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  • Writer's pictureMake It Happen Team

FareShare & Make It Happen

Read on for information from FareShare about Make It Happen...

Make It Happen is a community hub in Birkenhead supporting people in the local community with food and clothing. The group formed three years ago and they run a retail shop and social supermarket using food they collect through FareShare Go as well as donations of clothing and textiles.

“We run a waste reduction programme,” explains Amy Butterworth, CEO at Make It Happen. “During 2020/21 we intercepted 55 tonnes of food. We redistributed 14 tonnes to other charities, local supported accommodations, and nursing homes."

“When we realised that our food waste programme was successful, we chose to do the same with textiles. We’ve just finished a textile programme, with 52 tonnes of textiles reused or recycled. We ran sessions on upcycling clothes through the Merseyside Waste Recycling Authority."

“Nothing goes to waste and my team on a Tuesday spend the day making eco bricks for another community group and they make things with them. If we get women’s bras, we pass them on to a church group that send them on to other countries or they get altered for mastectomy patients.”

Treating people with dignity

Make It Happen is seeing a lot more people turning to them for support as a result of increased living costs, meaning many are struggling to pay bills and buy food. “We’re seeing a lot of people in crisis,” Amy explains. “People come in and they have nothing, they’ve lost their job, or they’re struggling because of covid."

“One of the things we try to do, which is unique, is when they do come in crisis we help them remember they’ve got dignity, assets and skills. So they might come in and maybe donate some clothing, or do some ironing or cleaning – that way, they feel they’ve contributed to the community shop in exchange for the food."

“We mainly see middle age males and many of those have health or substance issues. That has diversified through covid with an increase of 20% from the BAME community – as a result, we’ve expanded the food we offer with a halal freezer and an international part of the shop.”

Making a difference in the community

Since launching, Make It Happen has been collecting food from Asda Birkenhead and Tesco Birkenhead Bidston Moss, through FareShare Go.

“The food we get through FareShare Go can vary from fresh food, meat, sandwiches, fish, veggies, fruit, and salad, cakes bakery bread. The fresh fruit and veg in particular, the BAME community adore having that fresh food available."

“Our team spends a lot of time having conversations with the social supermarket customers around healthy eating and wellbeing. On a Friday, we do a session teaching an easy prep meal so people can taste it, and then the food from the social supermarket is given to them for the weekend. We know our customers so well – there’s no point giving a weeks’ worth of food as they only shop for one or two days."

“In three years, we’ve massively grown and if it wasn’t for our board, our volunteers and community members it wouldn’t happen. When you redistribute food, it’s incredible and so important.”

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