really matters. do whatever suits you best.

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